Friday, April 02, 2010

Time for some old-fashion baking fun!

Holidays are a wonderful time to embark on projects that take up more time than you have during "normal" life.  After being inspired by the Julie and Julia movie, my daughter and I decided this week to set ourselves the challenge of cooking and baking from 3 cook books that date back to a time before I was born.  I am fortunate enough to have my mother's copy of Canadian Cook Book (1963) and her handbook of Home Economics that she acquired during her time at school.  It doesn't have a date of publication, but it would have been given to her in grade 7 or 8.  Have a look at the advice for bathing...particularly the last sentence; once or twice a week!  Eewwe.



The third book we referenced was a compilation of three cookbooks by Good Housekeeping (1956) called the Hostess Compendium that I bought on our way to Scotland from a fantastic book shop in Morecambe Bay.  It is a really interesting book, but there are some strange recipes that I don't think I will ever make! 
As the DD1 and I sat writing the grocery list one thing that struck us both and is that almost every meal had meat in it.  There were no vegetarian recipes...not one!  And unlike today where you can find the heading for pasta in most cookbooks, the only pasta we found was macaroni or spaghetti..and even those offered very little variation.  It was macaroni and cheese, macaroni and beef and cheese, or macaroni and tomato and cheese!

We started off with an easy one...Apple pie.  We found the staple recipe for pastry, which was accompanied by some lovely how-to pictures.



As the book had everything in old money and measures, we thought it fitting to use an old scale and follow the recipe just as it would have been in 1956.  The exercise was an excellent one as my daughter got stuck in and made pastry from scratch.  It is a skill one can always use later in life.



We used Sainsbury's basic apples which were very cheap at less than 50p for the lot.



It was lovely working side by side in the kitchen and seeing her pride come through when she succeeded along the way.



And finished pie..yummy yummy!  She did a great job!



We've made it thought the week trying all these recipes and surprisingly we learned a lot along the way.  For starters, these old recipes still work and shouldn't be dismissed just because they are in an old book.  That said, I don't think I'll be cooking rabbit any time soon, nor will I be making any kind of aspic!  But it was nice to pull together simple ingredients and slow down and enjoy the process of cooking.  My very insightful daughter said she reckoned that was part of the problem with today's society...that many don't stop to create (food or craft) and that it is the pride we feel within when we accomplish something that is missing.  I think she is probably right and as long as you can create in one form or another, then a balance is being struck.

Until next time...

14 comments:

Shirley said...

Hello Jane,
I found you through Sue-Anne's blog. That apple pie looks so scrummy. I read the comment on hair (above bathing) and I have to wash my hair everyday and I would definitely feel unclean if I only washed it once in 2 weeks!!! Interesting though.
Shirley.

Jackie said...

I love that you looked back to older cookbooks for recipes. We do learn from our past!

What a priceless experience to have with your daughter. The pie looks absolutely delicious!

Thimbleanna said...

How Fun Jane! It looks like the two of you have had a grand time. Although, I must say, as a recent convert to the scale, that old-fashioned version might just push me over the edge LOL!

Quilter Kathy said...

Lovely photos and brilliant insight...I totally agree!

Needled Mom said...

Such a great idea and that pie looks fabulous. I love old cookbooks and enjoy trying their recipes.

Tammy said...

Oh my your pie looks yummy! I love apple pie with cheddar cheese or heated with ice cream.

Rachel said...

What a lovely experience for you and your daughter.

I think your daughter is very wise. Her comment about the pride of accomplishment is true. I keep telling my daughter that very thing and hoping she will someday come to understand that self-esteem is the result of work/success and cannot be given to a child by someone else.

I really enjoyed this post, Jane.

sallyannequilter said...

I found your blog through Cozy Quilters blog. I enjoyed your latest post very much. Your daughter sounds very insightful with her comment about pride of accomplishment.

Janet said...

Great looking pie - you're making my mouth water. I love my Canadian cookbook. Just think of all the time you'd save if you washed your hair only twice a month - lol.

Ali said...

She's a wise girl. And that's a tasty looking pie!

Gretchen said...

Oh how fun! The pie looks wonderful and I bet it was tasty too. I love cookbooks, old ones too and have quite a collection. You are right that simple food is the best.

Tanya said...

Yum! I was looking forward to seeing the Julie and Julia movie but it swept through Japan in a week and is gone with the wind. I'm going to have to wait for the DVD... Rats. And I so needed inspiration.

UK lass in US said...

That apple pie looks delicious. I've been avoiding making one since living here, as I'm still sulking over not being able to find Bramleys here. I should just admit defeat and try Granny Smiths or something...

Gretchen Niaki said...

What a lovely post! The photos are perfect!! Glad I found you!

I have to say also that I Love your blog name - Very cute - :)