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Monday, August 22, 2011

Mock chicken...

This morning I received a text from DD2 asking me what the ingredients were in a dip I used to make with the rather curious name, 'Mock Chicken'. Talk about 'a blast from the past'! I hadn't even thought about it for years so I wondered what had prompted DD's question. I tried to think where a copy of the recipe might be. I had this vague recollection that it might be in a 'moth-eaten', scruffy and scraggly exercise book that was my 'Domestic science notebook' way back in 1964. It was quickly found in the 'recipe drawer' in the kitchen and leafing through the ramshackle book, I quickly found the recipe. I decided that it would be fun to scan the pages and send the copy to my daughter, complete with my untidy teenage writing.

My scruffy Domestic Science notebook; It was ok when I used it at school in 1964, but gradually fell into serious disrepair in the late 1970s

For once, Mrs Kahl didn't write 'untidy writing' on my work! lol

Very soon I got an email saying thank you and explaining how the text request came about. At morning tea at her work DD suddenly thought of 'mock chicken' and mentioned it to her workmates. Apparently it was unknown to, not only her contemporaries, but also unknown to older co-workers. I reckon it dates back many years before 1964, especially the years of austerity around the depression and war and post war years. There's no chicken in it and it doesn't even taste like chicken...but 'mock chicken' is its moniker!  DD plans to make it ASAP, possibly to share with her workmates. It's funny what offspring remember about their childhood, isn't it??

My daughter commented that she didn't recognise my handwriting. And then I remembered and shared the story behind this. Like a lot of teenage girls I developed my own style of writing; mine was straight up and down with an occasional tilt to the left. Qld cursive was supposed to slant to the right! When I was a first year student teacher (1969), my pract teacher ordered me to change my writing, not only for the blackboard, but also for my Notes of lessons' book. It used to take me ages to write up my lessons during that prac as I had to concentrate on every letter as I wrote it!
Eventually writing in the 'correct way' became second nature. Then a year or so later, my signature wasn't accepted on the CBA (my bank) withdrawal form...the teller said it was a completely different signature. My mum talked to the bank manager (we weren't adults in those days until we were 21) and I had to have an interview with Mr Baskerville, the manager. He said that my 'new' signature was quite immature compared to my old (14years old when I opened the account) signature, but he organised for me to change the one they had on record. Co-incidentally DD2 works for the Commonwealth Bank now!.


bettsylyn said...

In 1970 we were still making Mock Chicken at High school. We also made Mock Crab, but I can't remember what was in it. Imagine my horror after I left high school to find that I had written Mock Crap in my recipe book rather than crab. I don't think I even knew what the word crap meant back then but I always wondered why the home ec teacher didn't like me very much. The book is still around somewhere but I couldn't lay my hands on it at the moment.

Maria said...

Lol Bettsylyn! I love your spelling mistake!! i don't know about 'mock crab' but my MIL told me she used to make 'Mock fish' which were like fishcakes but were made with only potato, onion, egg and breadcrumbs. I often wondered whether she served them with would be 'carb overload'! lol

Jennifer said...

I recently dug out my mock chicken recipe to use as a dip for an SES Christmas Breakup. Interesting how these wonderful old recipes are making a comeback

Tanya said...

LOL Bettsylyn, that's a great story. You have to wonder about the name though Mock Chicken! It certainly makes you think though about times when food wasn't as plentiful like it is now. I'm sure Gen Y would think we were exaggerating but for many years after the war there were still a lot of things in short supply. Chickens were precious too and not raised in a matter of weeks for a greedy meat market. Interesting huh?

Catherine W said...

My mother used to make Mock chicken a lot for parties we had or went to when I was growing up - remember it most when I was in high school - 82 - 86. She occasionaly makes it even now - I still am not overly fussed on it. She also has a very tattered domestic science handwritten recipe book - it is now just a series of much used, single pages. I used it when I was learning to cook age 8 - 10 and remember it being a 'book'!!! Amazing!!

Judie from Toowoomba said...

Thanks, Maria.
My Mum used to make us Mock Chicken sandwiches all the time, probably because it was cheap, & we all loved it. I occasionally come across it at church dinners, gobbling every spare sandwich I can see. I've even been known to sneak into the kitchen looking for leftovers. Then I help wash up, so I don't feel guilty.
I've made it a few times, once as a dip: people took one look & thought, "Revolting!" They liked it on sandwiches, though. I have lost my recipe so, when I suddenly thought of it today, I decided to Google it.
I'll make a batch tomorrow.
Lovely to catch up with your page. I couldn't help noticing your Mock Chicken blog was almost exactly two years ago. Maybe it's just that time of year.

Judie again said...

BTW, my Mum ALWAYS took it off the heat before adding the cheese. She said it would curdle if the mixture was too hot when you added cheese.
Maybe she was just making allowances for my youthful impatience.