Everything tastes better the addition of tinned pineapple right? Because pineapple imbues ‘everyday meals with a tropic holiday flavour’ according to my favourite new cookbook. There’s no date on the Golden Circle Tropical Recipe Book, but from the styling I’d guess at late 60s early 70s.
Written by home economist, Ruby Borrowdale it has utilises tinned pineapple in a plethora of imaginative ways .Typical of cookbooks of its time, it was sponsored by the Golden Circle Cannery who were obviously keen to sell the exotic virtues of the pineapple.
And you can’t go past the classic pineapple barbie dishes-like ‘Barbecue Party Kebobs’, served of course with a pineapple based salad such as ‘Sunlit Salad’ a lovely orange hued pineapple-studded jelly surrounded by luncheon meat cigars.
While pineapple might make you think of tropical sunlight and good times around the barbie, pineapple’s not just for day time. No indeed. You can mix cuisines and jazz up boring old Italian spag bol by simply adding a 15o oz can of pineapple pieces to your sauce (made on a convenient tin of tomato soup).
My all time fave though has to be this one. I reckon it would have floored dinner party guests of the time, it’s just so perfect. What I love about it is that you absolutely have to use tinned pineapple. And look at those colour- it’s almost patriotic.
It works like this if you want to try it at home (the author of this blog takes no responsibility for results): you drain the juice from a tin of pineapple rings, heat it in a pan an add enough boiling water to make 1 1/2 cups of liquid. To this you add 1 pkt lime flavoured jelly crystals and stir until dissolved. Once cooled, (and this is the genius bit) POUR into the tin around the pineapple. Chill and set, then run a hot knife around the inside of the tin and turn out onto a serving plate. Decorate with cream in a can and a maraschino cherry or two, you’ll be the talk of the dinner party circuit.
I love my new cookbook fiercely because it is not just about food-with vintage recipe books you can glean so much about social mores of the time. I just wonder what readers in a couple of decades will think of the cookbooks we were cooking from?