Continuing the party theme from my last post, this one is from a magazine supplement from the early sixties. A far more innocent era: with a horrendous war fading from immediate memory and a time of great change.
A time when ‘open sandwiches’ and ‘pizza’ were coming into vogue and a gentleman still dressed ‘black tie’ for a cocktail party, a cocktail dress was de rigeure and make-up was formal and heavily applied in the fashion of the movie stars of the decade.
But the less formal and more ‘modern’ cheese and wine party concept was swiftly gaining ground. The television was becoming more common, though still horrendously expensive. I myself still remember the time when the majority of televisions were not owned, they were rented, as radios had been a generation earlier.
The refrigerator too was becoming far more common and many more foods were being sold chilled. More complex and capable food mixers were appearing as were pressure cookers. The pepper mill and the omelette pan, fish en papilotte, dahl, stroganoff and kebabs all put in an appearence and settled in for a long stay.
The legacy of Philip Harben, the first TV Chef, a tubby little bearded foodie man in a butchers apron and Fanny Craddock in her evening dress and jewels that led to the suave Frankishness of Robert Carrier, the ‘galloping gourmet’ Graham Kerr and the lagubrious Clement Freud, is manifold.
The middle classes were becoming far better informed as to products and produce from around the world while the working classes were better fed than ever before on new improved and more nutritional products entering the supply chain.
And then of course, came the advent of the ‘Supermarket’ Simple, easy to follow cook-books appeared with the new-fangled cookers to advise on the basic recipes that could be achieved faster, cheaper and with less effort than ever before.
And with the end of widespread malnutrition as a social issue there followed the likes of Twiggy and the generation that turned ‘slimming’ into a profitable business . . .