I bought this charming- and splendidly crusty- little book for a few pounds in a second hand bookshop. It's called Clubland Cooking by Robin McDouall, published in 1974 by Phaidon. I've just twigged that it's in the same series as Fortune Stanley's English Country House Cooking. They're both attractive books, with decent typography and illustrated with old Victorian wood-cuts.
For us members of The Don't Like Puddings Club, Clubland Cooking comes up trumps, with a chapter dedicated to savouries. Nobody seems to serve these anymore. But how refreshing- and stylish- it would be if someone offered you Canapés Ivanhoe or Beignets soufflés au fromage instead of the obligatory trifle-like concoction. Pretty easy to make too.
To get you in the mood- and inspire ideas- here's a selection of savouries taken from Robin McDouall's Clubland Cooking. The instructions for White's Club Canapé Windsor remain slightly enigmatic, but I assume that you serve the ham mixture on top of fried bread or toast cut into a manageable square.
Devils on Horseback
A great favourite with Edwardian hostesses and my friend and favourite novelist, Anthony Powell: prunes instead of oysters wrapped in bacon. The only merit I can see in them is that do not do much harm to a red wine. The Guards Club do a savoury of grapes wrapped in bacon.
Mushrooms on toast
De-stalk some mushrooms- flat ones, if they are bought mushrooms, flat or button if they are home-picked. Fry them in plenty of butter, turning them to cook on both sides. Either fry de-crusted bread in butter or toast it and butter it. Pile each piece high with mushrooms, season with salt, white pepper and cayenne and pour on butter from the pan.
White's Club Canapé Windsor
2 oz of ham minced very fine. Add a little port and double cream. Place one large grilled mushroom on top of the ham. Serve hot.
This recipe I pinch from Lady Sysonby's Cook Book.
"1 pint of thick cream, 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan, salt, pepper and cayenne, and a little paprika. Stir well together..."
Leaving her recipe at this stage, make the ice a you would any other ice- I make it in the ice-cube drawer of my refrigarator. It takes about 3 hours at maximum freezing and needs stirring every hour.
Returning to Lady Sysonby, she says "With this serve plain ice wafers (unsweetened), dipped in melted butter and sprinkled with a little salt, and cayenne. Bake in a hot oven, and serve with ice on cold plates."