Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all

And to all a good night

Hope you all have a wonderful festive season.

P.S. - Don't forget to get yourself part of Elise's BIG Giveaway

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life." - Muhammad Ali

Woo!!!!!! 50 readers!!!!!

I have been hovering in the mid 40's for ages, but now you guys have finally bumped me over the line!!!!!

Thank you all very much for reading my ramblings about stuff.

And now - I promised something special - so here it is.


I am giving stuff away. A random lucky dip. And to go all Oprah on you - everybody's getting one!!!!

You're getting one! And you're getting one! Everybody's getting one! (you have to imagine me saying that just like Oprah - and then you all scream; or you could scream at home by yourself if you like). Some things will be hand made, some things will be decorative, some things may be useful - it's a random surprise!

If you would like something sent to you - for free - please email me at weenie underscore tot7068 at hotmail dot com with your name and an address that you are happy for me to send stuff to, and please leave a comment here as well.

Hope y'all enjoy!

Incidentally - it's also my 180th post

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Supersizers go....

One of my current favourite television shows is "Supersizers go..."

It is a satirical food/history show in the vein of Supersize Me. Sound confused? Don't be - it's awesome.

Giles, a food critic, and Sue, a comedienne, spend a week eating, dressing and living the lifestyle of different time periods and then have medical tests, pre and post said week, to assess the impact said historical diets have on their health. 

It's both fascinating and hysterical.

Here's the link to Youtube where you can find all the exciting adventures of eating your way through Wartime, 20s, 50s, 70s, 80s, Restoration, Regency, Victorian, Medieval, Elizabethan, Edwardian Britain, Revolutionary France and Ancient Rome.

Supersizers go...!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Caroling, caroling through the town

So here are some funny words that you mostly only see in Christmas Carols (you might see them in other hymns, and ye olde English but do you really go around saying them all the time?) and what they mean.

Hither - as in "Come hither" or "Hither page, and stand by me" - To or toward this place
Thither - a bit rare than hither - "When we bear them thither" - To or toward that place - see the difference.
Whither - " Pray, wither sailed those ships all three" -  To which place - getting the pattern now?

Oblations -  "We to the Christ-child, bring our hearts' oblations" - A thing presented or offered to God or a god -  we are offering Jesus our hearts
Wassail/wassailing - "Here we come a-wassailing, among the leaves so green" or "And to you, your wassail too" - the practice of going round to your neighbours and toasting them good health and possibly begging for scraps.
Troll - "Troll the ancient Yule tide carol" - not the internet kind. To sing loudly, freely or in a carefree way.
Cloven - "Still through the cloven skies they come," - split or divided (like the Devil's hooves)
Lo - "For lo! the days are hastening on" - Look, see, behold
Exultation - "Sing in exultation" - The act of exulting; lively joy at success or victory, or at any advantage gained; rapturous delight; triumph

And here's a picture of us all caroling at my parent's house, with all our friends and relations - it's a yearly tradition.

P.S. If I get to 50 readers, I'm going to do something super special. If you can't wait, you could create 2 phony blogger accounts and give me a bump. *wink*

Friday, December 10, 2010


I want these so bad - so I am saving all my pennies in my secret shoe fund which I fund with doing odd jobs for people. Or hoping that Santa brings them in his sleigh.

pink cherries
Vivienne Westwood

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Product Review: Junior Mints

So I was inspired by this post by Ginger at Sailing over a Cardboard Sea for Junior Mints, and when I saw them at my local coffee shop I thought - Why not? It seemed like a cleansing burst of synchronicity.

Apparently, Junior Mints are some kind of American Movie Theatre Institution. A family favourite at the movie concession stand - not unlike a box of Maltesers in Australia.

They have also featured in a Seinfeld episode "The Junior Mint" which obviously means they've reached the pinnacle in contemporary culture.

"Who's gonna turn down a Junior Mint? It's chocolate, it's peppermint; it's delicious!"

So my review of this sweet treat -

Pretty much an after dinner mint in a box. Possibly providing for easier delivery to the mouth - but for $3 a box, nothing so amazing that I need to buy a box every week.

