16 JUNE 1955, Page 26

Rookery Cooks

SPECTATOR COMPETITION No. 276

Report by Joyce Johnson

I have a cookery book consisting of recipes supplied by well-known people. One compiled from recipes by fictional characters might provide more entertainment for the mind than for the palate. For the usual prize competitors were asked to submit entries for the Carrollean or Shakespearean sections.

ANY hopes I had of finding some interest- ing yet practical dishes for the next occasion when 1 entertain have not been fulfilled. Only two had any gastronomic appeal and both of these were for Rosepetal Jam; Marjorie Kidd sent the more enticing one with 'green figs and apricocks and mul- berries' but it ended cruelly with Titania's admonition : 'But let no humans, Elves, your treasure spy : For they, being mortal, of that jam will die.'

So menus will continue as before. How- ever, some recipes are worth a place in the filing, if not the kitchen, cabinet; and beside the first and second prize-winners (E3 to Barbara Rickard, £2 to D. R. Peddy), I would include three White Knight Puddings (Brenda Horrex, N. Hodgson and Mrs. Florence Laing), the Unicorn's recipe for Plum Cake (Pibwob), the Mad Hatter's recipe for Tea (Mrs. Ormerod), Mock Turtle Soup (A. W. Dicker), Puck's Pickles (Nan Wishart) and two rather sinister ones from Lady Macbeth (J. Aitken and John McIntosh).

I disqualified all White Knights, of course, who did not include blotting paper, gunpowder and sealing-wax in their ingredi- ents; as well as those who sent in Wonder- land or Looking-glass recipes without giv- ing any hint as to which characters were responsible for them. Even more careless were two other competitors who sent in a Black Hogg Pudding from the Vicar of Bray, and a Stygian Stew from Milton.

H. Russell Davis sent in some light- hearted and witty lines from Ariel on the subject of Bee Wine, but he cannot have a prize because they contained no recipe for this obviously potent brew. His whole effusion appears a little confused, and I

can only conclude that he wrote it while in The White Knight rode up just as I was his (cowslip) cups. taking the ginger otit'of the bread. 'Mine.' he

PRIZES

(BARBARA RICKARD)

The Red Queen's Thirst-quenching Biscuits

'Everyone knows.' said the Red Queen, 'that nothing quenches thirst like a good, dry biscuit. And when I say thirst I mean a thirst that you would call hunger. Here, I repeat, is the recipe. Someone, I perceive, has remarked that as have not yet given the recipe, I cannot repeat it. But in Looking-glass Land, you know, we repeat first, and then say what we are repeat- ing afterwards. As a precaution, you know.

'To make the Biscuits (or if it is winter you may prefer to call them something else, for variety), take 1 lb. of flour and your coat off. I say take, but it is prudent to ask first if away from home. Blend with 1 teaspoon of fat from which the grease has been carefully removed. and whatever treacle you happen to have in your well. Pound the mixture with a croquet mallet, add-or multiply, if you find that quicker-water to taste, and roll out on a chess-board. Cut into squares and serve running.'

(D. R. PEDDY)

Shylock's Poitrine de Chretien Antoine Take exactly 1 lb. prime Christian breast. After removing all blood, soak well, skin, sprinkle with the juice of a lemon which has been squeezed till the pips squeak, and roast over slow-burning fire. Baste with palm-grease and cover with breadcrumbs; Passover bread should be used in order to eliminate any sug- gestion of doUghiness. Serve with well-strained 'Mercy' sauce. • It should be noted that this dish's distinction is in its complete lack of richness; even a single bean or sausage will destroy this.

COMMENDED

(BRENDA HORREX)

White Knight Pudding

said triumphantly, falling into the mixing- bowl. He scrambled out and hung on to the clothes-horse to dry off. 'It was a glorious pudding, you know,' he said dreamily, 'and takes no time at all.' Then it can't be very substantial,' I began, 'no time . . . ,' but he went on excitedly. 'The basis, you see, is blot- ting paper because it absorbs all possibilities. Take seven pieces 'end wrap them round a castle; then add pint., of gunpowder beaten up with a stick of sealing-wax. When it's bubbling . . . he faltered, . . stir, stir in a pink mouse and the top of the beehive.' He began to slip gently off the clothes-horse. 'It ought to set then; it ought to; but perhaps it does depend on the time after all.'