Monday, December 26, 2011


As luck would have it I was struck down with some sort of dreadful illness a couple of days before Christmas.  And I couldn't wallow around feeling sorry for myself as I had to cook.

You people just won't let me rest.

Hot Lemon and Honey from Jones, B. Lemons Harlaxton Publishing 1993

Modifications: None.
Verdict: Pretty horrible, but it did make me feel a little better.

More recipes follow...

Macaroni and Cheese (pasta y queso) from Metcalfe de Plata, E. Mexican Vegetarian Cooking: exotic and spicy recipes using wholefood ingredients Thorsons Publishers 1983

Modifications: I used fusilli.  I don't know why I never have macaroni in the house when I make so much macaroni cheese.  Used jalapenos in place of tinned green chillies.
Verdict: Lovely.  A really nice twist on the traditional mac cheese.

Mushroom sauce from Axcell, C., Cooke, D. & Kinmont, V. Simple Foods for the Pack Sierra Club Books 1986

Modifications: Because we were not camping it did not seem necessary to carry the ingredients around in a zip lock bag before cooking.  Used fresh mushrooms in place of dried and fried them up a little before adding wet ingredients.  OK, I also used pouring cream instead of milk powder.  And I served it with fettucine.
Verdict: A bit dry.  Could have done with more cream.  Or milk powder reconstituted with bouillon, if that's your thing.

Cherry Tart from Beeton, I.M. Every Day Cookery and Housekeeping Book Five Mile Press 2011 (1893)

Modifications: Made it into a pie rather than a tart by putting pastry on bottom and top.  Used following shortcrust recipe instead of Mrs Beeton's.
Verdict: Very nice.  pastry a little tough - I think I overworked it.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry from Family Circle: Perfect Pastries Murdoch Books 1996

Modifications: Used food processor method.
Verdict: See above.

Custard Cream from Montagne, P. Larousse Gastronomique Hamlyn 1961

Modifications: Used "cheaper" version with six egg yolks.
Verdict: Had this with the cherry tart and it was very disappointing.  Way too sweet - I would use half the sugar next time.

Apologies for the wonky scan - it's a very big book and I am very tired.

Tofu Vegetable Loaf from Frazer, S. Living Lite: ultra low-fat & fat-free recipes Penguin 2001

Modifications: On account of sounding extremely boring I added a good wodge of peanut butter and increased the tomato paste.  And added a little Parisian essence to make it look edible.
Verdict: Not as bland as it sounds.  Heated up a treat the next day with tomato sauce for lunch.

Brynt Potatis i Ugn (oven-browned potato wedges) from Recipes: the cooking of Scandinavia Time Life 1969

Modifications: None.
Verdict: Went very nicely with the tofu loaf above.

Carrot and Walnut Muffins from Sanitarium: Healthy Fast Food Murdoch Books 2007

Modifications: Omitted crushed pineapple.  Added frosting (see below), as they are really cakes masquerading as health food.
Verdict: Lovely!

Cream Cheese Frosting from Allam, P. & McGuinness, D. Bourke Street Bakery: the ultimate baking companion Murdoch Books 2009

Modifications: Used spreadable Philly cheese.  Omitted cream.
Verdict: Very nice - not overly sweet.

I have scanned the whole carrot cake recipe for you.  Don't say I didn't give you anything for Christmas.

Cherry Fruit Mince in Rum from Ross, J. Liqueured Fruit The Five Mile Press 1994

Modifications: Left out cherries.  Who actually likes glace cherries?
Verdict: Ask me in a fortnight.

Vegetable Risotto from Patten, M. Vegetarian Cooking for You Hamlyn 1983

Modifications: None.
Verdict: Very tasty.  And yes, I know it's not really a risotto.

Gin Fizz from Book of Cocktails and Mixed Drinks Brockhampton Press 1996

Modifications: None.
Verdict: Nice, but not as nice as a gin and tonic.

Another Raspberry Fool from Slater, N. Real Fast Puddings Penguin 1993

Modifications: None - at first.
Verdict: Was really boring, so added icing sugar, froze it, and it was a delicious iced raspberry fool the following night. 

Saute Potatoes from Wolter, A. Potatoes Made Easy Merehurst 1994

Modifications: Did not add bacon.
Verdict: Really, really good.


  1. I like glace cherries! I demand you put them back before you post me the fruit mince.

  2. Why on earth do you have the camping cooking book?

  3. Jen - No sane person under the age of 75 likes glace cherries.

    hnpcc - Many years ago I actually used the camping book for camping food. I recall making "pancakes" that actually looked and tasted more like porridge. It was fun putting everything in ziplock bags though.