Thursday, December 23, 2004

Ale Syllabub

Place in a large bowl, a quart of strong ale or beer, grate into this a little nutmeg, and sweeten with sugar; milk the cow raidly into the bowl, forcing the milk as strongly as possible into the ale, and against the sides of the vessel, to raise a good froth. Let it stand an hour, and it will be fit for use. The proportion of milk or of sugar, will depend on the taste of the drinker, who will, after a trial or two, be able to make a delightful beverage. Cider may be used instead of malt liquor, or a bottle of wine.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Christmas Plum Pudding

1 1/2 pounds of raisins
1/2 pounds currants
1/2 pound of mixed peel
3/4 pound of bread crumbs
3/4 pound of suet
8 eggs
1 wineglassful of brandy

Stone and cut the raisins in halves, but do not chop them; wash, pick, and dry the currants, and mince the suet finely; cut the candied peel into thin slices, and grate down the bread into fine crumbs. When all of these dry ingredients are prepared mix them well together; then moisten the mixture with the eggs, which should be well beaten, and the brandy; stir well that everything may be very thoroughly blended, and press the pudding into a buttered mould; tie it down tightly with a floured cloth and boil for five or six hours. It may be boiled in a cloth without a mold and will require the same time allowed for cooking. As Christmas puddings are usually made a few days before they are required for table, when the pudding is taken out of the pot, hang it up immediately, and place a plate or saucer underneath it to catch the water that may drain from it. The day it is to be eaten, plunge it into boiling water and keep it boiling for at least two hours, then turn it out of the mould, and serve with brandy sauce. On Christmas-day a sprig of holly is usually placed in the middle of the pudding, and about a wineglassful of brandy poured round it, which, at the moment of serving, is lighted, and the pudding thus brought to the table encircled in flame. Should serve eight persons.

Roasted Turkey

The best way to roast a Turkey is to loosen the skin on the Breast of the Turkey, and fill it with Force Meat made thus: Take a Quarter of a Pound of Beef Sewet, as many Crumbs of Bread, a little Lemon peel, an Anchovy, some Nutmeg, Pepper, Parsley, and a little Thyme. Chop and beat them all well together, mix them with the Yolk of an Egg, and stuff up the Breast; then you have no Sewet, Butter will do; or you may make your Force Meat thus: spread Bread and Butter thin, and grate some Nutmeg over it; when you have enough roll it up, and stuff the Breast of the Turkey; then roast it of a fine Brown, but be sure to pin some white Paper on the Breast till it is near enough. You must have a good gravy in the Dish, and Bread Sauce, made thus: Take a good piece of Crumb, put it into a pint of Water, with a blade or two of Mace, two or three Cloves, and some Whole Pepper. Boil it up five or six times, then with a spoon take out the Spice you had before put in and then you must pour off the Water (you may boil an Onion if you please) then beat up the Bread with a good Piece of Butter and a little Salt.


To Make Harts Horn Flummery

Take half a pound of Harts horn and an ounce of Isinglass steeped in rose-water all night, and boyle them till you make a strong Jelly will not make a quart, then straine it and put a little lemon juice and Cinamon and blade of Mace to it, boyle well together and put it in a China cup. When you use it turne it out and set it with Creame or white Wine as you like.

XVIIth Century

To Make Buttered Oranges

Take a pint of Creame, raspe the peels of two Oranges into half a pint of water of Orange juice, six eggs, two whites, as much suger as will sweeten it, so straine and set over a fire. When it is thick put in a piece of Butter as big as a Egg and keep it stirring till cold.

XVIIth Century

To Make Sillybubbs

Take a quarte of Creame, and half a pound of suger and a pint of sack and Renish together, and about half a pint of strong Beer, and when it up to a froth save some of the Froth on a sieve to top ym, then fill the glass half full with that which is not whipt much, and fill it up with the whipt, and top them with that on ye sieve.

