Tag Archives: raisins

Herman the German Friendship Cake

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:

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Clootie Dumpling

Happy St Stephen’s Day! Actually, I imagine most of you will be reading this in a couple of day’s time when you need a break from your Christmas present books or stumbling here in a couple of months when you are looking for a suitable recipe for ballast-food.

I spent Christmas day with friends this year, a delightful experience, with just a few pangs for family rituals. I brought a contribution to the main course, offered to make custard and in a flurry of last-minute organisation, volunteered to cook clootie dumpling which several of us had missed the opportunity to have when on holiday in Scotland in the summer. On that trip, I had bought Traditional Scotttish Cookery by Margaret Fairlie, first published in 1972 by Hale Books, in Inverness Museum. I’ve tried to find out more about Ms Fairlie, but the internet is only giving me information on the identically named eminent gynaecologist and first woman to hold a professorial chair in Scotland. So if you know any more about Margaret Fairlie, cookbook writer, do comment and let me know.

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Lemon, nut and thyme dressing

Occasionally I say to myself ‘No more vintage cookbook buying. You have lots [28 and at least 7 leaflets], you even have some you’ve never cooked from. No more new ones until you’ve had a good go at the ones you have.’

Then I go into the British Heart Foundation shop on Holloway Road and  I just can’t hold back:

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Apple and Raisin Sandwich

I set myself the tiny challenge of, instead of having nuked leftovers for work lunches, crafting a sandwich as per the specifications of one of my recipe books for 1 working week. All three sandwich recipes are from Florence Greenberg’s Jewish Cookery Book (Jewish Chronicle Publications, 1947) (For various reasons, this project was abandoned after 3 days. I really am an almighty flake.)
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