Monday, February 11, 2008

Mock over New York, Mock over Lunndon

Hugh Lunn's sentimental walk down language lane, Lost for Words, recalls how in the decade or so after WWII, cash-strapped Australians were forced to eat:
  • Mock crab: cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and tomato sauce mixed into a sandwich paste;
  • Mock chicken: minced tripe with herbs in a white sauce, popped into vol-au-vents [Even I, as a child of the 1970s, remember these mock shockers];
  • Mock duck: rump or bladebone steak rolled in a mixture of breadcrumbs, then baked [why the hell you wouldn't just throw the steak on the barbie for an altogether more agreeable result is anyone's guess];
  • Mock goose: Alternate layers of lamb's fry and potato and onions, baked.
There were, Lunn recalls, even mock meal recipes for the times families could not afford the cheapest of offal:
  • Mock brains: rissoles made from leftover porridge, beaten egg and onion;
  • Mock tripe: onions and butter boiled in milk and thickened with flour [I'm sure this mock version would taste and smell better than the original].
Mock desserts, writes Lunn, included:
  • Mock maple syrup: honey, golden syrup, cinnamon, lemon essence [doesn't sound tooooo bad];
  • Mock cream: milk, cornflour, butter, sugar;
  • Mock ginger: vegetable marrow, sugar, ginger powder, lemons;
  • Mock rasbperry jam: tomatoes, sugar, raspberry essence, lemon juice, orrisroot powder (from the root of an iris) and cochineal;
  • Mock pears: sweetened, boiled choko [yuck!].
Unlike with mock Tudor, at least there was an economic imperative to the mock tucker. And if worse came to worst, you could always throw it up.