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U3A Writing: David Craven's Recipe Book

David Craven's mother kept a flour-and-butter stained, hand-written book which contained all her favourite cooking and baking recipes.

This little book prompted David, who is a member of a University of the Third Age writing and reminiscing class in Huddersfield, to invite other folk to contribute "old time'' recipes. He gathered these into a book - and here it is.




I don't know what sort of person Ivy Fletcher was. I don't know if she was tall or short, fat or thin, grumpy or pleasant. I don't know whether she was a married lady with ten children, or whether she was an old spinster. And yet I have known her name all my life. Possibly the only other thing I imagine to be true is that she must have known my mother before I was born. It is likely that she was born, as was my mother, round the turn of the century.

My mother, like most other women of her age, kept a flour-and-butter-stained, hand written book with all her favourite cooking and baking recipes in it. In there between "Nellie Hargreaves Christmas Cake" and "Ginger Nuts" is a recipe for Ivy Fletcher Biscuits.

During discussion with members of Peter Hinchliffe's, Huddersfield U3A, "Remember When" class, it transpired that many members of the class had recipe books or individual recipes handed down from their mothers or grandmothers. I realised that this was one very small but not insignificant way that we could know certain things that our ancestors were doing possibly a hundred years ago.

Members of the class brought in their handwritten books along with some old copies of printed recipe books. Manufacturers of ingredients or equipment produced books, like the classic "Bero" range, "Cooking with Oxo" and "Royal Recipes for Today". All the recipes, handwritten or printed, give us an idea as to what our forbearers were cooking and eating fifty to a hundred years ago.

I'm sure it would be positively illegal to cook some of them today, like the "Rook Pie", and some of the ingredients would not be available like the "Sheep's Head" but our grandmothers would certainly have been making them 100 years ago.

I would like to thank all members of Peter's class for the loan of their treasured family cooking archives, and also for sharing with us some of their memories and anecdotes regarding their families eating habits. Sadly I have not been able to print all the recipes given and apologise to those friends whose recipes were not included.

David A. Craven


Although 1 never actually remember my mum making Ivy Fletcher Biscuits, the whole family does remember her Ginger Nuts. They have been made by at least three generations of my family. As a matter of pure research you understand, we decided to have a go at the Ivy Fletcher biscuits and they were delicious. Both recipes are well worth making today.

4 oz margarine
4 oz sugar
4 oz flour
6 oz oats
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon (heaped) treacle*

Melt margarine and sugar with a tablespoon of boiling water. Add treacle* (golden syrup), flour, oats and bi-carb and work into stiff dough. Pull off pieces the size of a walnut (25 grams), and place on a well-greased baking tray, say 12 at a time, well spaced out. Bake for 20 minutes at gas mark 4. Allow to cool for a few minutes before taking off the tray.

Supplied by David A. Craven

10 oz self-raising flour,
4 oz butter and lard
4 oz sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
3 heaped tablespoons Lyle's syrup

Melt fats and sugar. Add syrup, flour, ginger and bi-carb and .work into stiff dough. Then, as above.

Supplied by David A. Craven

When we came to live in Huddersfield in 1964 our next-door neighbour was a maiden lady called Miss Hanford. A few months after we came we invited her to our bonfire party at which we served soup, baked potatoes, bonfire toffee and Elizabeth's parkin. Miss Hanford had never had parkin like it before and although she quite liked it, it was obvious that she liked her own better, because a few days later she came round with a tin full of her own Yorkshire parkin. The recipe is given here: -

2 cups medium oatmeal
1 cup S.R. flour
3 tbsp sugar
1lb treacle or golden syrup
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp water
1 egg
pinch of salt
6 oz margarine
1 tsp baking powder

Rub fat into dry ingredients, add beaten egg, treacle & water. Beat well (the more you beat - the shinier). Bake in a slow oven, Gas mark 4 for 1 hour. Store with an apple to keep moist.

Supplied by John Ricketts

LANCASHIRE PARKIN - Elizabeth Ricketts' recipeMy wife was a "sand-grown 'un" from Blackpool and she always said that this recipe came from the Whiteside family, who could trace their connections in the Fylde area to the seventeen hundreds, many, many years before Blackpool was even thought of. It's a nutty, flat almost biscuit-like cake when it is eaten on bonfire day.

6 oz medium oatmeal
6 oz plain flour
4 oz fat (lard)
6oz black treacle
2 oz mixed peel
¼ pint milk
rind (zest) lemon
1½ tsp ginger
pinch salt

Rub fat into dry ingredients. Add peel, treacle, and lemon zest. Add milk and mix well. Bake in a moderate oven 45-50 minutes.

