Old style tangy tomato sauce

Tomato Sauce

This tomato sauce recipe can be made either tangy or sweet, depending on your choice of vinegar.

Published in 2012 in “The Downstairs Cookbook. Recipes from a 1920’s Kitchen” (originally published as The Margaret Powell Cookery Book in 1970).


1 lb or 480gm of tomatoes – chopped

1 small onion – chopped

2oz or 60gm of diced ham

4 teaspoons of butter

1 bay leaf

cayenne pepper

pinch of salt

6 teaspoons vinegar (I used white wine vinegar for a tangy sauce but a sweet balsamic vinegar would also be very nice)

2 1/2 Australian/UK tablespoons or 3 US tablespoons of corn flour (known as corn starch in the US)


Put the tomatoes, onions, ham and seasonings in a saucepan and cook over a gentle heat for 5 minutes.

Add the vinegar and simmer until all the ingredients are completley softened.

Turn off the heat and either rub through a coarse seive or remove thebay leaf and blitz in a blender.

Return the mix to the saucepan if you removed it :)

Mix the corn flour to a paste with some water and add to the cooked mixture.

Stir over a low heat until thick.

Serve with meat or use in a recipe that calls for tomato sauce.

Goblin sandwiches. A halloween treat from the 1930's

Goblin Sandwiches

Goblin Sandwiches, originally published in The Queenslander, October 29th, 1936

Ingredients for each sandwich

1 slice each of white and brown bread

margarine or butter (optional)

cheese spread (home made or store bought)

shredded ham


stuffed olives

You can find the recipe for home made cheese spread here


Butter both slices of bread (optional)

Spread one of the slices of bread with the cheese spread.

Sprinkle the ham on top.

Top with the second slice of bread.

Make a face using slices of stuffed olive for the eyes and nose, half a pickle cut in half again for the lips and tiny rectangles of pickle for the eyebrows.