Two Family Heirloom Vintage Cookbooks

Recently, my Mum had a clear out and gave me two of her cook books. One was her copy of the famous cookbook that every young housewife owned back in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s – The Dairy Book of Home Cookery and the second book was one that used to belong to my Nan’s sister – Good Housekeeping’s Picture Cake Making.new old books

I do feel pretty privileged to have been given these books. Mum bought her copy of the The Dairy Book of Home Cookery from the milkman back in 1979 and it has been a fond favourite of hers and used in many kitchens over the years. It takes me right back to my childhood and I really did not expect her to part with it any time soon. In fact, a few years back, I once declared on here that I would have to prise it out of her cold dead hands! – What a lovely daughter I am, eh!

The Good Housekeeping’s Picture Cake Making belonged to my Nan’s sister Aunty Sylvie who died young in her 40’s and was a keen baker. Nan, herself was not much of a cook, nor did she bake. But my Mum and I have both inherited Aunty Sylvie’s love of baking, and so the book has now been passed onto me. My sister, bless her heart, has not inherited the baking gene. She loves cake, but she just cannot be bothered to make any. Fair enough, she has Mum and I on hand to make birthday cakes and treats for her and the nephews! Its an arrangement that keeps everyone happy and fed in cake.

My copy of the Good Housekeeping’s Picture Cake Making was published in 1952 and has lost its cover a long time ago. At some point it was covered with plastic book wrap and has a few mould spots inside, so is not in the best condition. It also has clipping from 80’s Family Circle mags and some handwritten recipes from our former elderly neighbour Marjorie all tucked inside for safe keeping by my Mum, and I love it for this! Its a little piece of family history that I will treasure for many years to come.

It has colour photos inside and (my favourite bit) some vintage advertisements. Even a Pyrex one! On the downside, it also has some shocking politically incorrect cakes. Lets just say that I never knew that cakes could be so offensive and racist until I read this book. Things like that are best left in the past.good housekeeping bookcakes!mixerfancy cakesequipmentequipment 2equipment 3equipment 4tala adbefore cometold adold ad 2Its funny, because a few months before Mum gave me her copy of The Dairy Book of Home Cookery, I actually found one in mint condition in a charity shop for £1.50! You can tell which one is which in the photo below!twins!I politely declined her gift, explaining that I already had a copy and that she could keep hold of it if she needed to. But she insisted I take it as she was determined to declutter (no, she has not read this book either). I thought about ebaying the charity shop find, but in the end I decided to hold onto both copies. Mums for sentimental purposes and the other copy for back up sentimental purposes (i.e if Mums falls apart in the future, I can still think of her flicking through the back up book!)

In the last decade or so Mum has used her book less and less, as I guess, she finally learnt to cook from it (Im joking Mum!) It is a bit dated now and tastes and cooking habits have changed a lot as its all about the cream, eggs and offal this book rather than current foodie favourites like quinoa, chia seeds and kale. But some classics never date – like the well used recipe for scones inside this book. See below!sconesThat reminds me, I must scan the recipe for her. She thought she had memorised it, but the other day asked me to “write down the scone recipe from my milkman book” for her! You just can’t beat a nice homemade fruit scone, eh!

Recent Favourites #1

Because sharing is caring!

Who knows, I might even make this a semi-regular feature on here?

Favourite new blog findThe Only Place. Lots of camping trips and beautiful photos on this blog. Right up my street then.

Favourite funniest new blog findLove is a 4 Letter Turd. Makes me wish I that was younger and still enjoying my partying days yet at the same time glad that I am older and that my partying days are behind me!

Favourite food blogBudget Bytes. I keep pinning loads of recipes to try from this site. Lots of cheap and easy recipes. Right up my street then, again!

Favourite food right now – Alternative brownies. No not those* type of brownies! I am all about the gluten-free/flourless/paleo/sugar-free/dairy-free/vegan type of brownie that Pinterest and Mom bloggers adore. And if they contain some courgette, black beans, greek yogurt, apple sauce, almond butter, coconut oil, bananas, avocado or all of the above, then all the better for it! I am enjoying baking a few new recipes right now. And I can kid myself that these brownies are healthy(ish) right?

Favourite random blog postThis one that I read on a link from Elise and Life. I nodded my head to every single thing on the list. I often think that my life is dull (don’t we all? Im fine with my life though, I don’t like too much drama and excitement!) and is it worth blogging about? After all, I resorted to writing about random road kill in my last post. I was really scrapping the barrel there with what to blog about! I didn’t think it was possible, but I think I have reached a new low point in blogging! Go me!

