For only the second time in our history, we had all sweet and no savoury bakes for our ‘Hand Me Downs’ event in March. The idea behind this month’s club was to share a recipe that you had been given by someone else and we had a lovely variety of classic family recipes as well as recipes gleaned from friends and colleagues.
Cat said that baking her Mum’s Apple Crumble Cake made the whole house smell like her childhood home – isn’t it interesting how some smells can instantly transport us back to other times and places? Jan also chose a family classic, remembering being given scones and tea at her Gran’s, so treated us to pecan and raisin scones with a rhubarb and ginger jam.
Jan was struck by how simple older recipes are and how little flavour some baked goods had; perhaps a reflection of the far more limited range of ingredients available to bakers back then. Do we realise how lucky we are now to have such a range of flavours available to us?
Mandy also drew on her family heritage to give us Kugel – a baked pudding in principle a little like rice pudding but using pasta or noodles baked with cottage cheese, cream cheese, apple, raisins and cinnamon. This was literally a hand me down – Mandy learnt to make this by watching her mum and aunts cook and doesn’t use a recipe, just simply knowing how it’s done. It wasn’t entirely traditional though – Mandy is so determined not to give us brown food so she added red food colouring to the cooking water for the noodles!
The Kugel was kindly delivered to us hot, straight from the oven, and it was delicious. It also eats well cold as I found out the next morning when it was a bit of a treat for breakfast.
All this reminiscing about childhood foods led to a discussion of words/phrases which are used in a particular way within your family but which would mean nothing to an outsider – it would seem we all have them. Cat’s family’s Frog Crunch doesn’t of course contain frogs (crunchy or otherwise), but it is apparently a very good description nonetheless.
Getting back to the cake, Vicky chose to make a Carrot and Sultana Cake from a hand me down recipe book given to her by a colleague, and our other bakers used friends’ recommendations to produce ‘Disappearing’ cookies (they really did), shortbread and cupcakes.
The theme for our April event is ‘The Spice of Life’ – perhaps that’ll persuade a few of our bakers to go savoury!
The full list of ‘Hand Me Down’ bakes was:
Jayne – Mantecados (Spanish shortbreads with sesame seeds and ground almonds) and Raspberry and Honey Salted Shortbread
Tina – Gin Drizzle and Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes
Chelsea – Disappearing Cookies (Pecan and White Chocolate)
Cat – Apple Crumble Cake
Jan – Pecan and Raisin Scones with Rhubarb Ginger Jam
Mandy – Kugel
Vicky – Carrot and Sultana Cake
Deb also made a Chocolate Fudge Cake but was unable to join us on the night due to work pressures – we were sad not to be able to share it but hope she enjoyed eating it.
See you all again on 17th April (a week later than our usual second Tuesday meet up – this one’s the third Tuesday).