October 20, 2010 by jessperriam
So you get asked to make something desserty at a dinner your friend is cooking for her nearest and dearest (boys, you can tune out right now but you’ll miss some funny stuff). It’s not just any dinner, but a roast.
a) trawl the interwebs for a delicious recipe;
b) refer to Jamie Oliver / Super Food Ideas (don’t mock me just because I don’t have the attention span for Delicious magazine) for something delightful; or,
c) go through old issues of Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens to find something impossibly naff to go with the old-school roast dinner motif?
Friends – I almost went with option B. Almost. Until I was looking after my youngest niece and in her one-year-old haze she pulled out an old Family Circle magazine from 1980-something or other.
I’ve just spent a mildly hi-larious half hour looking at old magazines. So here’s a list of things that were acceptable in the ’80s housewifey magazines:
1. Questionable knitting patterns
2. Smoking ads
3. Mildly politically incorrect feature articles
4. Mills and Boon!
5. Leapfrogging over mushrooms in Olivia Newton-John style aerobics outfits
But back to the recipes. Ladies had heaps of time on their hands back then and they were also adept in the kitchen with those hands. Me? If it’s quick to make, brilliant! If it tastes good, bonus!
Browsing through the cookery sections of these magazines, things got exotic rather fast. Zagreb cake? Italian cannoli (not sure why they had to emphasise its Italian-ness), Wine plum trifle, and my favourite… Sun-sational cheesecake!
I was initially asked to make a self-saucing pudding. And I sighed at that in a le sigh kind of way. To me self-saucing puddings come from packets. And I made them when I was ten years old. But I found the Lemon Delicious in the hallowed pages of Family Circle.
I could make the pudding but…. don’t these two cakes look marvellous?
Self saucing pudding or true ’80s decadence? Decisions, decisions…