― Enid Blyton, Five Go Off in a Caravan
Apart from the regular ol’ jam buns and cucumber or ham sandwiches and lemonade and a few other things which were pretty familiar, a lot of the food in Enid Blyton’s books always sounded oh so exotic to me. Over the years, thanks to pestering my mother to decipher the amazing-sounding dishes, and owing to more stuff being available in India and to travelling, I did manage to try many of those “fascinating” food items, with mixed results – I vaguely remember the disappointment of a 9 year old learning that “Nestlé’s Milk” was just Milkmaid/condensed milk. Sardines were too fishy-smelling, marzipan is quite random, watercress sandwiches are downright gross and treacle tarts, well the ingredients are enough to make a person diabetic. Scones and clotted cream, granted…those are fine. Oh, and I still don’t know how to pronounce Blancmange.
Meatloaf, however, turned out to be a big surprise, in a good way. It’s fairly basic, is super healthy (its meat and vegetables, for the most part) and lasts for a few days in the fridge. Try it!
100 grams breadcrumbs (you can get them at most grocery stores)
1 carrot (minced)
1 cup onion (finely sliced)
1 cup spring onion (minced)
1 sprig of celery, chopped
2 beaten eggs
2 tsp garlic paste (or some minced garlic)
2 tbsp ginger (minced)
2 tbsp butter 3 tbsp fresh herbs – parsley or rosemary or both (minced)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper (white and black pepper, both, if available)
Foodnote: For mincing the vegetables, ideally use a food processer or vegetable chopper. Otherwise, chop until you get the smallest pieces possible.
For the Topping sauce (optional, but recommended)
5 tbsp ketchup
2 tsp mustard sauce
2 tbsp vinegar
¼ tsp chilli powder
Lime juice, salt and pepper to taste