Cookery exams in the 1970s


They asked some surprising questions in the 1970s

These are some questions from the cookery exams of Oxford Local Examinations, GCE  at the time. Candidates have two and a half hours to prepare their dishes which must feed two people.

1. Using a cheap cut of meat or fish, plan, cook and serve an economical mid-day meal for a small family. Show the cost of the meal. Make 1/2 lb flour into a bread loaf.

2. Using liver, plan, cook and serve a hot evening meal for a husband and wife returning from work. Make some shortbread biscuits and serve a pot of black coffee.

3. Plan prepare and serve a tea for two small children, including a sandwich or cocoanut cake. Serve on a tray a light supper for a small girl. (yes, they spelled coconut as cocoanut!)

Here are some of the exam questions that ran alongside these practical exams.

1. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of using fresh foods and pre-prepared foods. Plan two balanced meals to show how a busy housewife can use both types of food to advantage.

2. Describe how you would prepare: kippers for grilling, cod steaks or cutlets for baking, herrings for sousing, fillets of plaice for frying. Give advice on the buying of fresh fish.

3. Describe a modern cooker with which you are familiar. Show how to prepare a) a gas oven, b) an electric oven for baking a cake. Give information on the regular cleaning of a gas or electric oven.

4. What factors must be considered when planning meals for an invalid? Why are white fish, poultry, milk, eggs and vegetables considered important foods for a convalescent patient? Suggest a nourishing light lunch for such a person.

My thanks to Anne in Guernsey who had saved these exam papers for all these years.

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