‘the most revolting dish ever devised’ – take a bow Northern Ireland

Well yesterday after the passsing of  screen legend Elizabeth Taylor and reading report after report about how beautiful she was I decided to do a bit of Google research to check on her legendary beauty.
When I pressed return several pictures came up of a lady holding a whisk and putting stuff into an oven.


Yes, so was I until I noticed I’d accidentally put the name of legendary British cookery writer ‘Elizabeth David’ into Google.

Well I started reading a few articles about her when I came across this article in The Guardian. In it Tim Hayward writes about some of the Post-it notes and scribbles she left in her cookbooks.

In one cookbook a Post-It note saying “Italian salad p50. Sounds just about the most revolting dish ever devised.” was found.

And what was the offending cookbook? A secondhand copy of ‘Ulster Fare’ by the Belfast Women’s Institute Club (1945).

Here is the recipe according to The Guardian

‘Italian salad
1 pint cold cooked macaroni
½ pint cooked or tinned pears
½ pint grated raw carrot
French dressing to moisten
2 heaped tablespoons minced onion
½ pint cooked or minced string beans

Mix the chopped macaroni and vegetables; moisten with French dressing, flavouring with garlic if liked. Serve on a dish lined with lettuce leaves. Decorate with mayonnaise and minced pimento or chives.’

Except that there was a typo (I’m not sure if it’s in Ulster Fare or The Guardian’) and it should read ½ pint cooked or tinned peas not pears.

I don’t know why I found this funny. Perhaps its the thought that the ‘most revolting recipe ever devised’  is regularly wheeled out at church catering functions across the land by a little old lady who has a copy of Ulster Fare and being set beside the beetroot and blackcurrant jelly or carrot and orange jelly

You have to admire the Ulsterman’s ability to make a good salad. Carrot and orange jelly anyone..??


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