Recipes For the 60s – what Trinity students used to eat

In this anniversary piece Thana Elshaafi looks at the most popular recipes shared in the paper during the 60s and whether they stood the test of time

The world of food is ever-evolving, with culinary trends and tastes changing from generation to generation. One way to understand the evolution of our culinary preferences is by taking a journey back in time to explore recipes from the past. To do this, I took a dive through the Trinity News archive to bring you some of the most iconic recipes that students of Trinity enjoyed during the 60s. These recipes offer a window into people’s daily lives, ingredients, and cooking techniques from the time. From the delicious and comforting to the bizarre and unappetizing, recipes from bygone times tell stories of culture, necessity, and the ever-changing palate of humanity.

Some recipes from the past have stood the test of time and remain beloved today. One of these recipes is the humble cauliflower cheese. A classic side dish published in Trinity News in 1966, it is simple to make and only requires a few ingredients. The original recipe calls for 1 head of cauliflower, white sauce and ¼ pound of cheddar cheese. The cauliflower is cut up and boiled for 15 mins. The cheddar cheese is grated and added into white sauce before being added into the cauliflower and stirred. The recipe for the white sauce is also included and mentioned as often being “the first mistake of the aspiring cook’’. The recipe itself calls for 1.5 oz of margarine or butter to be melted in a saucepan and to add an ounce of flour to that once it is melted. Once any lumps are squashed, you can slowly add ½ pint of milk and ¾ pint of water until the desired consistency is achieved. The sauce should then be brought to a boil and then simmered for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. Before the change to the metric system, ingredients were measured in pounds and ounces. This results in a somewhat tumultuous step of converting every ingredient into grams or millilitres, or if you are lucky enough, your kitchen scales include those measurements.

The white sauce is also used in another recipe from the same paper known as prawn fricassee. The recipe takes half an hour and starts with cooking the rice by boiling a pot of lightly salted water and adding in 1lb of long grain rice and letting it cook for 20 minutes. The rice is then drained and washed with hot water. In a separate pot, the white sauce is brought to a boil and 6 oz of peeled prawns, 4 oz mushrooms and 2 quartered hard boiled eggs are added to the sauce. It is then simmered for 20 mins and served with the rice. Although this version was published in 1966, prawn fricassee is still eaten today, but there have been changes to the original recipe including the removal of boiled eggs from the dish.

To end a dinner on a sweet note, a dessert called Savarin au Cerises from the time. It is a superb ending for any dinner party”

To end a dinner on a sweet note, a dessert called Savarin au Cerises from the time. It is a superb ending for any dinner party. The recipe should be prepared the day before and it calls for a tin of cherries in syrup, ¼ ounce brewer’s yeast, 4 tablespoons of warm water and 4 tablespoons of milk, 8oz flour, 2 oz sugar, 2 eggs, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. The yeast is mixed with the warm milk and water and left to rest for 5 minutes. The flour and sugar are sifted together and the eggs are beaten together with the vanilla. The yeast is added into the flour mixture, followed by the beaten eggs. Spread some butter over the dough and leave to rest for an hour. After the dough is rested, knead until dough is stiff and place in a ring mould tin. Cover the dough and bake for 10 minutes at 200°C and then lower the temperature to 180°C and bake for another 30 minutes. After it has cooled down, prick all over with a fork. Separate the cherries from the syrup and reduce over low heat, adding sugar if necessary. Pour the syrup over the cake and top with cherries and whipped cream.

There are many other recipes that can be found in Trinity News from the 1960s and 1970s, most which focused on offering an easy and affordable recipe for students, which continues to be a focus with the rising living costs for students. Other recipes included lamb’s handkerchief served with onion sauce and red currant sauce, lamb chops en cuirasse, spare ribs and carrib sauce and moules normande. Most of these recipes have evolved over the years, with a similar version existing today. However, attempting the original recipe is a fun way to explore the changes in food culture over the years and learn about the flavour preferences of people from decades ago.

While some recipes have stood the test of time, others have faded into obscurity, and a few have become infamous for their peculiar combinations or unappetizing results”

Exploring recipes from the past provides a valuable insight into the evolving nature of food and culinary preferences. While some recipes have stood the test of time, others have faded into obscurity, and a few have become infamous for their peculiar combinations or unappetizing results. These recipes not only offer a glimpse into the history of our kitchens but also reflect the changing tastes and lifestyles of the people who prepared and consumed them. As we continue to experiment with new ingredients and cooking techniques, it’s worth acknowledging the charm and occasional quirks of our culinary heritage, both good and bad. A version of many of these recipes continues to exist today but preparing them using the original recipe adds a much needed fun element to cooking.