Animals Australia: the voice for animals

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

Friday, April 28, 2006

Jam or Sherry?

The Old Foodie and Miss Eagle have passed some correspondence on the topic of Saucer Cheese Cake. Miss Eagle's original reference is here. Then Jane from yarnstorm helped out and the reference is here. The Old Foodie says

saucer cheesecakes were simply cheesecakes baked on saucers - there are saucer pies and tarts too. In the old days people didnt have so many cooking pans as we have now, so they used whatever they had, and saucers were useful to use up small amounts of pastry. I am not sure if it is a particularly northern England expression.

and then she later replied with this:

I was just researching an article on puddings for a bakery magazine, and found this, in Cassell's Shilling Cookery (an English cookbook) from 1888
Saucer Pudding
(suitable for a child or invalid)
Mix a teaspoonful of flour to a smooth paste with a little cold milk,
and stir into this as much boiling milk
as will make up the quantity to a teacupful,
Let the liquor cool, then add a well-beaten egg
and a little sugar and flavourings.
Pour the preparation into a large buttered saucer,
and bake in a well-heated oven.
When done enough, turn the pudding upon a plate,
and serve with jam, or a little sherry if preferred.
Time to bake, twenty minutes. Sufficient for one person.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

An expat lyricises the lamington

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It is not only Anzac Biscuits that expats in London yearn for. Over at Kimbofo an ex-pat waxes lyrical on the lamington on a visit home. If you want the recipe from the person who invented the lamington, here it is.

Photo above by Kimbofo

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Feast of Reason and a Flow of Soul.

Picture of Pot from The Old Foodie
Miss Eagle has come across two delightful food blogs from the same author. They are The Old Foodie and The Companion to the Old Foodie. These blogs are a rich tapestry of food history, anecdotes, quotes and the general all-round aesthetic of good food. As you will see if you delve into the origins of these blogs and the collection on which they are based, this is a passion which has turned into a collection which may turn into something else yet again. There is charm here and information and, because food is so integral to life, something that has deep appeal.

The ANZAC Spirit - in a biscuit 2

for a wonderful history of the Anzac Biscuit and more recipes.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The ANZAC Spirit - in a biscuit

Somewhere in London there is a nostalgic, dare I say homesick, Aussie who has sent - anonymously - this email:

Any chance you could put Miss Schauer's recipe for Anzac biscuits up in time for the big day?? tried to find it online but no cigar!! you're blog was the first thing that came up!!

cheers, an aussie in london missing Nana's cooking...

For those who are unaware, Anzac Day is an important day on the calendars of both Australia and New Zealand. One bit of culinary culture eaten all year round is the Anzac Biscuit. US residents please note: what you call cookies we call biscuits; what you call biscuits we call scones. The army biscuit, also known as an ANZAC Wafer or an ANZAC Tile, is essentially a hardtack biscuit, a long shelf-life biscuit substitute for bread. Unlike bread though, the biscuits are very, very hard. Some soldiers preferred to grind them up and use them as porridge. (Add water and sugar, cook, serve with generous dollop of jam.) The biscuits are regarded as having high energy and are quite nutritious. To-day, bushwalkers like to have them in their backpacks to keep them going on a long hike. While the original may have been very, very hard, the one's Australians are used to to-day are just really crisp. So of course Miss Eagle can't have an Aussie across the world with his or her tongue hanging out for an Anzac bikkie, particularly Miss Schauer's Anzac Bikkie. Miss Eagle turns to page 571 of the cookery bible and here it is:
Sift 1 cup of plain flour into a mixing bowl, add 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats, 1 small cup of cocoanut, 1 small cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, and 1/4lb of melted butter or Merra-lea, or rub in small 1/2 cup dripping. Put into a basin 1 level tablespoon of golden syrup, add 2 full tablespoons boiling water, or 1 beaten egg and 1 tablespoon boiling water, and 1 level teaspoon of crushed bic-carb. soda. Mix this over dry ingredients in mixing bowl, and directly it foams pour into mixture, blend thoroughly together. Take teaspoon quantities, flatten, place on well-greased tins, prick with a fork, leaving a space between each, as they spread. Bake in a very slow oven, as they burn easily.
Miss Eagle's postscript: The cocoanet is dessicated coconut which is finely shredded. While there are many brands of rolled oats, the best known and most traditional is Uncle Toby's. Golden Syrup is a golden syrup made from cane sugar. It is not the same as Maple Syrup. Please note what Miss Schauer says. The bikkies do spread and they do burn easily. Miss Schauer says 'prick with a fork' but what a lot of us do first is that we use a fork to flatten the bikkies and this leaves a nicely decorative corrugation on the bikkie.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Slow cooking food 2 - Soup

