1970s, Fanny Craddock and my Mum

Monday- What’s for tea Mum?
Paprika Lamb
Tuesday -Whats for tea Mum?
Paprika Lamb
Wednesday – What’s for tea Mum?
Paprika Lamb
Thursday ………

Long before Masterchef took hold of this country , another competition was doing the rounds called ‘Cook of the Realm’. In 1976 it ended Fanny Craddock’s career in a showdown between her as the professional and Gwen Troake an amateur cook of the realm winner. In the BBC Programme Big Time, Gwen was to cook her winning meal for The Prime Minister Edward Heath and Lord Mountbatten. During the programme as seen in this You Tube Clipshe was condescending and belittling of Gwen’s menu and at one point was pretending to retch into her handbag at the mere idea of the menu . There were many complaints and 2 weeks after airing the BBC terminated Fanny’s contract. This was the sad end of her career in television ,having been the fore runner of all our great TV cooks.

In1974 a lesser known housewife won the south west regional finals and went on to the national finals in London at the Drury Lane Theatre with judges Prunella Scales and Simon Williams where she was runner up. That was my Mum and for weeks and weeks it seemed we had been eating the same dishes for breakfast , lunch and supper. I can still taste her Paprika Lamb to this day and certainly remember the very green looking 70s dessert of avocado pudding with its piped cream decoration. Mum won a cooker and a set of casserole dishes ; the cooker died but the dishes are still in good use.

Mum loves cooking and it is possibly the reason that I so love cooking as from an early age I was with Mum in the kitchen .

So in hommage to those recipes direct from Woman’s realm booklet , I give you my Mum ‘s winning Paprika Lamb

4 large British lamp chump chops
2 large sticks celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
8 oz tin tomato
1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 pint chicken stock
3 tablespoon double cream
2oz butter

Season meat and brown in butter then remove and using pan cook onions until soft.
Add drained tomato to pan and work in flour with paprika
par boil celery and carrots then add to pan and heat through adding stock
Place all in casserole dish with lid and place in preheated oven at 200c for 11/2 hours
Serve with cream drizzled over sauce.

The picture incidently is our small family of 3 from Women’s Realm magazine.

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