Reading the Famous Five books has been part of childhoods for a long time, but now you can go one step forward and recreate the food enjoyed by Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy on their adventures.
A new cookbook has been released by Seven Dials called Five Go Feasting and it includes many of the group’s favourites, from boiled tongue to anchovy paste.
And when you look back on the much-loved stories by Enid Blyton you realise just how important food was to the group, who always celebrated their victories over smugglers and spies with a home-cooked picnic.
Published between 1942 and 1963, the novel series spanned a period where Britain was at war and continued to have rationing for some years afterwards.
It’s not surprising that there was a preoccupation with food then and the joy that these outdoor feasts brought. Always washed down with “lashings of ginger beer” of course.
Back in the day of the (fictional) Famous Five, all parts of the animal were eaten and tongue was something most children would be familiar with.
In fact, the kids in the books are said to be eating it on three separate occasions, but it’s not something modern children would expect.
Instead of hungrily wolfing it down, they’d likely refuse to even try it, that’s if you managed to get hold of the tongue in the first place.
Another thing to consider is that such ingredients take a long time to prepare, with tongue needing to be boiled for three hours before it’s ready to eat.
In modern-day Britain when most households don’t have a stay-at-home parent to get meals ready throughout the day, it’s all about speed and convenience.
Farmhouse pie, which you can make by following the recipe in the book, would fit into modern life a lot more easily.
This vegetable and potato dish got round the issue of meat scarcity as rationing continued, but would be perfect for #MeatfreeMonday now.
When it came to snacks to fuel their adventures, the Famous Five has “fat red radishes” to chew on. Try and convince your kids that they’re better than a cheese string and see how you get on.
Other recipes you’ll be able to have a go at if you buy the book include veal and ham pie, milk pudding and scotch eggs.
There are 80 recipes in total, all of which come from the original tales, as well as illustrations and quotes from the novels.