Supplied by John Ricketts

This little section on Parkin would not be complete without my own mother's contribution. She always called it parkin, although I suppose that without oatmeal, it would perhaps be better described as gingerbread. However I notice that Sylvia Womersley's grandma's parkin recipe from 1902 did not have oatmeal.

When my mum got very old and was eventually admitted into a nursing home, she settled down there very well and only had two complaints about her treatment. The first was that she was only allowed an Elegante sherry at lunchtime when she had been used to Tio Pepe, and the second that staff called her Edith when she would have preferred Mrs. Craven. Nowadays, I understand that nursing staff usually ask their patients how they would like to be known. In deference then to her wishes, I call this "MRS" Craven's Parkin.

1 cup sugar (6oz)
2 cups plain flour (8 oz)
1 cup milk (7 fl.oz.)
2 tbsp treacle *
1 tbsp lard (2 oz)
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda

Put treacle, fat and milk to melt. Put flour, sugar, ginger and bicarb in a dish, add melt as cool as possible. Beat well. Put mixture into a well-greased and floured, 8 - 9" square tin. Takes about 30 minutes at 180'C, (gas mark 4).

*Usually my mum called "golden syrup" treacle. However in copying this recipe using golden syrup, the result was not as dark as I remember my mum's parkin; and yet I don't think that my mum used black treacle, except for making "Plot Toffee."

Supplied by David Craven

BREAD PUDDING - Mrs Nellie Ricketts' Recipe
My mother hated waste. When she had some stale bread left over, she used to make bread pudding, which all the family enjoyed. As a young child my job was to prepare the suet and to help mix the ingredients. The suet was not in small packets like it is today. We used to get suet from the butcher whose shop was next door. I had the job of grating it until it was small enough to mix in. We all took a turn at mixing as the more it was mixed the better it was.

12 oz bread with crusts
3 oz prepared suet
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tbsp golden syrup
2 oz sugar
8 oz dried fruit
1 oz Demerara sugar

Brush a 7" tin with melted fat. Break the bread roughly into a basin and saturate with cold water. When soft put in a colander and press out as much water as possible. Put into bowl and beat smooth with a fork. Add other ingredients and mix well. Turn into tin and smooth out. Sprinkle with Demerara sugar. Bake at Gas mark 5 for about an hour.

Supplied by John Ricketts

My mother lived in the same small village all her life, apart from her last four years. She was a brilliant cook and cake maker and rarely, if ever, worked from recipes .She cooked how her mum had taught her to cook. Most of the things she made were fit for a king or queen, but a few of her culinary productions were consistently horrid. She never mastered the art of making custard pies. They had soggy bottoms. I can't recall whether my grandma's custard pies had soggy bottoms, but I would be prepared to bet that they did.

It was worth crossing continents to eat my mum's Yorkshire Puddings. Her hash was the best staple food that a working man could possibly have. Her rice puddings were small works of genius. Sainsbury and Tesco have never sold jams anywhere near as good as those made by Mildred Annie Booth.

1 lemon
4 oz. sugar
1 egg
2 oz. butter

Whisk the egg until light and frothy. Then put all the ingredients into a small saucepan and gradually heat, stirring all the time, until the mixture is thick.

4 oz. butter
pinch of salt
8 oz. sugar
2 or 3 tsp. caraway seeds, according to taste
2 eggs
grated rind of one lemon
8 oz. self-raising flour
milk to mix

Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add eggs and combine thoroughly. Gradually add the sifted flour and salt to the mixture, with enough milk to make it smooth. Add caraway seeds and lemon rind, mixing well. Bake in a greased and floured tin for 30 minutes at 375T, (Gas mark 5), or until done.

Supplied by Peter Hinchliffe

Texans always eat cornbread and blackeyed peas on New Years Day. It's a custom which Joyce, my Texas-born wife, and I have always observed during the 40 years of our marriage. Cornbread and blackeyed peas are the simplest of southern staple foods. The idea of eating them on New Year's Day is to remind us that if we get nothing better than this for the rest of the year, at least we aren't going to starve to death. It also serves as a reminder always to be thankful for the enormous range of food now available in our supermarkets.

1¼ cups sifted plain flour
¾ cup yellow corn meal
2 to 4 tbsp granulated sugar
4½ tsp. baking powder.
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
2/3cup milk
1/3 cup melted butter, margarine or salad oil.

