Yes, it's old-fashioned nursery food, but I sometimes think that things like this need a revival. I love it with baked cod cutlets and creamy mashed potatoes, and it's also excellent with gammon, but most especially I love it with salmon fishcakes.
Place the milk and the next five ingredients in a small pan, bring everything slowly up to simmering point, then pour the mixture into a bowl and leave aside to get completely cold.
When you're ready to make the sauce, strain the milk back into the pan, discard the flavourings, then add the flour and butter and bring everything gradually up to simmering point, whisking continuously with a balloon whisk until the sauce has thickened and is smooth and glossy. Then turn the heat down to its lowest possible setting and let the sauce cook gently forminutes, stirring from time to time.
To serve the sauce, add the chopped parsley, cream and lemon juice, taste and season, then serve in a warm jug.
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