This event has been a long time coming. Ever since Angus tipped me off to the existence of the Crossroads Cookbook
I’ve been promising a night of delights from its pages. For those not familiar with this iconic British soap, I did a bit of a summing up when I made the excellent Crossroads Motel Pizza in 2019.
I spent many a happy hour in bed looking through the book for appropriate things to cook and landed on these three.
French Onion Soup – a classic “starter”.
Beef Casserole with Prunes – this sounded really 70s to me and I naturally made it in a 70s saucepan.
To accompany this, I served “sides” that I thought may well appear in the Crossroads Motel cafeteria, presented buffet style on my 1970s plate heater thingamabob…
Brown Betty was something that I could make a day ahead and keep in the fridge.
We kicked off with a TV soap-related tipple when Angus arrived with the board game and some Kylie Minogue Prosecco.
The meal was so much fun to put together and share with my lovely guests. Becky dressed accordingly in some flared trousers and a pussy bow blouse. I wore an 80s sequined jumpsuit. Alas, there are no photos of our spectacular outfits! We were both obsessing over Meg’s tunic on the cover of the board game box though….
So many lovely brown clothes in the 70s!
I particularly enjoyed the French Onion Soup and vowed to make this again. I could see why folks in ye olden days served soup to kick off a posh dinner party. I decided to buy ready-made stock for this rather than using a cube and that was a good decision. After reading reviews of all the Ocado ones, good old Oxo got the best reviews and I agree with the comments about it not being too salty. Am mostly sticking this photo in to remind me, this one was tops!
The casserole was sweet but good, and the Brown Betty jogged Angus’s memory about an earlier incarnation he’d helped me make back in 2010, a Bette Davis Brown Bette (see what she did there?). Those were the days when lots of folks had pseudonyms on the blog, Cathy was Paulette after Paulette Goddard and David was Ivor after Ivor Novello. On both nights the Brown Betty/Bette provoked much singing of Black Betty.
As Angus had brought along 2 DVDs of classic episodes we decided to introduce Cathy to the joys of the show. She grew up in a household that didn’t watch commercial television (this happened a lot in the 70s I seem to remember from school, some parents had PRINCIPLES) so she had never seen it. We settled down to watch two brilliant nail-biting shows in the “home cinema”,
there was a cry of “Just one more!” from Becky on the velvet yellow wingback chair, so in the end, we watched three. There is a Christmas episode on one of those compilations and a Christmas menu in the book, so we are definitely getting together for a Christmas event!
I heartily recommend the Crossroads Cookbook, it’s written as though these are truly things that the staff and guests enjoyed to eat. So the recipes I chose are attributed to the following characters.
French Onion Soup – this is Bernard Booth’s recipe, “he enjoyed this soup when he worked in Paris.”
Beef With Prunes – this is a recipe from char lady Vi Blundell’s kitchen. “It’s all go, innit?”
Brown Bette is “another of Mrs Rawlings’s old-fashioned English recipes.” But try as I might, I can’t find a photo of Mrs Rawlings (played by Bay Wight) – can any Crossroads fans assist? Until then, here is the legendary MEG!
If you’d like any of these recipes to try them yourselves, do drop me a line via the Contact Page, I’d be happy to snap pix and send them to you. In the meantime, I think I feel a screening of a Christmas episode and a session of the board game coming on, who is in?!