Fisherman's Vintage Menu Madness

Tuesday 24 October 2023


Fisherman's Menu

Here I am again with another Vintage Menu Madness, this one for the last week of October!  If I had been on the ball I would have tried to cook a Halloween themed menu, but alas, I am not on the ball, so you are getting what you get! 


This week I wanted to use what I already had in the house, without having to go out to the shops. Its a really rainy day today and its nearing the end of the month so the budget is being squeezed.  Still think I managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat, as the menu I came up with was certainly nicely varied and quite delicious!

Vintage Menu Madness

Today's menu comes from  Betty Crocker's New Dinner for Two cookbook, which was published in 1964.  I purchased my copy from Thrift Books.  It is a cookbook of vintage recipes largely dedicated to cooking tasty wholesome meals for the smaller family. 

I don't know about you, but I really love these older cookbooks and recipes. Who would have thought that the 1960's would be considered vintage, but here we are.  I am in my golden years and my childhood when many of these things would have been cooked by out mothers was a long time ago.

I love the happy memories associated with many of these recipes and I am sure that they (hope that they) spark a few happy memories for you also!

Vintage Menu

I was able to cook today's menu as planned totally from what I had in my house, with just a changes to the original.  This was a simple menu, but I did have to begin it early in the day because of the jellied salad, and having to boil potatoes.  Here is what the menu consisted of with my changes in brackets.


 As you can see I did have to make a few minor changes, with the exception of the dessert, that was a pretty major change.  Sorry about that!

Perfection Salad

I will start with the Perfection Salad as you will have to put this together early in the day so that it is ready for supper.  I am no stranger to Perfection Salad. I have made it on here before. This recipe varies quite a bit from my original recipe, which you can find here

My original recipe was made totally from scratch. Perfection salad is a type of jellied coleslaw that was very common in the 1960's. In fact jellied salads were very popular full stop in the 60's and were often called congealed salads, which when you think about it, is not a very appealing name!

We first had Perfection Salad when my mother and us children were visiting one of my mother's friends for the weekend. Both of their husband's had gone hunting and so the women and children spent the weekend together. Irene was my mother's friend's name and she made a Perfection Salad. My sister and I both have very happy memories of that delicious salad! 

Perfection Salad

This version of the salad varies a great deal from the one Irene made. It uses a boxed jello/jelly mix. No surprise there as this cookbook was put out by General Foods and they were the producers of a very popular brand of gelatin dessert called Jello.

I did make a few changes. One, I used a sugar free gelatin and I had to use lemon lime jello as I did not have lemon jello in my cupboard.  I also left out the pimento as it is not something which is readily available here where I live.

This was actually very delicious I have to say!  I would never had thought to have mayonnaise with jello but it totally worked!

Yield: 2 servings
Author: Marie Rayner
Perfection Salad

Perfection Salad

Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 3 HourTotal time: 3 H & 15 M
Light and refreshing and filled with plenty of crunch. It really is delicious


  • 1/2 package (4 serving size) of lemon flavored gelatin (I used lemon lime)
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (50g) chopped fresh cabbage
  • 1/2 cup (110g) diced fresh celery
  • 1 TBS finely chopped pimiento (I left this out)
  • 3 sweet pickles chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Mayonnaise to serve


  1. Prepare 1/2 of the package of gelatin according to the package directions, reducing the amount of liquid accordingly. (1/2 cup (120ml) each of boiling and cold water) Stir in the lemon juice and chill until it is beginning to thicken.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, combining well and spoon into 2 individual molds. (I used a single mold.) Chill in the refrigerator until firm.
  3. Serve on lettuce and topped with mayonnaise. (I did not have any lettuce.)
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Cottage Fried Potatoes

I boiled the potatoes for the cottage fried potatoes early in the day so that they would be cold enough to peel and fry for dinner. I had memories of my mom making cottage fried potatoes for us when we were children.  She would usually have two pans going at the same time.  Oh how we loved them!

Cottage Fried Potatoes


I cooked these first, before the fish and then kept them warm in a low oven while I was cooking the fish.  I did not want to dirty up two skillets when one skillet, properly managed would do the trick.


Slice 3 to 4 boiled potatoes into thick slices. Heat a generous amount of butter in a heavy bottomed skillet until it begins to foam over medium heat.

