One of the highlights of the Christmas TV schedule was an adaptation of Nigel Slater’s excellent book Toast, about his childhood in the 1960s. In one scene, his family went on holiday from Wolverhampton to Penarth, while the rest of the Midlands (my family from Coventry included) would usually have headed for mid and north Wales. I’ve never seen anyone set up a picnic table on Penarth beach (actually a steep stony gradient ending in Bristol Channel mud), especially on an overcast day, so it was perfect for the scene. Poor Kid.. Actually, Penarth has a fine pier and some very good places to eat, which I will blog about in due course.
Food mainly came in tins in the 1960s (with the exception of mashed potatoes which came dehydrated in packets). One canned food from that time that is still with us is condensed milk. A big hit this Christmas was Millionaire’s Shortbread, made using condensed milk (not by me I should add, but by other family members). I am archiving the recipe below, as it’s written on the side of a tin of Nestle Carnation Condensed Milk that I am about to fling into the recycling.
7 oz shortbread biscuits crushed, 1oz butter melted, 5 oz butter unmelted, 5oz dark brown sugar, small can (379g) of condensed milk, and 7 oz milk chocolate melted.
Line 8” tin. For base, mix crushed biscuits with melted butter and press into tin in even layer. Chill for 20 minutes (while the base cools in the fridge).
Put butter unmelted and brown sugar into a non-stick pan and stir over medium heat until melted and dissolved, respectively. Add condensed milk, stir continuously, until bubbles first appear – then remove from heat. Spread this golden caramel over the base and cool.
Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel, smooth to edges. When chocolate has set, the millionaire’s shortbread can be cut into 9-12 squares.