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Showing posts from July, 2012

Cake Meringue Pie

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This is a really easy and quick dessert to put together but it’s also seriously addictive.It's an odd and very old recipe. It must be old because I remember eating a version of it as a kid.

I often hear TV chefs telling us that, although they were poor as kids, the mothers and grandmothers would always conjure up wonderful meals out of next to nothing. That wasn’t my experience. Most mothers and grandmothers were just too busy or too tired from working every day to cook anything very much at all. But I do remember one or two dishes and this is my attempt to recreate a pudding that the mother of one of my friends made. To be honest, I’m not sure it’s a very accurate recreation (it was a very long time ago) but I’m pretty sure that cake and marshmallowy meringue were involved somewhere.

My friend’s mother was from Scotland and so I always assumed that this odd little dish was from the same country. I’ve only fairly recently realised that it’s actually very like the venerable Americ…

The Unbearable Randomness of Cookbooks

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For the Random Recipe challenge this month Dom of Belleau Kitchen has asked us to do something a little different. Instead of cooking something from our books, he wants us to photograph the books instead.

Well, here is my main collection of cookery books arranged in no real order at all in an oak cabinet in the kitchen. The cabinet was built by a previous owner of the house, probably as far back as the 1930s. The oral history is that he was a carpenter who worked on local churches and made bits and pieces for his house with (hopefully) surplus oak. He also made the brass fittings by cutting them out of disused name plaques. Some of the brass in the kitchen is cut from the nameplate that was once displayed outside the door of an elocution teacher.

Despite mislaying and giving away quite a few books over the years, there are still too many for the church carpenter’s cabinet. So upstairs there are also a number of books that sit on much more modern shelves, although I don't think th…

Devilled Gooseberry Sauce and Tarragon Vinegar

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Around five or six years ago I got a little carried away (well, actually very carried away) at the Pick Your Own farm and came home with far too many gooseberries for the classic sauces and jams that I wanted to make. Looking through some of my cookery books for inspiration I found a recipe for a ‘Spicy Gooseberry Sauce’ in a Sainsbury’s Fish Cooking book published back in the 1980s. This was a little different to the classic, simple gooseberry sauces for fish. Essentially, it’s a good old-fashioned devilled sauce with a mix of ingredients more reminiscent of chutney than a smooth sauce. The British tradition of devilled sauces often seems to be on its last gasps and I think that’s a great shame. I made a version of the classic Gubbins Sauce a little while ago but this fruitier sauce is at least as useful.

I’ve developed and complicated the recipe since then but, despite a long list of ingredients, it’s really easy to make and very versatile. It’s good with oily fish such as mackerel…