We are delighted to wake this blog from a few restorative weeks of hibernation with a guest post from Salada. Her other posts can be enjoyed here and here.
No muffin recipes appear in the VCBT list. Honestly, I checked. Patricia H White is, assuming she’s still with us, an American who moved to England in the 1960’s. This book was first published in 1975, and encourages the tradition of taking a bit of trouble with your gifts, or DIY as it’s known. The recipes are divided into eight categories such as preserves, potted foods, sweetmeats and baked goods. Ms White gives advice on packaging and storage, and how long the produce will last.
This recipe looks like a standard muffin mixture. Commercial muffins nowadays have expanded to massive proportions, but these seem to come from a more frugal era. Apple and cinnamon is a classic flavour match.
I bought Cooking from Cyprus in the excellent secondhand bookshop on Clarence road in Hackney, which I used to go to fairly often when I lived there a few years ago. (It was different then – there was an ASBO on the entire street.) Anyway, genial proprietress Rose sells fiction, poetry, arts, politics, health, lots of childrens books and a small selection of cookery books, with a focus on Black authors
I rather like this book because the author is as excited as hell about the recipes. In an attempt to convey the hospitality of Cyprus, he comes across like someone who’s had a good go at at the grappa and a followed it with a couple of cups of strong καφές. Luckily most of the recipes seem to warrant this level of enthusiasm – well marinated grilled meats (the full gamut of ruminants, poultry, game and swine), several pilau, flat breads and mezze. Choosing to cook this stew was entirely based on what I already had in the house (and had taken out of my freezer to defrost). Fans of Turkish food will note the word ‘ttavas’ as similar to ‘tava’.
Straight forward to assemble, the only change I made a half portion of the recipe and use tinned, not fresh, tomatoes. The smell while cooking was reminiscent of brown bread. I ended up with 3 portions (by my standards), not sure what that says about my eating habits (um, I like stew.)
Apologies for the blurry photo – low blood sugar and dying batteries meant I only had the chance to wave the camera over the bowl before it conked out/I did.
As you can see, I ate the fruity, savoury stew with some mashed potato and will definitely be adding this dish to my (unwritten) rota of excellent week-night dinners.
Ttavased by Elly
Initially I had no plans to blog this as it’s not from a book, but after live-tweeting its assembly I thought I might as well. I remember my mother being given some of this starter about 25 years ago and I (who didn’t have to stir it daily or move it when doing other things in the kitchen), loved the resulting cake. The internet seems a little conflicted as to the origins – certainly Amish Friendship Bread is very similar.
Anyway, I was very pleased when a friend gave me some Herman starter in a yoghurt pot, in a Liberty’s bag, along with the strict advice that it was Day 3, and a piece of paper stating:
Elly and I were very kindly invited to talk about the blog and do some live cooking recently by the lovely A Playful Day for her podcast (naturally the whole thing is well worth a listen, but if you’re particularly eager to hear us we appear around 29 minutes in). We cooked Spicy Apple Fritters from the TREX cookbook (which doesn’t appear to have a date of publication). The fritters turned out to be surprisingly tasty and looked like this:
One of the sweet things about writing this blog is the extent to which my nearest and dearest enable me by reading, taste-testing and buying me new and exciting old books to try. Today’s recipe is taken from Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two:
Guest post! Today, seasoned commenter Salada takes us through a classic apple pie. Due to the unusual weather, the apple harvest is excellent this year, so shop prices are reasonable and if you’re really lucky, a friend, relative or Freecycler will give you some windfalls for free.
Just a bit late for pie month! The first apple pie of the season, made
approximately to Barbara Hammond’s Dutch Apple Pie (a double crust plate pie) recipe from Cooking Explained (1963 edition).
Even though it’s summer, there’s always time for pie. Today I’m cooking something from a book which I bought ten years ago, to divert myself on a long-haul flight – Jane Grigson’s Fruit Book. I’ve owned it for far longer than The Vegetable Book, although it was written and published afterwards, in 1982.
The plums are some gorgeous organic ones which I bought when the lovely Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green held a small weekend market in late July. I am cheating/being lazy/not-chaining-myself-to-the-kitchen-on-the-weekend-I-have-a-real-job-and-I-need-to-relax-don’t-you-know and using shop-bought pastry.
A recipe which has intrigued me for a while, combining as it does many of my favourite things to bake with – cinnamon, ground almonds, candied peel. It kept catching my eye in the index of Florence Greenberg’s Jewish Cookery Book:
A marvel! Truly one of the most delicious, most interesting things I have ever baked. The outer layer was crisp on top, and then fudge-y, like a brownie. The filling was light, flavoursome and almost creamy, with the right amount of chewy pieces of peel. This is a rich cake, as you can see from the relatively small proportion of flour to butter and sugar, however, it is also wonderfully satisfying and stayed fresh for 2 weeks in a tin.
I have since read variations of this which include making mini ones using a shallow bun tray and using raisins instead of candied peel.
Monkey’d by Elly
Guest Eurovision blog from Zakia follows:
I took on the Austrian cake Linzertorte which I was reliably informed by Alix would be “simple to make but look impressive”. That’s an aspiration to live by, which made me keen to try it out. It’s apparently the oldest cake recipe in the world, dating from 1693, and became internationally known from the 19th century. This is one of the Marguerite Patten 1970s recipe cards.