Tag Archives: family recipes

Pikelets and scones…

These lovelies are some baking treats from having more time in the kitchen of late (and there’s been some fiascos as well as triumphs, I admit!) Roger is the scone baker in our house so gets credit for these. He likes following set recipes, while I’m more of a ‘bit of this and that’ cook, assessing as I go. The last time I baked scones was in a school ‘home economics’ class where the teacher said my hands were too warm for the dough (cool hands are better so scones aren’t tough apparently).

Great-grandma Charlotte was the scone baker in my family. She even entered some at the Ipswich show and gained second place for ‘best plate homemade scones’ in 1927 (her breads won several firsts!) Her daughter, Lorna, my grandma, preferred talking politics with a cigarette in hand than cooking, though she did make a mean fried rice. I feel for her as she’d have been great in a professional career but most women in those days didn’t get that chance. I had a thing for pancakes and pikelets from a young age and that page of my first cookbook is splodged with attempts. Just like the kitchen now wears flour over the benchtop and a bit on the floor too.

The thing about home cooking is, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t turn out quite right. When there’s that comforting, cooking scent in the house (if not too burnt!), a cloth spread over the table and a cup of tea or coffee ready, eating what you’ve cooked while it’s still warm can unexpectedly bring back happy memories and stories of people loved, now long-gone, and just for a little while, all feels well.

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Connecting through old cookbooks…

I love cooking from old cookbooks for their connection to the past and family recipes.

This 1934 Goulburn Cookery Book belonged to my grandmother-in-law whom I didn’t get to meet but I know and much admire that she cared for her eight children in their country town through prudent circumstance and for many years independently after she was widowed.

I love that her middle name was Philadelphia and that in this cookbook she pasted cut-out recipes and wrote some in as well. (Roger has made the grapefruit jam like his grandmother’s handwritten recipe.)

There’s even a recipe for Eggs in Purgatory, albeit a bit different to the version likely cooked in 1930s Italy or the ‘eggs in tomato’ my great-granny Maddalena cooked!

Interestingly, recent studies have revealed that despite the use of ingredients like butter and eggs, most recipes in 1930s cookbooks have a third less calories than current ones, often due to their smaller portion sizes.

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Filed under inspiration + history, kitchen stories