Fanny was far from frumpy in the way she presented herself, or indeed any of the freaky food she hoped to whip us up into a frenzy with by showcasing. She was a fashion and food-trend frontrunner. No doubt she would frankly freak-out if we were to let ourselves go, either in the wardrobe department or in the ordinary domestic kitchen. We'd be a total fruitcake to get on the wrong side of Fanny, so to avoid any sort of fracas it's time to slip on our very best frocks and frolic into the kitchen for the grand finale of the 'exciting winter vegetable' frivolity.
Fanny has chosen some frisky fritters to tempt us, assorted vegetable fritters to be precise, or Beignets des Lègumes Assortis in full blown French. Don't fret, before we all frown at the very basic nature of this, Fanny senses our 'sigh' and points out that this is 'really a composite recipe' as she will give us the fritter batter, guide us how to prepare the vegetables and also provide a framework for the whole procedure. So that'll just be a recipe then. Composite seems a little fraudulent. Tsk tsk Fanny.
Fanny has chosen vegetables to fry which were fairly exotic at the time, but are positively frugal now - fresh Eggplants (Aubergines) and Baby Marrows (Courgettes). Hang on, aren't they both fruits? Don't write me nasty letters. Housewives of the 1970's would be completely frazzled and fraught with frustration trying to work out how to prepare them, but Fanny makes it simple. Slice the unskinned Aubergine thinly, arrange it on a wooden board and sprinkle it liberally with 'proper cooking salt', which is sea salt. Leave it for 30 minutes until a 'nasty brown build-up' has formed on the top. Wipe that off and then they are ready to use, free of all bitterness. I found gorgeous round courgettes which sliced wonderfully and equally with a little crinkle cut addition. Not just because I'm fancy, but to add friction to help the batter to stick better.
For the batter, Fanny takes a few spoonfuls of flour, and heads to the nearest barely dripping tap. She starts to work in a low frequency of drips with a wooden spoon, beating away and dripping some more, until the paste becomes elastic and very thick. There doesn't look like very much of it. I have faith in Fanny though. She takes a single egg white and whisks it up frenetically to a fragile but firm cloud, ready to be combined with the fraction of paste. The resulting batter is chirpy and frothy.
Once whipped together it is time to fry! Fanny suggests dipping your sliced vegetables into the batter and tossing them into slightly smoking hot oil. Then immediately turn off the heat and allow them to brown and cook through in the gradually diminishing heat. The heat should be turned up again for each subsequent batch. Fritters are drained on simple kitchen paper, and sprinkled with a little paprika, ready to be served. Fanny suggests hot cream with herbs on the side. If the herbs are dried, heat them with the cream. If they are fresh, add them once hot. The fried fitters themselves are a delight - well cooked through with a crunchy but well-ventilated fluttering of the lightest batter. Little fringed frisbees of veggie-fruitiness at the frontier of frizzy frittery-ness. I think I need a lie down.