Preheat oven to 425°F. (Gas mark 7). Grease and line an 8" X 8" X 2" pan (or equivalent - size isn't crucial). Into a medium bowl, sift flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder & salt. Into a small bowl, beat egg well with a fork. Stir in milk and butter and pour all at once into flour mixture, stirring with a fork until flour is just moistened. Quickly turn the batter into the prepared tin and spread it evenly with a spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Serve hot, cut into squares and buttered. It goes well with savouries such as stews, or with lots of maple syrup, or on its own.

JALAPEÑO CORNBREAD - good with chile con carne.
To the above mixture, at step 2, add 100 grams Jalapeno chillies cut into small piece with seeds removed, coating them well with the flour mixture.

Shortcrust pastry fitted to an 8" pie plate
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup golden syrup or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp melted butter
dash of salt
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
A few pecan halves.

Preheat oven to Gas mark 6, 400°F. Melt the butter and add it to the brown sugar, eggs, syrup, vanilla essence and salt. Stir until blended. Pour the mixture into the unbaked pastry shell. Bake for 10 minutes at 400°F and then reduce the heat to 325°F, Gas mark 3, and bake for a further 30 to 35 minutes, until filling is almost solid.
Serve warm or cold with whipped cream.

Supplied by Joyce Hinchliffe

My father was a foreman at the Hygienic Stove Co. of Huddersfield. On the occasion of his marriage to my mother on 7th June ,1930, the directors presented them with a cooker. Supplied with every cooker was a cookery book called "Miss Tuxford's Modern Cookery Book for the Middle Classes. " I'm sure you wouldn't get away with a title like that today, nor I suspect, would you be very popular if you published recipes like the following two taken from that book, Circa 1930, Price 1/- (one shilling)

1 sheep's head
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 oz Stork margarine
1 tsp powdered sage
2 oz flour
pepper and salt
½ pint milk
½pint stock

Remove all soft bones near the nostrils of the head, and take out the brain. Put the head and brain into a very large bowl of cold, salty water, leaving to stand overnight. Wash the head well in cold water. Place in large pan, cover with cold water then bring to the boil; cook slowly for 3 hours. The brain can be put into pan about 1 hour before head is cooked. Remove head from pan and cut all meat from the bones, skin the tongue and put onto hot dish to keep warm. Chop brain and parsley, melt margarine in pan, add flour and cook for 1 minute, add milk and stock (from cooking head). Stir till boiling, add pepper, salt, brain, sage and parsley and pour carefully over meat on dish. If not wishing to serve head hot, the meat can be chopped, pepper, salt and sage added and put into meat pots or ramekins.

6 Rooks
3 hard-boiled eggs
1 pint warm water
1 lb steak
1 oz flour
pepper and salt
½ lb rough puff pastry
1 oz butter
½ oz Cox's instant powdered gelatine

Wash rooks well, taking care to remove the livers and backbones. Cut into neat joints and the steak into pieces, toss in flour, pepper and salt. Fry the rooks in hot butter and put onto plate, brown the steak, add warm water and simmer 1 hour. Put the rooks into the mixture and simmer for 1 hour longer. Boil eggs, remove shells and cut into quarters. Put the rooks, meat and eggs into a pie dish, pour gravy over gelatine and stir till dissolved. Pour over rooks and when cold, cover with pastry, decorate, brush with a beaten egg and bake ½ an hour. Pour in the gravy and serve cold. If using oven with automatic control, set at No. 8 or letter H.

Although Shirley supplied these last two recipes, she flatly refused to trial either of them.

** The husband of a friend of mine works in the meat and slaughtering business and he informs me that during the BSE scare no meat from sheep or bovines over 30 months old is permitted to enter the meat trade, and that heads and spinal tissue are not allowed anyhow.

There is no control on pigs' heads, so any reader wishing to trial a recipe with pig's head or pig's cheek is strongly advised to invite me to come along and sample the dish at the eating stage. I will probably not be available for the preparation and cooking stages.
With regards to the Rook Pie Recipe, I 'm not sure if it would be legal in this day and age. Perhaps someone would let me know. However, a word of warning, anyone trying it is seriously advised not to let one of our class members Audrey know about it unless they want a band of placard-carrying, very energetic bird lovers picketing their kitchen. She would be most upset. Be warned!

Finally I am reliably informed that originally it was four and twenty black birds (Rooks) baked in a pie, not four and twenty Blackbirds.

