This recipe is for those who have a thriving vegetable patch and at crop of zucchinis about to ripen – every summer back in the 70s that was certainly the case. Although I’m not sure it is now. Back then there were plenty of slice and cake recipes to use them up and pickling them to serve with salads was another idea. If you haven’t got the homegrown variety this recipe only uses a kilogram so it wouldn’t be too expensive to buy them.
Unless you’ve already bought 2kg of baby octopus it’s too late to make this recipe for Easter, but don’t worry it’d be good at any time of the year. It comes from a Women’s Weekly ‘Let’s Go Greek!’ supplement, I like it because it gives clear instructions on how to prepare the baby octopus.
There was a time when racks of lamb were a lot cheaper than they are now, so using them in a casserole was probably OK, but with the price they are now I think I’d make this recipe with a cheaper lamb cut – chump chops would work just as well.
Vegetarian recipes weren’t something Mum would have been looking for on the pages of the Herald Sun. Growing up I can’t remember anyone among our family or friends who didn’t eat meat, so cooking vegetable only dishes just wasn’t necessary. This recipe is on a page Mum kept from the paper that had pork, lamb, sausage and fish casseroles on it, so the recipes were around, they just weren’t something Mum made.
This recipe reminds me of the Sunday night teas that Mum used to make. They were always something quick and easy to make that could be eaten with a fork while watching TV, that new fangled miracle that came into our lives after the 1956 Melbourne Olympic games.
This is another version of Tomato Relish, unlike the other one I posted last year, this one has apples and sultanas added into the mix. It’s still a two day job though, as you need to let the tomatoes and onions sit overnight with the salt on them, before adding the other ingredients and cooking until thick the next day.
While rhubarb is not popular in my household it was in Mum’s. She made a lot of relishes and chutneys with the produce from Dad’s garden, although I’m not sure she made this one. Personally I think making relishes and chutneys is much easier than jams as they don’t need to set. As long as you cook them until they’re thick they work really well.
I think the idea of pre-making a large batch of beef casserole, freezing it in batches and then jazzing it up when needed is a great one. This Diane-style version would be a quick way to make a tasty dish when you don’t have much time or energy left after a busy day.