The Dairy Book of Home Cookery, written by Sonia Allison, was first published by the Milk Marketing Board, in 1968. In an era, when milk in glass bottles, appeared every morning, delivered by electric milk floats, the cook book was just one extra non-milk product.
It sold by the thousand however and several editions were published. In 2018, a 50th anniversary edition appeared with more than 900 recipes.
The book was designed to be a good solid family cookbook, with recipes for every occasion. It has traditional fare like Lancashire hotpot, and exotic 70s food like Black Forest gateau, fondues and spaghetti Bolognese.
It can be quite difficult to find a secondhand copy from the Seventies, (which includes dairy produce in almost every recipe) as mothers handed their much-loved copes to daughters.
The book is clearly laid out, easy to use and the recipes work. Many people, who were children in the Seventies or Eighties, will clearly recognise dishes from their childhood, like lasagne, moussaka, macaroni cheese, Pot au Feu, Toad in the Hole, Baked Alaska, risotto, Chicken Maryland, etc. It’s a recipe book very much of its time.
Many recipes are low carb or can be adapted. BUY if you can find it. Earlier editions probably better, as fewer revisions to reflect the low-fat stupidity.
2 medium-sized aubergines
1 tbsp olive oil2 large onions
350g/12oz cooked minced lamb or beef (we cooked fresh rather than use leftovers)
2 level tbsp breadcrumbs (omit if low carber)
150ml/quarter pint water
1 level tbsp tomato puree
Seasoning to taste
1 standard egg, beaten (we used a large egg)
1 recipe freshly made cheese sauce (we heated sour cream, stirring in grated Cheddar)
50g/2oz grated Cheddar cheese
Cut aubergines into 1/2 cm or quarter inch-thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 mins. This may not be necessary as aubergines are less bitter now. Drain thoriughly and fry quickly in the oil and butter until golden on both sides. remove from pan, leave to one side. Slice onions thinly, fry in remaining butter and oil until pale gold. Remove from heat.
Combine meat with breadcrumbs (if using), water and tomato ouree. Season to taste.
Line base of oblong or square heatproof dish, with half the fried aubergine slices. Cover with meat mixture and onions. Arrange remaing aubergine slices attractively on top.
Gradually beat an egg into the cheese sauce (even if using sour cream + Cheddar). Pour into the dish over aubergine slices. Sprinkle with cheese (we used Parmigiano reggiano DOP)
Bake un-covered in a pre-heated oven Moderate/180C/350F/Gas 4) for 45 mins – 1 hour.
Serves 4 (or 2 greedy low carbers)
If you are interested in the demise of the milkman, we recommend No Milk Today: The Vanishing World of the Milkman by Andrew Ward. Available as a Kindle Edition, new paperback and used, from Amazon UK.(We aren’t affiliated to Amazon btw.)