I like mint, I like dark chocolate, I like the combination, but I think I'll stick with a mint slice - after all, you get a junior mint and a chocolate bbiscuit all in one.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest we forget

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Today is Remembrance Day, or Armistice Day, so buy a poppy to support our veterans, and  the families of the men and women who give their lives and service in defence of our country.

Having recently cycled through the Somme I have a new respect of those men who charged through the hills of the somme with a full pack under heavy fire.

Here's a photo from my cycling trip showing the beautiful hilly nothingness that is the Somme countryside.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What not to wear

To the races - if you are a television personality.

Dear Channel 7,

Please extend your wardrobe budget so that
1) Fifi Box has a dress that fits her and is not pinned up the back
2) Fifi Box has a dress that isn't an ugly sack
3) Fifi Box has a hat, fascinator or hattinator - for pity's sake, it's the races - it's the Melbourne Cup!


This young crank

Friday, October 22, 2010

Everyday is somebody's birthday

Someone's born on each and every day
One day it's yours, and one day it's mine
Last month it was mine and so we say
"Happy birthday, Elise, Elise,
Happy, happy birthday, you're our friend"

"That is very kind of you, what a lovely thing to do
and I hope this day will never end."

And now, some photos of me being silly on my birthday - as it my wont to do.



And in case you were wondering, the lipstick is MAC 'Girl about town' and the nail polish is Revlon 'Fuschia Fever'

Monday, October 18, 2010


I've been thinking. As I have returned to work 4 days a week, I don't quite have as much time to create as many culinary masterpieces as previously.

So I'm wondering if you would be interested in hearing my other thoughts about life, love, clothes, society, history etc. And if so, do you mind if I put them here or would you prefer to follow me elsewhere.

I still plan to keep updating here but it's likely to be about once a month.

So let me know what you think - can Mrs Beeton make room for other things or should they find their own home elsewhere?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"She shall be christened Betsy Trotwood Copperfield. She must be well brought up, I shall see to that. Far better than my impractical nephew would have done." - Aunt Betsey Trotwood - David Copperfield

I don't know who Aunt Betsey is, but she makes a mean cake. This is also in the vein of the fruity, gingerbread-y kind of cake (like the coffee cake) but a bit lighter and more golden.

A simple sugar icing adds freshness to the rich cake, and is very delicious. Mmmm mmmmm.
And just make sure you use the same size cup (a breakfast cup is about a 1/2 cup (125ml)) otherwise you could run into trouble.


INGREDIENTS. - 5 teacupfuls of flour
2 teacupfuls of sugar
1/2 a cup of butter
1 cup of golden syrup
1 cup of water
2 eggs
1/2 a lb. of chopped raisins
1 teaspoonful (each) of bicarbonate of soda, cloves, cinnamon, and mace.

METHOD. - Beath the butter and sugar together; add the eggs, dissolve the soda in the water, then add the molasses, flour spices and fruit, and well work the mixture in  the bowl.
Turn it into a greased flat square tin baking-dish and bake in a moderate oven, or if preferred it can be cooked in small crinkled patty-pans.

TIME. - From 1 to 1 1/2 hours. SUFFICIENT for a 2-lb. cake.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. - George Eliot

Wikipedia defines coffee cakes as "A class of cakes intended to be served with coffee or for similar breaks and snacks. Under this definition, a coffee cake doesn't need to contain coffee. (although this one does) They are typically single layer cakes that may be square or rectangular like a Stollen. Coffee cakes are typically flavored with cinnamon, nuts, and fruits. Some similarity to teacakes may be found, though teacakes are often smaller individual items served with tea."

So this coffee cake definitely qualifies. It also has the added bonus of having coffee as an ingredient as well. It is also a massive cake - MASSIVE. You may want to consider baking it in 2 smaller tins and freezing one, unless you are taking it to the footy club afternoon tea or something.

INGREDIENTS. - 1/2 a lb. of butter
1/2 a lb. of brown sugar
1/4 of a lb. of golden syrup
1/2 a lb. of currants
1/2 a lb. of sultanas
1 1/2 lb. of flour
1/2 an oz. of baking-powder
2 eggs
1/2 an oz. of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon, mixed
a little milk

METHOD. - Sieve the baking-powder and spices with the flour into a pan; add the sugar and butter, rub well together, make a well in the centre, pour in the syrup, add about 1/4 of a pint of strong cold coffee, break in the eggs, and beat well together; then mix in the other ingredients with a strong wooden spoon using a little milk if not moist enough, mix in the fruit last, and then bake in a long square cake-pan nicely prepared.