Heap the potato slices lightly into the skillet and season lightly with salt and black pepper. (I added a dash of paprika for color.)

Brown slowly, turning as sections brown. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until crisp. This makes enough for 2 servings.

Transfer to a heat proof dish and keep warm in a low oven (300*F/150*C/gas mark 2) while you cook the fish.

Peas and Corn


The original menu called for Green Beans and Corn. I had corn but I did not have any green beans.  There is not a lot of difference between peas and beans and so I went with those.

Both were frozen organic peas and corn.  I measured enough for two servings of each in a saucepan and topped with boiling water, brought it back to the boil and then let it sit for a few minutes before draining and dressing with a bit of butter and some seasoning.  Easy peasy.

Pan Fried Fish

I had some lovely haddock fillets in the freezer which were packaged in one-fillet sized zip lock  baggies. I took two of them out and stuck them in the refrigerator overnight to thaw.  When I took them out to cook they were a bit broken, which is why it looks like more fish on the platter. I can promise you there are only 2 fish fillets here.

Pan Fried Fish

You can cook the fish in one of two ways, in the oven or pan fried. I will share both.  I pan fried mine in butter in a skillet.  I used Haddock. There is a fish processing plant right around the corner from where I live. 

They often put their fish on offer for $10 a pound which is a real steal.  Only problem is you have to buy about 6 or 7 pounds of it. Not so bad when you have a sister to go halves with! 

Yield: 2 servings
Author: Marie Rayner
Baked or Pan-Fried Fish

Baked or Pan-Fried Fish

Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 15 Min
Perfectly cooked and delicious. Most people make the mistake of over-cooking their fish. Fish actually cooks rather quickly as compared to other proteins


  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds (680 - 907 grams) pan fish (such as trout or sun fish) OR
  • 3/4 pound (340g) dressed fish or fillets
  • salt and pepper
  • flour to dust
  • butter (see individual methods below)
  • lemon wedges to serve


For Baked:
  1. Heat the oven to 500*F260*C/gas mark 10. (very hot) Place the seasoned and dusted fish in a lightly greased baking dish.
  2. Drizzle with 1 TBS of melted butter.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes until done. The fish will flake easily with the tines of a fork when done.
  4. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
For Pan Fried:
  1. Melt 2 TBS of fat in a heavy bottomed skillet. (Butter gives a nice flavor.)
  2. Once it begins to foam add the fish fillets in a single layer. Cook until golden brown on the underside (5 minutes) then flip over an brown the other side. Again the fish is done when it flakes easily with the tines of a fork.
  3. Serve immediately with wedges of lemon.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @marierayner5530 on instagram and hashtag it #TheEnglishKitchen

The original dessert suggested in the menu was Fresh Cherry Parfait, which involved layering fresh Bing cherry halves in parfait glasses with vanilla ice cream using about 1/4 cup (55g) of cherries in each. I did not have cherries and they are rather expensive at this time of year anyways, and so I did another vintage dessert which I have also shared on here before. 

Singed Angel Wings.      Toasted slices of angel food cake, topped with a scoop of ice cream and some caramel sauce. (I used heated dulce de leche.)  Originally I had sprinkled chopped peanuts on top as well, but today I did not have any.  This is a very easy dessert to make so do check out my recipe!  

If you don't have any angel food cake you can just top a slice of plain cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle with caramel sauce and it would be just as good!

Vintage Menu Madness


And that was my Vintage Menu for this week. It was delicious and simple to execute. A bit heavy on the butter perhaps, but I tried to keep it down as much as possible! 


I do so enjoy doing these vintage recipe posts.  I hope you are enjoying these posts also! I wonder what I will cook up next week!  Stay tuned!

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  1. Haddock is for heroes! I have heard it said, although I like just about any fish. Simple is often best, as you say. I have never had Perfection Salad, although my aunt dabbled in congealed salads in tge '70s. She would stir in something white( possible cream, whipped cream , or mayonnaise) so the gelatin was opaque, and concealed all sorts of strange things in it. You never knew if you were going to get a bite og a grape, a tomato, a blueberry, or an olive. We children hated those salafs!

    1. LOL Mystery congealed salads, lol I love it! I am making a perfection salad for this weekend's Easter festivities! xo


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