XVIIth Century

A Turkey Aladoub

Take a Turkey, cut off the penions, and leggs, and break the brest bone, lard it with large pieces of Bacon, rond in a nice piece of browne butter and spice, put it in high season'd gravey and let it stew until it is tender, then take it out of the broth into ye dish, take all the fatt of ye Broth, if possible browne some butter and straine ye broth into it, three anchoves, and an Onion shred very fine, about a dozen spoonfulls of white Wine, some Morslley truffles, sweet breads cut in dice, pallatts sliced thin, mushrooms, and Forcedmeats, the juice of a Lemon, and a good piece of butter, give them a boyle together, pour them over the Turkey, garnish it with patties, when you first put it in rub the pann with a clove of Garlike, you may stuff the brest with forced meat and likewise ye Belley, let the sauce be very thick and very high seasoned.

XVIIth Century

A Dish of Snow

Take a pottle of sweet thick Cream, and the white of eyght Egs, and beate them altogether, with a spoone, then put them into your cream with a dishfull of Rosewater, and a dishfull of Sugar withall, then take a sticke and make it clene, and then cut it in the end foursquare, and therewith beat all the aforesaid things together, and ever as it ariseth take it off and put it in to a Cullender, this doone, take a platter and sette an Apple in the midst of it, stick a thicke bush of Rosemary in the Apple, Then cast your Snow upon the Rosemary and fill your platter therewith, and if you have wafers cast some withall, and so serve them forthe.


Sauce for a Goose

Take a fair panne, and set hit under the goose whill sche rostes, and kepe clene the grese that droppes therof, and put thereto a godele (good deal) of wyn and a litel vynegur and verjus and onyons mynced or garlek; then take the gottes of the goose, and slitte hom and scrape hom clene in watur and salt, and so wassh hom, and sethe hom, and hak hom smal; then do all this togedur in a postenet, and do thereto raisinges of corance (Corinth) and pouder of pepur, and of gynger, and of canell, and hole clowes, and maces, and let hit boyle, and serve hit forthe.

XIVth - XVth Century

Chicken for a Lord

Take checones (chickens) and make hom clene, and chop hom on quarters, and sethe hom, and when thai byn half sothen take hom up and pylle of the skynne, and frie hom in faire grese and dress hom up, and cast thereon pouder of gynger ande sugur; then take iii pounde of almondes and blaunche hom, and draw up a gode thik mylke with the brothe, and other gode brothe therewith, and do hit in a pot and sethe hit; and put thereto hole clowes, maces and pynes, and let hit boyle altogedur, and in the settynge down do thereto an ounce of pouder of gynger, and medel hit wyth vynegar, and serve hit forthe, and poure the syrip thereon, and cast thereon pouder of gynger and sugur; and a hole chekyn for a lorde.

XIVth - XVth Century

Roast Peacock - A Lordly Dish

Take and flee off the skynne with the fedurs tayle and the nekke, and the hed thereon; then take the skyne with all the fedures, and lay hit on a table abrode; and strawe thereon grounden comyn; then take the pecokke, and roste him, and endore hym with raw yolks of egges; and when he is rosted take hym of, and let hym cool awhile, and take hym and sew hym in his skyn, and gilde his combe, and so serve hym forthe with the last cours.

XIVth - XVth Century

Potage de Frumenty

Take clene qwete (wheat) and bray hit wele in morter, that the holles gone alle of, and then seth hit that hit breke in faire watur, and then do thereto gode brothe and cowe mylk, or mylk of almondes and colour hit with saffron, and take raw yolkes of eyren (eggs) and bete hom wel in a vessell, and do in the pot, but let hit not boyle aftur; and serve hit forthe.

XIVth-XVth Century

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Mashed Potatoes

Very very easy.

Boil three potatoes per person. Idahoes are very nice.

Peel potatoes. Chop in half. Boil for about an hour or until the tip of a knife goes clear through the potato without any resistance. Drain potatoes in a large collander. Return the potatoes to the pot (now emptied of water but still on a low flame....this will help to evaporate whatever moisture is want the potatoes to be dry before you start to mash them). I find a metal masher is best. Once you have started to break them down add a splash of whole milk, a dash of salt, and a chunk of butter.....adjust the milk, salt, and butter according to the number of potatoes in the pot. Mash quickly, turn the flame off, and cover the potatoes until ready to serve.