TIME. - From 1 to 2 hours
I have added a buttercream icing but a simple glaze would probably be better, as there is so much going on in this cake. It's very fruity and a bit gingerbready, but well worth it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Yes, men like sports. Men watch the action movie. They eat of the beef and enjoy to look at the bosoms. A thousand years of avenging our wrongs, and that's all you've learned?

Corned beef is a strange beast. I suspect it, and other corned and pickled things, were much more widespread before refrigeration was commonplace. There seems to be a significant lack of Salted pork, Corned lamb and other corned things at the butchers and supermarkets, and yet corned beef is one of the most inexpensive meats available there. (I had a look at the supermarket, and the only cheaper meats were heart, liver and 3 star mince)

This is a surprisingly easy kind of meal to cook. It would also be super easy in a slow cooker as well.



INGREDIENTS. - Pickeld round of beef.

METHOD. - The beef may be bought ready pickled, or pickled, and, if like, afterwards spiced according to directions given for SPICED BEEF. Put it into a stewpan with sufficient warm water to cover it, boil up, and afterwards simmer very gently until done.
If required for immediate use, allow it to remain in the water until cold, as this will improve the flavour and render the meat more juicy, but it will not keep fresh quite so long.

TIME. - To cook, 8 or 10 lb., about 3 1/2 hours.

My husband really likes this one... Really really. It's almost as good as my lamb roast (and that's saying something)

You can add a little brown sugar and some malt vinegar to the water, or apple cider, or apple cider vinegar, cloves, garlic, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns - anything you like really. Also the vegetables - carrots and parsnips and brussel sprouts can be cooked in the same pan. Just add them about 1 hour before serving.

Monday, June 7, 2010

There were no cucumbers to be had at the Covent Garden vegetable market that morning, not even for ready money!

Cucumber Sandwiches - they seems to be quintessentially British. The main staple (ha ha) of afternoon teas and delicate luncheons. I say ha ha because they are nutritionally pretty useless, and therefore only the upper classes could afford to eat something that is essentially water.

But who know there is actually a recipe for them?

Here it is:


INGREDIENTS. - 1 large cucumber
creamed butter
white or brown bread
lemon-juice or vinegar
salt and pepper

METHOD. - Peel the cucumber, slice it thinly, season liberally with salt, drain on a hair sieve for about 1 hour, and dry thoroughly.
Now put it into a basin and sprinkle with pepper, salad-oil, lemon-juice or vinegar, liberally or otherwise according to taste.
Have ready some thin slices of bread and butter, stamp out some rounds of suitable size, place slices of cucumber between 2 rounds of bread and press parts well together.
Dish lightly overlapping each other in a circle on a folded napkin, and serve garnished with parsley.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf, the lion and the fatling together, and a little child to lead them.

It's actually surprisingly hard to find quotes about lamb that aren't religious... so I went with one - but I'm actually more familiar with this quote from Buffy so there you go. I also refuse to do the Twilight thing so that quote was also out -although the idea of snacking on Bella could be rather tempting.

Anyway... back to the subject, which is LAMB, of the roast kind. It is delicious. And super easy to cook... and also super easy to ruin. My favourite tool - the meat thermometer - it lets you know just when your lamb is done enough... Here's what Mrs B has to say on the subject



Lamb, when roasting, requires more attention that any other kind of meat. No part of it must be underdone, and to secure this result without drying and hardening the thinner portions to an undesirable degree, much care is necessary.

The intense heat to which all meat must first be subjected to for a few minutes is applied for too short a time to affect the colour of a hjoint, and the subsequent browning and over-cooking of any part may be obviated by covering the meat with 2 or 3 folds of well-greased paper, and by frequent basting.

The amount of heat applied to any part may be regulated by careful turning of the joint in the oven, and the rate of cooking by judicious use of the dampers.

See also NOTES ON ROASTING - to follow

Serve with gravy and mint sauce.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'll love you, dear, I'll love you till China and Africa meet and the river jumps over the mountain and the salmon sing in the street. - W.H. Auden

Salmon is a popular food. Classified as an "oily fish", salmon is considered to be healthy due to the fish's high protein, high Omega-3 fatty acids, and high vitamin D content.