Favourite random new word – Patina. I just love the sound of it. And yes, I have only recently learnt what it means! I am trying to drop this word into as many conversations as I can right now. Unfortunately, I don’t tend to talk about church roofs that much. Damn.

Favourite random fact – Did you know that feral cats hardly ever meow, and that domestic cats have developed a way of communicating with their owners? (See point 4) Who knows, maybe one day they will evolve to learn a few words? Our cat Poppy never shuts up, and sounds like she is meowing “hello” whenever she walks into a room that we are in! I must try to film her doing so.

Favourite cat video at the moment – Because see above. ↑

*Rhymes with mash!

Another Quick Camping Trip

The other day I thought about setting up a new blog chronicling my cycling adventures. The perfect domain name for me – Helonwheels is available (please no one buy it now that I have mentioned it!) But then I remembered that writing one blog is a lot of effort, let alone two!

I would totally be up for reading a blog with content about things like this weekend just gone where Rob and I took off in our van, camped for the night and rode a local trail together. In this fantasy blog you would expect beautiful photos, expert local knowledge and well written content that makes you feel like you were part of the experience. And maybe even induce a teeny-weeny bit of lifestyle envy like some blogs can…..

But this is me that we are talking about here. I am far too much of an honest, open person to write a blog like that! This is my real life/reality in a nutshell – I had to beg my boss to not rota me in this weekend (and ended up having a bit of a row with her about it) as I am currently working both Saturday and Sundays (ugh, as fun as it sounds), we were running behind trying to get away for our trip and ended up getting to the campsite at around 3pm, we bickered all the way there and had our version of a PDA (a public display of arguing) in a cafe before both of us finally chilled out (we are a normal couple – we row and get on each others nerves. I am not going to sugarcoat it!) when we got to our destination after taking a few detours as we always manage to miss our turning!

Still, we managed to squeeze another camping trip into this summer, even if we had to rush back for me to get to work at midday on Sunday! That is always a positive, and I managed to cycle around 31 miles in total which I am pleased with.

I want to keep my fitness and stamina levels up and I hope to take part in a longer distance cycle event next year, maybe 40-50 miles? Outings like this are a great way to continue my training, see parts of the country that I haven’t seen before and get some camping in before Autumn gets here and the temperatures drop.

Another major reason to scrap my idea for a second blog is that we didn’t manage to take any decent photos! We were far too busy riding and enjoying ourselves and who wants to lug around a massive DSLR on a bike ride? We just used our mobiles to take some grainy point and shoot amateur snaps. I much prefer to enjoy the moment rather than stage photo opportunities for my blog!

We camped at a site in St Nicholas at Wade in Kent for one night and rode out to Reculver, then along the Thanet coastal promenades (dismounting in the no cycle zones of course, because we are considerate cyclists!), stopping at a pub outside Broadstairs, past a (fake) Viking ship, then back inland through some pretty villages following the national cycle route 15. This route was 50% off road and 50% on road. I am getting a little braver with my riding on the roads, but it is still something I am not hugely fond of.

Inevitably while riding down quiet country lanes, you cannot avoid passing road kill. Its not pretty and something that you try not to look at. However, on our way to Reculver, and quite inland, we saw the strangest ever road kill – a massive fish! Rob said that it serves it right for not looking (he was joking BTW, for those who are sensitive about these things!), but the mind boggles! I guess it must have fell off the back of a lorry or something.

Apparently all the way around my back brake was squeaking. Rob said he kept hearing a funny sound from my bike and it looked like I was riding on my brakes all the time. I wasn’t, although I don’t like going to fast downhills, I do tend to brake all the way down them as I am a chicken! I did hear a funny noise, but I thought that it was the birds chirping for the whole 30 odd miles! Rob found my mistake amusing, for some reason, but he might not be laughing when he gets covered in grease fixing my brakes!

Here is my obligatory screen shot from my Strava account and a couple of mobile snaps of the pair of us looking terrible in lycra! You will see why I do not put any photos of myself up on here! I hate having my photo taken, smile awkwardly and stand funny! Plus spot the huge scar on my leg from when I fell off my bike racing my nephew back in May – my Pretty Polly/Venus razor modelling days are over now for sure!

I forgot to set my Garmin at the beginning!

I forgot to set my Garmin at the beginning!

Look at the boat rather than sweaty, red faced me!

Please look at the boat rather than sweaty, red faced me!

A beer garden with a sea view. Lots of jelly beans and water were consumed here!

A beer garden with a sea view. Lots of jelly beans and water were consumed here!