Herbed Stuffing with Sausage

This is delicious warmed up when leftover. I can never quite decide whether I like the stuffing out of the bird or that baked in a casserole better.

1 large package of stuffing crumbs (I prefer those made by Pepperidge Farm)
1 large onion, chopped
1 16 ounce package of pork sausage (preferably Jones Sausage)
2 cups celery, chopped fine
Bell's seasoning to taste

Prepare the stuffing as directed on the back of the package.....butter boiled in water, et cetera. Meanwhile, cook the onions and celery together (in butter). After the onions and celery start to melt a bit add the sausage in pinchfuls to the pan. Cook thoroughly until the sausage meat is firm and clearly cooked all the way through. In the meantime, the butter/water mixture should be coming to a boil. Dump the entire package of stuffing crumbs into the pot. Wet thoroughly with the hot butter/water mixture. Pour the sausage-onion-celery mixture into the pot. Then, add a teaspoon or two of Bell's seasoning to the mixture. Pack this into the neck cavity of the bird and to the interior chest cavity of the bird. Sew the bird up with a needle threaded with black thread, the better for seeing once the bird is cooked. Any leftover stuffing can be baked in a casserole dish.

Green Bean Casserole

This is, I understand, a classic dish for the holidays, though not particularly a favorite of mine.

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
dash of freshly ground pepper
4 cups cooked cut green beans
2 cups French fried onions

Combine the soup, milk, pepper, beans and 1/2 of the onions in a 2 quart casserole. Bake at 350 degrees farenheit for 25 minutes or until hot. Stir. Cover with remaining onions. Bake for 10 minutes longer.

Toffee Squares

Simple and sweet!

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup nuts (optional)
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix the butter and brown sugar together. Add the vanilla, then the flour, nuts, and chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees farenheit for 25 minutes.

McCarra's Cornbread

Very nice served warm with a bit of butter spread upon it.

2 cups corn meal
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon soda

Preheat oven to 450 degrees farenheit. Beat the soda, eggs, and buttermilk together. Add the molasses and stir well again. Beat in two cups of cornmeal and the salt. Pour into a buttered square pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Cut into squares while still in the pan. Keep warm until serving.

Special K Treats

A tasty treat!

1 cup sugar
1 cup white syrup
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
6 cups Special K cereal
1 package chocolate chips
1 package butterscotch chips

Cook the sugar and white syrup together for one minute. Add the peanut butter and six cups of Special K cereal. Spread onto a buttered cookie sheet. Melt one package of chocolate chips and one package of butterscotch chips. Spread each over the cereal mixture. Let cool until firm, then cut into squares.

Bing Cherry Salad

This is a sweet dessert, not what I would generally consider a "salad" which would be a savory mixture of vegetables and dressing.

16 ounces crushed pineapple
16 ounces Bing cherries, halved
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup miniature marshmallows
9 ounces non-dairy whipped topping

Drain pineapple and cherries. Reserve 1/4 cup of the juice from the cherries. Mix juice with the cream cheese. Add remaining ingredients. Chill for several hours before serving.

Crunchy Cheese Sticks

A cheesy, crunchy appetizing snack!

1 pound of frozen puff pastry
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons thyme and oregano (dried)
black pepper (freshly ground)
2 eggs (beaten)

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees farenheit. Add herbs and ground pepper to cheese, combining well. Beat the eggs in a pie plate or baking dish large enough to dredge the sheets of puff pastry. Immerse both sides of the defrosted dough in the beaten eggs and dredge gingerly in the herb-cheese mixture. Place the seasoned dough on wax paper. Using a sharp knife or a pastry wheel, cut dough into one inch wide strips. Twist strips into a spiral shape and place one inch apart on a baking sheet covered in foil. Bake for fifteen minutes, then remove carefully from the sheet. These are best served fresh but can be kept for up to five days in a tighly sealed container.