It also happens to be delicious. I would totally be one of those bears who fish for salmon in some remote mountain stream. Mmmm, mmm.




INGREDIENTS. - 2 slices of salmon
about 2. oz of butter or good dripping
1/2 a teaspoonful of chopped parsley
1 shallot
salt and pepper
grated nutmeg

METHOD. - Lay the salmon in a baking-dish, place the pieces of butter or dripping over it, and add the other ingreients, rubbing a little of the seasoning into the dish.
Baste frequently, and when done place the salmon on a dish, and serve.

TIME. - About 3/4 of an hour. SUFFICIENT for 6 persons.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"...there are times when only mashed potato will do." - Nigella Lawson

Sometimes I agree with Nigella. Sometimes I think she's just a little too excited by food. But Nigella hits the nail on the head with mashed potato. Mashed potato is essential... and as if they read my mind - an article in the Times describes all different varieties of ways to produce the perfect mashed potato.

So here's how Mrs Beeton suggests you make them. How do you make yours?




INGREDIENTS. - 1 lb. of potatoes
1 oz. of butter
1 or 2 tablespoonfuls of milk

METHOD. - Peel and steam the potatoes over a saucepan of boiling water, or boil them in their skins, and afterwards peel them.
In either case, pass the potatoes through a wire sieve, or mash them well with a fork.
Heat the butter in a stewpan, add the milk, stir in the potato, and season to tastes with salt.
Beat well with a wooden spoon, pile lightly in a hot dish, then serve.

TIME. - To steam, 30 to 40 minutes. SUFFICIENT for 3 persons

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fishing for coffee

Sometimes you just make things for fun. Like this fish - it is a coffee fish - actually it is COFFEE CREAM but for some unknown reason I decided to put my cream in my fish mould et volia - COFFEE FISH - swimming in a mint leaf sea.



INGREDIENTS.- 1/2 a pint of cream
1/2 a pint of milk
coffee essence
2 1/2 oz. of castor sugar
3/4 of an oz. of gelatine
the yolks of 2 eggs.

METHOD. - Beat the yolks of the eggs, ass them to the milk when nearly boiling, stir until they thicken, then put in the sugar and cool slightly.
Now dissolve the gelatine in 1 tablespoonful of water, and add it to the custard.
Whip the cream stiffly, stir it into the custard when nearly cold, add the coffee essence, and pur into the prepared mould.
Let the mould remain in a cold place until firm.

TIME. - About 1/2 an hour.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Artists reflect the course of obesity with expanding portions in the Last Supper

From The Times
March 24, 2010

Chris Smyth

Jesus Christ and Ronald McDonald may seem to have little in common. But both are presiding over the supersizing of their followers’ eating habits, according to researchers who found that the portion sizes in paintings of the Last Supper have piled up over the past 1,000 years.

American academics analysed 52 of the most famous depictions of the Last Supper and found that the appetites of the Apostles have become increasingly prodigious. The size of the main dish grew 69.2 per cent and bread portions by 23.1 per cent over the millennium, while the plates grew by 65.6 per cent, they found.

The findings suggest that today’s obesity crisis may have deep historical roots, according to the researchers. “I think people assume that increased serving sizes, or ‘portion distortion’, is a recent phenomenon,” said Brian Wansink, director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, New York, who led the study. “But this research indicates that it’s a general trend for at least the last millennium.”

From the austere repast laid on by the early 14th-century Tuscan artist Duccio, through Leonardo’s lively party of 1495, the supper became a feast in Titian’s depiction of 1544. When Tintoretto painted the Last Supper in 1592-94 the table was groaning with dishes.

Professor Wansink, with his brother Craig, a Presbyterian minister and Professor of Religious Studies at Virginia Wesleyan College, examined dozens of artworks including modern depictions by Stanley Spencer and Salvador Dalí.

Using computer design software, they scanned the meals and calculated the portion size relative to the head size of the average apostle. They found a big upwards trend, in research published in the International Journal of Obesity.

The Bible, being more concerned with its religious import, does not dwell on the amount of food consumed at the Last Supper, and it was a “tertiary matter” for most artists, Professor Wansink said. “The ampleness of the food is coming from the mind of the artist, showing what he thought was reasonable and appropriate in the time and place he was living,” he told The Times.

