Animals Australia: the voice for animals

Animals Australia: the voice for animals
Love life? Love all of life

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Soldier's Cake

This is a family favourite inherited from my Nana O'Carroll. We have always called it The Soldiers Cake. This is because Nana discovered it during World War II when cake tins were made available in which to bake, pack, and send fruit cakes to soldiers. This recipe was on the tin ...
Ingredients - 6oz butter; 6oz sugar; 3 eggs; 8oz sultanas; 8oz raisins; 2oz mixed peel; 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon; 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg; 1/4 teaspoons mixed spice; 1/2 tablespoon golden syrup; 3oz self-raising flour; 6oz plain flour; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon water; brandy. Method - Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Beat in golden syrup. Add sultanas, raisins, and mixed peel. Fold in flour to which has been added cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice, and salt. Lastly add brandy and baking powder mixed in a tablespoon of water. Bake in a very moderate oven for two hours.

How decorative are herbs and vegetables

Herbs not only have their culinary uses. They are s-o-o decorative. On the left is a bunch of silver beet - sometimes called spinach or chard - and parsley of the curly variety from my herb garden and sitting on the kitchen bench in a galvanised metal can which herself painted antique white. On the right is a spectacular bunch of Italian flat-leafed parsley. This turned into quite a huge bush/wannabe tree in one of my wheelbarrows. It lasted forever and eventually turned to flower and seed. The picture shows it with its yellow flowers. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Cream 4oz butter and 4oz sugar together. When white add 2 well-beaten eggs gradually, then small 1/2 cup milk and vanilla last. Add 6oz self-raising flour sifted twice. Bake in a square shallow cake tin for about half an hour in a very moderate oven. Allow to get cold, then cut into uniform squares. Put a fork into each square. Cover with chocolate icing, toss in cocoanut, and decorate with a little piece of chopped nut or cherry. Icing - Sift 1/2lb of icing sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa dissolved in 2 tablespoons of boiling water, flavour with vanilla. Add a little milk if necessary to bring to a consistency that will just coat. From The Schauer (Pronounced "Shower") Cookery Book Fifteenth impression published by Kemp Place Investments Pty Ltd., Kemp Place, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

My Cooking Bible

My cooking bible is The Schauer Australian Cookery Book. My aunt, Bina Doneley, used it as did my mother, Phyll O'Carroll. I find that few Australians have heard of it. Yet the work of its author is famous and one of her recipes is an Australian icon. The Schauer Australian Cookery Book is written by Amy Schauer - usually known as Miss Schauer. Miss Schauer taught generations of Queensland Domestic Science teachers. Her iconic work is the Lamington. I remember seeing an interview on TV some years ago with famous Australian artist, Lloyd Rees. He was then about 93 not out. He said that he remembered when he was about 13 years of age (before World War I) growing up in Brisbane, he was at a friend's place one afternoon playing tennis. Miss Schauer arrived. She was a friend of the family. She said that they had done something interesting that day at College. They had made something completely new - the Lamington. For those who don't know, the Lamington is a square of cake covered in chocolate icing and then covered in dessicated coconut. There is little on the 'net about Miss Schauer but I have found this snippet of history.
Another much shorter research project took place in 1933. M. Goode, Manager of Peanut Products, a Queensland company, forwarded a sample of peanut paste for experimentation to the Domestic Science Department. Miss Amy Schauer, officer-in-charge of that department and author of a highly successful cook book, prepared a luncheon using the peanut paste in every item, and thus increased the sales potential of the product.
I love Miss Schauer not only for her wonderful "standard" recipes but for her advice. The book - very plain with no photographs, not even of the author - is divided into categories. At the beginning of each category, there is general advice on the principles of cooking the particular item. For instance, in the section on souffles, there is a whole page of advice including the guiding principle of using one white more than the number of yolks. Even when I am using someone else's recipe I will refer to her advice before embarking on the project. The Schauer Australian Cookery Book is still in print. I am on my second copy because the first one fell to bits. Second-hand shops also turn up copies.

What's it all about?

This is the beginning post for Food from Oz. When starting a blog one commences with an idea but then the blog can develop a life and character of its own. The basis for this blog is my hand written and clipping cookbook. This started with simple recipes learned in domestic science classes in Bowen, North Queensland in Grades 7 and 8 nearly 50 years ago. There are the recipes that I collected from my mother and grandmother when I was newly wed. I married at 19 in 1963. Some pages have spots on them because they are well used and well loved. Many have come from neighbours, people I have gone to church with, people I have worked with on community organisations and - of course - my dear friends. You will even find one I have got from a blog because it is in a favourite genre - self saucing puds - for which you will find complimentary recipes. This is basically a blog about Australian food - which has become more international in recent years. I hope the blog can open up good conversation about good food happening in the wonderful atmosphere of family and friends.