Pumpkin Pie

Delicious with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk.
1 16 ounce can of pumpkin (two cups)
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 nine-inch frozen prepared pie crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees farenheit. Mix condensed milk, pumpkin, eggs, salt, and spices together. Pour into crust. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Then, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted one inch from the crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired prior to serving.

Cranberry Conserve

Very tasty along with your Thanksgiving turkey, gobble gobble!!

4 cups cranberries
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 Granny Smith apple peeled, cored, and diced
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cook the cranberries in the water until their skins pop open. Add the sugar, raisins, apple and orange juices. Stir. Boil together for twenty minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a serving dish. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Very warming on a cold winter morning!

two cups water
one cup quick-cooking oats
splash of whole milk
two tablespoons sugar (or honey, if you prefer)

Boil the water. A lid on the pot will help bring the water to the boil more quickly. Add the oats and sugar. Bring back up to a boil. Stirring briskly, splash some whole milk into the boiling mixture. Be vigilant, as you watch the pot, because, if one doesn't, the milk has a tendency to fuse with the bottom of the pot. Bring it to a boil again, stirring several times in the interim, until it has a nice creamy consistency. Pour into a bowl. Once served, you can add more milk if you want to lower the temperature of the porridge or to thin the consistency somewhat. This should feed one person of moderate appetite or two persons of lesser appetite.

Irish Breakfast for Two

An absolutely delicious, albeit occasional, indulgence.

8 rashers of bacon
8 pork sausages
4 eggs, prepared as preferred
8 one inch rounds of black pudding
8 one inch rounds of white pudding
4 slices of tomato

Fry the above, then:

butter 4 slices of whole wheat bread
butter 4 slices of white toast

and, finally:

brew one large pot of very strong tea to be taken with milk and sugar

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Beef Stew

Perfect comfort food for a winter evening!

2 1/2 pounds cubed beef
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 onion chopped
1 1/2 celery stalks, diced
30 ounce can of tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 clove
3 cups beef stock
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
pepper and salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Heat oil in a large ovenproof pot (we find an enamel one works well). Sear the meat, adding chili powder, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly and cook for about six minutes. Add the flour. Cook for a further 4 to 5 minutes. Remove meat and set aside. Add butter to the pot. Add garlic, celery, onion, and seasonings and cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes (with juice). Put the beef back into the pot, mixing well. Add pepper and salt to taste. Add beef stock, mix and stir in tomato paste, cover and bring to a boil. Finish cooking it two hours in the oven. After one hour add the vegetables. After 30 minutes remove the cover. Should serve four persons with moderate appetites or two with hearty appetites who like leftover stew for lunch the next day!


This takes a little time but it is well worth the effort!

16 pieces lasagna pasta
1 large (about 30 ounces) jar of spaghetti sauce
1 pound ground beef (or Italian sausage, whichever you prefer)
4 cups ricotta cheese
1 egg
mixed Italian spices (oregano, basil, thyme)
16 ounces whole milk mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Cook the pasta in a large pot. I find it helps to prevent sticking if you add a tiny bit of olive oil. Simultaneously, brown the ground beef (or Italian sausage), draining off any excess fat. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, reserving some for the bottom of the baking dish and for the top of the lasagna. As the strips of lasagna pasta cook place them on a sheet of aluminum foil. Put some sauce in the bottom of the baking dish (to prevent sticking). Place a layer of pasta on the bottom of the dish. Cover with the meat mixture. Cover the meat with a layer of pasta. Mix one egg and Italian spices into the ricotta. Spread evenly over the pasta. Cover ricotta with another layer of pasta. Spread sauce over the pasta. Cover the topmost layer of pasta with shredded mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with dried oregano. Cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes. The cheese on the top should be thoroughly melted and starting to bubble and brown at the edges. Let it stand for about 10 minutes before trying to cut it.

This is very nice served with some garlic bread and red wine.

Sausage Casserole

This is a tasty breakfast dish.