Professor Wansink, whose book Mindless Eating studies how social and environmental forces affect how much we eat, argues that the increasingly meaty Christianity on display is an indication of improvements in agriculture.

“The last thousand years have witnessed dramatic increases in the production, availability, safety, abundance and affordability of food,” he said. “We think that as art imitates life, these changes have been reflected in paintings of history’s most famous dinner.”

The New Testament mentions only bread and wine, but Professor Wansink discovered that fish was the most commonly depicted main course, featuring in 18 per cent of canvases. Considering the symbolism of the fish and Jesus’s injunction to his disciples to become “fishers of men”, this is perhaps unsurprising. Lamb was the main course in 14 per cent of the pictures and, more puzzling for a gathering of Jews on the eve of Passover, 7 per cent of the paintings featured pork.

Jeff Brunstrom, Reader in Behavioural Nutrition at the University of Bristol, described the research as “very interesting”. But he said: “The obesity epidemic is a relatively modern phenomenon and it’s really only in the past 40 to 50 years that you’ve seen big changes in body mass index (BMI).”

The researchers needed to show whether the larger portions had been making people fatter, he said. “If people were really eating 70 per cent more calories than they used to we would be rolling around,” said Dr Brunstrom. “Whether we have seen an increase in BMI historically is unclear.”

That will have to remain among the divine mysteries: the Wansink brothers did not assess whether Christ and his disciples themselves were getting bigger.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Yes, Virginia - there is meatloaf in Britain

Except it's called 'Beef Cake'. (Beef Cake, BEEF CAKE) Sounds delicious, doesn't it?

I misread the recipe and added only half the required breadcrumbs, so I resulted in more of a Savoury Mince, than cake, as my cake didn't hold together. However, my husband said it was delicious and even better because it wasn't dry like some meatloaves are. So, win for me.

Here is it beforehand.



INGREDIENTS. - 1 lb. of cold roast beef
4 oz. of breadcrumbs
1 small onion chopped finely
2 oz. of cooked ham or bacon
1 teaspoonful of chopped parsley
pepper and salt
1 egg
1 gill of stock
2 oz of bread raspings
1 oz of dripping

METHOD. - Grease a plain mould or shallow cake tin, put in the raspings, and turn the mould round until quite covered with raspings.
Melt the dripping, fry the onion until slightly brown, mince the beef and bacon finely, and then mix all the ingredients together, using more stock if the mixture is very dry.
Then turn into the prepared mould, press carefully into shape, cover with a greased paper, and bake in a moderate oven for about 45 minutes.
Turn out carefully, and pour a little brown sauce round.

TIME. - To bake, 45 minutes. SUFFICIENT for 4 persons.

With apologies to Virginia, who was only inquiring if there was a Santa

Monday, March 15, 2010

The only thing that will make a souffle fall is if it knows you're afraid of it — James Beard

I showed my fear... but I didn't back off. I didn't let my fear rule me. But my souffle still didn't rise. Well, it did a bit but not as much as I was hoping.

However, it was still delicious. So you can't really complain.



INGREDIENTS. - 1/2 a lb. of ripe raspberries
2 oz. of cake-crumbs or bread-crumbs
2 oz. of castor sugar
2 oz. of rice-flour or cornflour
1/2 an oz. of butter
1/2 a gill of cream
3 eggs

Put the raspberries, cream, rice-flour and sugar into a basin and reduce them to a pulp by means of a wooden spoon.
Beat in the yolks of the eggs, add the cake-crumbs, stir in lightly the stiffly-whisked whites of eggs, and turn the mixture into a well-greased mould.
Bake in a hot oven from 25 to 30 minutes, and serve.

TIME. - From about 25 to 30 minutes. SUFFICIENT for 5 or 6 persons.

I don't usually have cake crumbs just lying around - so I used sponge fingers and crubled them up... and ate the left overs ;) ... definitely calls for another go around... stay tuned

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mothers lose art of cooking

From the Herald Sun yesterday...

Mothers lose art of cooking
Traditional cooking skills such as poaching an egg and making short-crust pastry are almost obsolete, according to a new survey.

