It got me to thinking about how food has evolved, and in particular the recipes that we used say 20-30 years ago. The cookbooks were quite different to the ones we use today. My mum bought me the Women's Weekly Recipe Card Collection when they first came out - gosh they were a new and exciting way of getting recipes at the time. Glossy cards with a picture on each one!!
I had my well worn favourites - The Devil's Food Cake of course - what teenager doesn't love making chocolate cake!??! Quiche Lorraine was also a favourite along with onion pancakes (can't quite remember what the fascination was with those!!!) After pulling them out to have a look at I had a few chuckles over the recipes - they were all so trendy and new back then - but would we make them now? Perhaps with some whizz bang food styling the old tired favourites could have some new life put back into them?? Mmmm maybe not. Our food is so much fresher, using what is in season as opposed to what we had in the pantry. Look at all the new ingredients that we have learned about - kaffir lime leaves, galangal, fish sauce the list goes on....
The recipe in question that lead me down memory lane was .......
Chilli Con Queso Dip
500g sausage mince
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of crushed garlic
1 red chilli, finely diced (or to taste)
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
500g Kraft Cheese (the shelf kind) cut into cubes
Corn Chips to serve.
Add a small amount of olive oil to a frypan that has been heated over medium heat. Gently saute the onions and garlic for approximately 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Add the sausage mince, breaking it up as it cooks. When all the sausage mince has cooked through, and has browned, remove the excess oil from the pan with paper towels.
Add the tomatoes, and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through.
Now here you can do one of two things - I like to put the mixture in the crockpot - then serve the warm dip straight from there - or you can put it in a heatproof bowl and melt the cheese in the microwave.
So whichever way - place the tomato mixture into the "bowl" add the cubes of cheese, mix well and either heat gently (in 1 minute intervals - stirring in between) in the microwave - or in the crockpot on low for a couple of hours. Stir frequently so that it doesn't start to brown around the edges.
Now I am sure there are ways we could bring this recipe into the 2000's - but you know what it actually tasted pretty good. It is a great dip to have when you have a large crowd - simply add a little more cheese and more tomatoes and you could feed the whole football team!!!
So Dear Readers what was your first cookbook - and what was your favourite thing to make as you started to learn how to cook? (I can tell you my dishes certainly didn't look anything like what those kids made on MasterChef Junior last night!!!) In fact my dad used to regularly ask me if I had read the recipe at all!