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.
Of course I made this. I have a ready supply of apples and LOOK AT THE NAME:
Apple or peach pudding-pie or pie-pudding, no. 2, Yankee style
Sweet milk, 1 cup
Butter, 1 tablespoon, heaping
Baking powder, 1 teaspoon
Flour 1 cup or sufficient to make a rather thick batter (‘batter’ means like cake, better to handle with a spoon or easy to pour out)
A little salt
Tart juicy apples to fill half an earthen pudding dish
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:
Yet another apple recipe. I’ve never fried fruit, nor have I flamed booze before. I was quite nervous about this, all the other times I’ve had fire in my kitchen, it’s been unintentional and thus rather panic-inducing. Still, I thoroughly dampened a tea-towel, put it in arm’s reach of the cooker and steeled myself. (I don’t have any pets or small children, but we should all practise safe flambé.)
This blog is turning into a real life version of Apple Pigs. Still, I’m enjoying all the apple-y goodness, even if you’re getting bored and if you are getting bored, I apologise, but I was given 15 immense apples and have two more apple recipes planned. When I was pondering what next to do, I remembered that Scandinavian Cooking (Beryl Frank 1976) had several recipes for apple cake. (In fact it has three apple cakes and three apple puddings. The book was obviously written before Scandinavian governments decided to intervene in the health of their citizens by cutting beef and dairy subsidies and raising berry farming subsidies.) This one appealed to me because it’s simple, it includes lots of nuts (yum) and it doesn’t require butter, which is great for when you want to bake something, but don’t want to use up all your butter and then have to get properly dressed and go out and buy some more.