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A taste of 1958

Tuesday 24 September, 2019


More than 60 years ago, Melbourne’s high society cooked up a fundraising idea.

In 1958, Melbourne’s ‘finest hostesses’ – including a number of diplomats’ wives – created a recipe book full of their own unique dishes. We Cook At Home was made to raise funds for the Cancer Appeal, the major Cancer Council campaign of the day. The historical fundraiser recently resurfaced in an award-winning collection of Australia’s culinary heritage: Tried, Tested and True by Liz Harfull.

Liz’s book came equal third in the international Gourmand Awards’ food inheritance category.  Her wonderful work has served up a second course of our history. Like you, the women who made We Cook At Home were dedicated to a cancer free future. We wanted to bring together generations of our wonderful supporters who are otherwise decades apart by giving you a taste of their work. Bon appétit!

Oysters in Avocado

(a simple first course for dinner)

Take for each person one half large avocado. Cut flesh into squares and scoop away from skin so that it is in pieces easy to eat.

Pour dressing made from ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon dry mustard, 1 heaped teaspoon sugar, dash black pepper and 1 clove garlic, crushed.

Mix together, then add three tablespoons of vinegar and six tablespoons of best olive oil.

Shake until well mixed. Pour a little of this over each avocado half. Take 6 oysters for each serve of avocado and mix in a sauce made from a little tomato sauce with a dash of Worcestershire sauce and quite a bit of cream. Heap oysters in sauce in the avocado halves mixing slightly with squares of avocado – serve cold.

Mrs Noel Dickson

Veal and Pineapple Casserole

1 small tin pineapple, 2 lbs veal cutlets, 1½ tablespoons cornflour, butter, small clove garlic.

Drain pineapple slices and retain juice. Brown cutlets in frying pan with butter and small clove garlic. Place in casserole. Brown sliced pineapple and place on top of veal. Mix cornflour with pineapple juice and bring to boil in frying pan, stirring constantly. Pour into casserole and cook slowly with lid on for ¾ hour.

Mrs C. C. Bell


An image taken from We Cook At Home – “Table setting for 20 guests at an official dinner party given by His Excellency, the Governor, Sir Dallas Brooks and Lady Brooks at Government House, Melbourne. Beautiful silver candelabra and mixed flower arrangements reflect the dignity of this charming setting.”

Food for the Gods

1 cup chopped dates, 1 cup walnuts broken, ¾ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder.

Method: Mix lightly with hands, add yolks of 2 eggs (not beaten), fold in with hands the beaten whites. DON’T STIR. Put in cake pan, set in another pan of water and bake in slow oven (325°F) for half an hour until brown as macaroons. Serve with whipped cream.

Mrs Mark Clements

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