In that west-facing big old 1960s kitchen that filled with gold from the lowering sun on summer evenings, silverbeet was the main competitor to cabbage in the battle of the boiled greens. We ate great fleur-de-lys sheaves of silverbeet, bought at the Victoria Market, and cooked in a big pot on a cream Chef stove until the white stalks had turned almost black from the leached leaf pigment. Cabbage on the other hand assumed an almost transparent appearance and had a faintly herbal aroma. It squeaked when you ate it. These over-cooked culinary relics are satirised by sophisticated modern foodies, but a hungry teenager took great satisfaction in the unadorned plainness of plenty. My mother borrowed her rustic boiling technique from her own mother who, as a teenager on the family farm near Corowa had cooked for farm workers who were not fussed with sauces, blanching or exotic accompaniments. Not that they had a choice: the cook couldn't be fussed either. Nothing was tarted up: gravy for
After quoting Helen Hanff in the previous post I hesitate to admit that 84 Charing Cross Road comes under consideration for that author’s own solution to limited shelf space.