Avocado on toast, 1930s style! This is a brilliant way of using up an avocado that is past its best. Shove it through a sieve then mix some other stuff into it. You can either make it quite runny and use it as a salad dressing or, do as I did, make it a bit thicker and have it on toast. Two days running! Yum.
Gloria’s recipe includes onion juice and I often wonder how folk in ye olden days made it, or whether they just bought it ready-made. It turns up in many recipes, especially in the 1930s. I may be misremembering that UK supermarkets in the 1970s sold onion juice in little plastic onions – just like they used to sell lemon juice in little plastic lemons.
I was stupidly upset when recently Jif changed their lemons so they had flat bottoms…
Every time I see mine in the condiments cupboard I am annoyed at the very sight of it. I know PROPER cooks would always use fresh lemon juice but sometimes I only need a tiny bit…
I have never seen onion juice in the shops here, so I asked my chum Caroline to bring me some from Texas when she came for my hen night last year, just in the nick of time before the world closed down. She surprised me with some Funyuns too (another oniony thing I love but can’t get here).
It turns out that onion juice is good for all kinds of things
Well, I don’t know about any of that, but what I do know is, it’s very nice in Gloria’s huacamale or if you prefer, guacamole.
I’m pleased to have made this, not only because it was delicious but also because it gives me an opportunity of clearing up a food writing mystery. When you are in food writing circles, there is a hierarchy of food writers just as there is a hierarchy of film directors and a hierarchy of actors and actresses. I tend to like people right at the bottom of these hierarchies – or folk who generally don’t appear on them at all. But in the food writing world, MFK Fisher is generally thought of as one of the GIANTS of the genre.
Don’t tell my Guild of Food Writers chums but I find her writing hard going. That’s just me though. I prefer Peg Bracken.
Any road up, I was absolutely overjoyed when I discovered the following passage from an M.F.K. Fisher book in Gloria Stuart’s autobiography. Put yourself in my shoes. If I’d read this in the original book without reading Gloria’s I would have spent years and years of my life trying to work out who which actress M.F.K. was referring to. Instead, Gloria Stuart claimed it so I don’t even have to think about it – genius! Thank you to blog reader and now friend Mark Brisenden for recommending Gloria’s book. It’s a humdinger and quite a RACY read.
The following passage is from The Gastrononimical Me by M.F.K. Fisher published in 1943.
“I know a beautiful honey-colored actress who is a gourmande, in a pleasant way. She loves to cook rich hot lavish meals. She does it well too. She is slender, fragile, with a mute other-worldly pathos in her large azure eyes, and she likes to invite a lot of oddly assorted and usually famous people to a long table crowded with flowers, glasses, dishes of nuts, bowls of Armenian jelly and Russian relishes and Indian chutney and beer and wine and even water, and then bring in a huge bowl of oxtail stew with dumplings. She has spent days making it, with special spices she found in Bombay or Soho or Honolulu, and she sits watching happily while it disappears. Then she disappears herself, and in a few minutes staggers to the table with a baked Alaska as big as a washtub, a thing of beauty, and a joy for about fifteen minutes.”
Wow, what I wouldn’t give for dinner at Gloria’s place! I guess I’ll just have to make do with her Huacamale.
Of all the people connected with the Marx Bros I would have like to have met – and possibly could have – she’s number one . Her book is a hoot and she comes out very well in all the Marx bros biogs. And she could even have shown me how to squeeze an onion ! And I’ve no doubt she would have had some of the Silverskin variety on hand to drop into a Gibson cocktail as well . Never seen onion juice in this country, but I share your umbrage at the shape shifting juice bottles. I used to get the lime ones as well.
I love that we have a shared umbrage at flat bottomed lemons!
Oh,I love ‘huacamole’, Gloria Stuart, and Peg Bracken. I have all of Peg Bracken’s books, and my favorite is the I Hate To Cook Almanack: A Book of Days. (A recipe, interesting fact, or anecdote for almost every day, every season, utterly charming and wonderful recipes. I have held onto it through the last 5 years as ‘comfort reading’, one of a few, in order to keep from drowning in despair.)
Ooooh, Sally! I did not know about the Almanac. Naturally, SECONDS after reading your message I ordered a copy. I’d forgotten that she did one about housework too. Quite collectable it seems but I’m going to treat myself each pay day to one of her books. Luckily, I’ve just remembered that TODAY is payday, shall I buy another?!