More than two thirds of today's mothers (my question is where are the fathers?) do not know how to make gravy from scratch, compared with a third of their mothers. Only 15 per cent know how to make custard, compared with almost half of mothers 35 years ago.

Teh study of 2500 British women aged 18 to 70 finds traditional cooking skills have deteriorated, with 65 per cent of the women admitting their mothers cooked more family meals from scratch than they do.

One in four knows how to poach and egg without gadgets, compared with 75 per cent of the older generation. Only 16 per cent can make short-crust pastry.

Clearly there is room for a little blogger like me in the big bad world out there. Not know how to make short-crust pastry.... Fuggedaboutit!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Three of the rudest people in the world are: a young person making fun of an older person, a strong person jeering at an invalid, and the wise mocking a fool.

So don't mock. Just make them a pretty tray to entice them to eat.


“It is easy to halve the potato where there is love.”

Or in this case, fluff them.

Potatoes are a wonderful super food. They are an excellent source of carbohydrates and the 4th largest food crop in the world. I love potatoes. Potatoes are a food for everyone.

"A diet that consists predominantly of rice leads to the use of opium, just as a diet that consists predominantly of potatoes leads to the use of liquor." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche clearly not a fan then. But have you ever seen potatoes like this?

It's a freakin' potato soufflé. Well, technically it's called POTATO OMELET, but whatever...


Yes, that is a potato. 


INGREDIENTS. - 1 large potato
2 or 3 eggs
1 oz. of white vegetable butter
salt and pepper

METHOD. - Bake the potato in its skin, pass the mealy part through a fine sieve, and mix with it the yolks of the eggs, a few drops of lemon-juice, a pinch of nutmeg, and a little salt and pepper.
Whisk the egg whites stiffly, stir them lightly in, and fry the omelet in the hot butter. If preferrred, the omelet may be baked in the oven.

TIME. - To fry, about 4 or 5 minutes. SUFFICIENT for 2 persons.

Needs something else added to it. Parmesan cheese works well. Or maybe mustard. Otherwise is quite bland.

Monday, February 1, 2010

"A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges."

Good old B. Franklin.


Now bring us some figgy pudding, Now bring some out here!

And finally we come to the end of Christmas. The silly season is definitely over. Who's going in for a Feb Fast? (giving up alcohol for the whole month of February? Definitely signals the end of silliness)

And for my last trick... the Christmas Pudding. Remember I was a bit unsure of how this would turn out? Well, it was fabulous. Lots of fruit, but not the gross kind of fruit. Enough brandy without getting everyone drunk. Not too dark.

To be honest, I'm not really a fan of Christmas Pudding... but this one I liked.



INGREDIENTS. - 8 oz. of moist sugar
8 oz. of finely-shredded suet (I used the packet stuff and it worked out okay, so you can use that if suet is hard to come by)
8 oz. of sultanas cleaned
8 oz. of raisins halved and stoned
8 oz. of currants washed and dried
4 oz. of shredded mixed candied peel
4 oz. of flour
4 oz. of bread crumbs
2 oz. of almonds blanched and shredded
the grated rind of 1 lemon
3 eggs
1/2 a teaspoonful of salt
1/2 a pint of milk
1 small wineglassful of brandy (optional)

METHOD. - Mix all the dry ingredients together, stir in the well-beaten eggs, milk and brandy (if used), turn the mixture into 2 well-greased basins, steam from 5 to 6 hours.

TIME. - From 5 to 6 hours. SUFFICIENT for 8 or 9 persons.

Pretty nummy. Serve with ice cream, or cream or brandy custard. Incidentally, this is exactly the same recipe my nana used, except she used butter instead of suet. Her recipe is called Royal Pudding, and so I think I'll try that next year instead.


Monday, January 25, 2010

That's just the icing on the cake.


Peas, peas me, whoa yeah, Like I peas you...

Just because you can buy frozen peas and ping them in the microwave, doesn't mean you can't know how to cook them for real.



INGREDIENTS. - 2 pints of green peas
salt and pepper

METHOD. - Shell the peas, put them into boiling water, add a little salt and a sprig of mint, and boil, with the saucepan uncovered, from 10 to 25 minutes, according to age and variety.
Drain well, put them into a hot vegetable dish, season with pepper, add a small piece of butter, and serve.