16 ounces pork sausage
8 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups of milk
1 1/2 teaspoons dried mustard
6 ounces shredded sharp cheddar
5 cups cubed white bread
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Combine the milk, mustard, eggs, and salt. Place half the bread in the baking dish (a 9 X 13 inch dish should do). Distribute half the sausage and half the cheese over the bread. Cover with the remaining bread, then with the remaining sausage and cheese. Pour egg mixture evenly over the casserole. Bake uncovered for 60 minutes or until eggs are set. You may wish to cover with aluminium foil so as to avoid the eggs browning too rapidly.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Yellow Cake

This is a nice plain yellow cake, very wholesome.

2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
4 separated eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
3 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees farenheit. (In general, whenever I cook most anything, I preheat the oven. Food does not like going into a cold oven). Blend the salt, baking powder, and flour together. Mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks one at a time along with a teaspoon of the flour mixture. Then, mix in the remaining flour, the vanilla extract, and the milk. In another large bowl beat the egg whites with an electric beater until they are very stiff. Fold these gently into the mixture. Divide into two buttered and floured nine inch cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes. Test for done-ness with the tip of a knife. Allow them to cool, then fill with raspberry (or some other ) jam.

Chocolate Cake

In honor of my 37th birthday tomorrow, herewith a recipe for chocolate cake!

1 cup of white granulated sugar
6 eggs, the largest you can find*
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup white flour
raspberry jam for the filling
powdered sugar for dusting the top

*If at all possible, the eggs should be at room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Beat the eggs and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Combine the baking powder, flour, and cocoa powder, then fold into the egg and sugar mixture. Mix thoroughly, then pour equal amounts into two buttered tins that have been dusted with flour. I generally use nine inch ones. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. When the cake is firm to the touch and begins to recede from the sides of the pan it should be done. Generally I insert the tip of a knife into each cake. If it comes out clean (non-sticky) they are done. Let the cakes cool, then fill the center with raspberry jam and dust over with powdered sugar. Alternately, of course, you could use a store-bought frosting...perhaps chocolate...and strew the top and sides with slivered almonds. This is also quite nice.

Shepherd's Pie

This is a nice warming dish for a chilly evening.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 of an onion, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley
1/3 teaspoon allspice
1/3 teaspoon cloves
1/3 pound coarsely chopped mushrooms
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 cups tomato sauce
4 cups mashed potato
dash of salt for the potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Heat the oil in a large pan, cooking the onion and parsley for a couple of minutes. Add the allspice, cloves, and mushrooms. Cook for several minutes more. Add ground beef, thyme, and basil, cooking over medium heat. Add tomato sauce and again, cook for several minutes more. Spoon mixture into a large baking dish and cover with mashed potatoes. About 5 or 6 medium-sized potatoes should do, but a good deal, of course, depends on the size and depth of your baking dish. Use your best judgement!. Bake for 1 hour. After taking it out of the oven I would allow it to sit on top of the range top before it is served.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Chili Con Carne

1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 pounds hamburger
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup water, boiled
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 pound, four ounces canned undrained tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
30 ounces kidney beans, undrained

Saute hamburger, onion, and garlic until hamburger is browned. Dissolve chili powder in boiling water and add to meat mixture along with tomatoes, salt, oregano, and basil. Simmer over a low heat for about one hour. Stir occasionally. Simmer uncovered for about twenty minutes. Add beans. Continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated. Should make six to eight servings.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Apple Cake

This is a nice cake to have along with a cup of coffee.

2 1/4 cups flour
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
2/3 cup milk

5 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thinly

Mix flour, baking powder, spices, and sugar. Combine the milk, butter, and eggs, then mix these in as well. Pour the mixture into the cake pan. Cover the top with sliced apples, then the butter, then the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until a knife, inserted, comes out clean.

A very tasty cake.

White Soda Bread

This can be a plain bread or you can add caraway seeds and raisins (which makes it nicer, I think).

