I didn't follow Fanny's plans for a Television Party menu, but did try and incorporate a European theme. Fanny herself released a few books on Euro Food - or Common Market Cookery as she referred to it then. I had some Spinach Purée that I had used to make Spanakopita Pies and also some Scandinavian Beetroot Bread that I had baked leftover. My guests thankfully ate most of the mountains of food I had prepared, but there's always something lurking about afterwards isn't there? So, I was delighted to see the next recipe in the Cookery Programme collection of steamed delights was a Savoury Steamed Spinach Pudding which happened to be made with all my leftovers.
For this recipe, the bread needed to be whizzed up to make breadcrumbs and added to the Spinach Purée, with some soured cream, Parmesan or similar cheese, some egg yolks and seasoning. Fanny suggests the classic partner of nutmeg as well as salt and pepper. I'd already added some to my purée so didn't add more at this stage. Fanny, I'm ahead of you!
Fanny says to blend all the ingredients together well. I assume she means in a mix and not whizzed in a blender, but I can't be sure. Gut instincts intact, that's what I do, before adding the final ingredients of melted butter and stiffly whisked egg whites folded gently in.
The final mixture is quite wet and gloopy, and falls into the well-buttered pudding basin easily. It's a wonderful mix of colours with the green spinach and pink Beetroot bread flecks - I'm sure Fanny would be pleased. My breadcrumbs were quite large and noticeable in the mix, rustic looking I'd say. The final instruction was to steam for two hours. The pudding emerged looking glorious and puffed up, just like I remember Popeye's muscles looking as he squeezed open a can of spinach as a child. It cut well, and had a deep earthy taste, the spinach and beetroot combined well. Fanny proclaims this as a perfect vegetarian main course, and I wouldn't disagree, but it also happens to be a perfect way to use up my party leftovers, transforming them into a whole new dish. Fanny has infiltrated my mind though and I am thinking a heated trolley would actually be perfect for the next party...