TIME. - From 10 to 25 minutes. SUFFICIENT for 6 or 7 persons

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rock and/or Roll for a Game, Set and Match

Topical too, because we are hosting the Australian Open right now.

Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education. - Mark Twain

Cauliflower is pretty awesome. What can make it even awesomer is the addition of cheese sauce. Preferably lots of it. For some reason, I usually only make this at Christmas time, which is probably good for my cholesterol levels.



INGREDIENTS. - 2 or 3 small cauliflowers
3/4 of a pint of white sauce
2 tablespoonfuls of grated cheese, preferably Parmesan
1 tablespoonful of brown breadcrumbs
about 1 oz. of butter

METHOD. - Boil the cauliflower as in the following recipe, (Put them into fast-boiling water and let them boil gently, keeping the saucepan uncovered.) drain well, and divide them into pieces convenient for serving.
Have ready a round gratin dish, or any fireproof dish, that may be sent to the table, grease it well, and in it arrange the pieces of cauliflower so as to appear as one large one.
Mix 2/3 of the cheese with the COLD white sauce, and the remainder with the breadcrumbs; pour the sauce over the cauliflower, and cover the surface with the mixed breadcrumbs and cheese.
Place small piece of butter on the top, and bake in a moderate over until well browned.

TIME. - About 40 minutes. SEASONABLE from June to November. SUFFICIENT for 5 persons.

I omitted the breadcrumbs. And I think I had a bit more white sauce. And lots more cheese. Lots and lots more cheese. I usually ping my cauliflower in the microwave rather than boiling it until tender, and add the white sauce while it is warm and all the cheese melts into it and then it seeps all around the cauliflower. But that could be just me...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"On Wednesday I go shopping And have buttered scones for tea."


Turkey lurkey!

Turkeys seem like Christmas to me. I know a lot of Americans associate turkeys with Thanksgiving, and Canadians associate turkey with Canadian Thanksgiving... but to me, Christmas is turkey time... and as I love turkey, that's a pretty good thing.

It's really all Charles Dickens' fault. Before it was published in 1843, Christmas was in a decline. Dickens sparked a revival in Christmas as well as the Christmas turkey dinner. Obviously, before the discovery of the Americas, turkeys were unknown so a traditional Christmas dinner was more likely to consist of goose or beef. Ham and pork are also quite common.

"Do you know the Poulterer's in the next street but one, at the corner?" Scrooge inquired.
"I should hope I did," replied the lad.
" An intelligent boy!" said Scrooge. "A remarkable boy! Do you know whether they've sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there?- Not the little prize Turkey: the big one?"
"What, the one as big as me?" returned the boy.
"What a delightful boy!" said Scrooge. "It's a pleasure to talk to him. Yes, my buck!"
"It's hanging there now," replied the boy.
"Is it?" said Scrooge. "Go and buy it ... I'll send it to Bob Cratchit's," whispered Scrooge, rubbing his hands, and splitting with a laugh. "He shan't know who sends it. It's twice the size of Tiny Tim. Joe Miller never made such a joke as sending it to Bob's will be!"
- Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol


This is not my Christmas turkey. I had a cold at Christmas time and whilst I did cook my turkey and do it all very well, I didn't take any pictures. So the turkey above is actually from Christmas 2... last Saturday when I baked a half price post Christmas turkey. But I love turkey so it was a terrible thing to have to cook another one just for fun (and photos).



INGREDIENTS. - 1 turkey
1 to 2 lbs. of sausage meat
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. of veal forcemeat
2 or 3 slices of bacon
1 pint of good gravy
bread sauce
fat for basting

METHOD. - Prepare and truss the turkey. Fill the crop with sausage meat, and put the veal forcemeat inside the body of the bird.
Skewer the bacon over the breast, baste well with hot fat, and roast in a moderate oven from 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours, according to age and size of the bird.
Baste frequently, and about 20 miutes before serving remove the bacon to allow the breast to brown.
Remove the trussing-strings, serve on a hot dish, and send the gravy and bread sauce to table in sauce-boats.

TIME. - From 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours. SUFFICIENT for 10 or more persons

Sides will be following in later posts so for now just enjoy the turkey goodness and get sleepy from the tryptophan.