4 cups white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
raisins, to taste
caraway seeds, to taste

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Create a "well" in the center. Add buttermilk, drawing in flour mixture from the sides. If desired, add raisins (about 1 cup) and caraway seeds (about 1 - 2 tablespoons). Knead gently on a floured board. Form into a circle. Place on a baking sheet and cut a cross onto the top. Bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees farenheit. Tap the bottom of the loaf when the 40 minutes are up. If it sounds hollow the loaf is done.

Time for tea!


Raisin Scones

These are lovely buttered with a nice hot cup of tea.

4 cups white flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
slight pinch of salt
8 ounces butter
4 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
4 eggs
raisins to taste

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix in butter and sugar. Add the eggs, and gradually, the buttermilk. Add raisins to taste....perhaps about one cup. Knead gently until you have a smooth dough. Place on a floured board and cut into desired shapes. I find a floured drinking-glass works well for this. Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 350 degrees farenheit.


Monday, October 11, 2004

Sponge Cake

It is the first really cold day this October. Time to bake a cake! This is a nice one.

7 ounces white flour
splash of lemon juice
9 ounces of granulated white sugar
5 separated large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Beat egg whites in a large bowl until stiff white peaks appear. Beat egg yolks thoroughly. Add the lemon juice and sugar to the yolks. Beat until mixture is thick and lighter in color. Mix in egg whites gingerly. Add the flour, folding in the same manner. Pour into two buttered and floured nine inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes. Spread raspberry jam in the middle of the cake and dust over with powdered sugar.

Perhaps having the oven on will warm us up somewhat!


Saturday, October 09, 2004

Brown Soda Bread

This is a great recipe for brown soda bread.....the only problem is it gets eaten up very quickly indeed and I am in danger of putting the pounds on whenever it is within reach!

4 ounces white flour
12 ounces wheat flour
2 heaping tablespoons of wheat germ
1 heaping teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
tiny pinch of salt
1/2 pint of buttermilk
1 beaten egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Blend the flours, then mix in the wheat germ, bicarbonate of soda, and salt. Blend in the beaten egg and buttermilk and combine well with a large fork. Turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly. Shape into a round. Put on a greased, floured cookie sheet and cut a cross on the top. Dust the top with some flour. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Tap the bottom at the end of 40 minutes....if it sounds hollow, it is done.

Spread with butter or jam and enjoy!

Friday, October 08, 2004

Irish Christmas Cake

It strikes me that the festive season quickly approaches. Therefore, my recipe for Irish Christmas Cake:

2 teaspoons baking powder
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons mixed spice: nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and mace
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups molassas
6 eggs
3/4 cup of milk
1 pound currants
1 pound golden raisins
1 1/2 cup dark raisins
3/4 cup candied peel
1 cup chopped figs
1 cup chopped dates

*The butter and eggs should be at room temperature.
*A pan of water should be placed under the baking cake.

Sift together baking powder, flour, mixed spice, and salt. Set aside. Cream butter, brown sugar, and molassas. Beat in eggs one at a time and add one tablespoon of the flour mixture every time you add an egg. Add the remaining flour mixture alternately with the milk, beating well. Mix fruit mixture into creamed mixture and mix well. Line tin with several layers of greased brown paper. Top with a greased round of brown paper, to prevent overbrowning. Bake at 325 degrees farenheit for one hour then reduce temperature to 300 degrees farenheit for 4 1/2 to 5 hours until inserted knife comes out clean. Remove paper lid in the last hour.

An excellent cake, well enjoyed with a glass of ruby port.

First Entry

The recipes in this blog are derived from numerous sources. Many are from my personal collection of handwritten recipes received from others or noted down by myself over the course of many years. Some were clipped from coupon circulars or promotional materials or from various newspapers. Most, over time, have been adapted and changed in one manner or another. Some are taken and/or adapted from the following volumes: The New York Times Cook Book, McCalls Cookbook, Healthy Cooking, Recipes For Two, Mrs. Beeton's Guide to Household Management, The Afternoon Tea Book, The Irish Gourmet, Budget Cooking, A Guide to Modern American Cooking, The Christmas Book, and Any person seeking further information on the source of any recipe listed in this blog may contact me directly at and I will be happy to provide further information.