Miss Eagle's traditional beef soup is beautifully rich and thick and has been simmering slowly for almost 24 hours. The beef is shin beef - otherwise known as gravy beef. Shin beef is used in making soup because it makes a rich beef stock which is highly nutritious. Years ago in nursing courses and in primary school domestic science there used to be a subject called "Invalid Cookery". One of the highlights of invalid cookery was something called Beef Tea. Shin beef was used in this. Beef Tea was designed to put nutrients into the body weakened by illness. Miss Eagle dices and trims the beef so that nice tender morsels of beef are part of the soup. The potatoes are Kipfler Potatoes otherwise known as German Finger Potatoes. Kipflers are a waxy, finger shaped potatoes with creamy-coloured flesh. Great boiled, steamed and in potato salads and for presentation purposes. Miss Eagle likes them for soup because they are small and irregularly shaped. She leaves them whole but chooses the tiniest of them so they go well in a traditional soup plate. And speaking of soup plates. Miss Eagle loves the traditional soup plate with the wide brim about the edge. Certainly not a deep bowl - and mugs are only for when one can only manage the chemicals in hot water known as cuppa soup. You see, there is a reason why a soup plate is large and broad and shallow. It is because it keeps soup at the right temperature - neither too hot, or too cold. If it is too hot to start with, it cools quickly. As for the wide brim, it can hold a morsel of broken bread.

Image hosting by Photobucket Miss Eagle prefers her very old Crescent English bone china plates. But if you can't get any vintage soup plates, Maxwell Williams does a satisfactory, but slightly smaller, modern version in the famous plain white.

The herbs are fresh from the garden as with the Lamb Shanks and Macaroni. The other vegetables are onion, parsnip, and carrot (a feast of nutritious root vegetables) and mushrooms and snow peas. The little heap of grain to the left is pearl barley.

One thing Miss Eagle must say about the soup, the shanks and when you bake bread and pudding: you decorate the atmosphere of your home with aromas to die for, the aromas that become memories forever after, aromas that make one's mouth water, and make one hungry for all that is good and nutritious.

Slow cooking food 1 - Lamb Shanks with Macaroni

In Melbourne, the weather is closing in dark and cold and often rainy. It is the time to think of the sort of food that warms the cockles of one's heart. The slow cooking sort, substantial and comforting. This means the time for our favourite autumn/winter meal, Lamb Shanks with Macaroni. These are the ingredients...
...and they are all Australian - the containers and packaging are marked "Product of Australia". Note the little Aussie flags on the Ardmona tins. The herbs, except for the garlic, are freshly picked from the garden - basil, sage, marjoram, oregano, rosemary. Miss Eagle leaves the shanks whole - to be picked up in the fingers and gnawed on, so large napkins are in order. Here are the Lamb Shanks ready for the oven. Oh, and by the way, Miss Eagle has added some mushrooms that are not in the above photograph. The copper bottomed stainless steel casserole belonged to my aunt. I don't use the lid for this dish. The casserole is cooked very slowly: 200 degrees Celsius to start with until the liquid starts to simmer. Then turned back to 150 degrees Celsius and cooked ever so slowly until the meat is falling away from the bone. Some additional water is needed during the cooking because the macaroni takes up quite a bit. The only way this could be better would be if it was cooked in a slow-combustion stove.

Scrumptious, warming, and FootFoot and Trixie love to chew on the bones.