Supplied by Shirley Lingwood

This isn't about actual recipes, more about the results of them. I was brought up in a house where baking and cleaning were the norm, and I had to learn. Baking day was wonderful, the smells, the magic ingredients and of course the end results.

My first attempts were "Thimble Cakes", bits broken off the bread dough, with a currant on top. When they were cooked they were dreadful, really hard and the little currant was like a cinder. My poor grandad had to eat some when he came home from work, and of course say how good they were.

I can remember two great disasters.

Grandad always made his own supper, oatmeal porridge. One night he was in the kitchen for ages and granny shouted, "Joe, what atta doin?" He said, "I don't know what's up wit' porridge, it won't thicken."

Granny went marching in and the balloon went up. He 'd got the wrong jar, and he kept pouring ground almonds in hoping it would thicken. She hit the roof, because ground almonds cost a lot more than oatmeal.

Grandma never made mistakes, oh no. She once did though. I came in one lunchtime on a baking day, and on a cooling tray, were my favourites, ground rice tarts with jam in the bottom. The cry usually was, "Leave them alone, they will spoil your appetite," but not today. Nothing was said, so I bit into one; my teeth got stuck. She who never made a mistake had used gelatine instead of ground rice. She was a long time living that one down.

Just before I got married, I copied all our favourite recipes down. I remember saying that I hadn't got the Christmas pudding recipe. Granny's eyebrows shot up so high that they nearly flew off her head. She said, "You daft baret wit**, there's no such thing as a Christmas pudding recipe, it's a cup of owt tha can think on." She used to make them for all the family and they were hung up in the cellar on a creel, all wrapped in white cloths.

My husband used to say when they landed on the plate on Christmas Day, as they lay there black and steaming, blue flames coming out of the top, and covered with rum sauce, that they were food for the gods.

Sylvia Womersley produced two handwritten recipe books. The first one was in a cashbook, and printed calendars for the years 1902 and 1903 were on the inside front cover, suggesting that that was the year in which they were started. She kindly agreed to let me photocopy them, which I have done. One really interesting inclusion is

4½ cups of I Kings, Ch. IV, v. 22, (Flour)
1½ cups of Judges, Ch. V, v. 25, clause 3 (Butter)
2 cups of Jeremiah, Ch. VI, v. 20, (Sugar)
2 cups of I Samuel, Ch. XXX, v. 12, (Raisins)
2 cups of Nahum, Ch. III, v. 12, (Figs)
1 cup of Numbers, Ch. XVII, v. 8, (Almonds)
2 tablespoonfuls of I Samuel, Ch. XIV, v. 25, (Honey)
Season to taste with II Chronicles, Ch. IX, v. 9, (Allspice)
6 of Jeremiah, Ch. II, v. 11, (Eggs)
A pinch of Leviticus, Ch. II, v. 13, (Salt)
½ cup of Judges, Ch. IV, v. 19, last clause (Milk)
2 teaspoonfuls, Amos, Ch. IV, v. 5 (Baking Powder)

Follow Solomon's prescription for making a good boy (beat well with a stick) as found in Proverbs XXIII and you will have a good cake.

Sylvia's grandad used to do a fish round with a horse and cart. It is not surprising then that tucked away between the recipes for currant pudding and Eppleby Wedding Cake is a remedy: -

2d black sulphur
2d sweet oil
2d oil of tar

I hope he washed his hands before serving his customers with fish.

Supplied by Sylvia Womersley

My mother was a very good cook. I on the other hand had no lessons at school. In fact, apart from Yorkshire pudding and one cake recipe, I didn 't know how to cook when she became ill in 1965. Joyce, my sister, could cook quite well though she had lessons at Grammar School, where how to cook a potato might be the subject of a whole lesson. Being older, she didn't always go on holiday with us in her late teens, so she had to fend for herself. She was always more artistic than me and could decorate cakes and things more artistically. Many years ago I sent my mother's Yorkshire pudding recipe to a Swedish friend for a special meal and was told that it was a success.

YORKSHIRE PUDDING Mrs. Hellawell's Recipe
A pinch of salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons of Plain flour

Mix all the ingredients together and add milk until a liquidy mixture is achieved. Prepare Yorkshire pudding tins or a big container by melting dripping or lard at a very hot temperature. Pour in the mixture and cook in a very hot oven (200°C) for 20 minutes to half an hour. When ready place on heated plates and pour on hot gravy.

War time always brought out the best in women's resourcefulness, and the number of "Mock" recipes is unbelievable. There was Mock Crab and Mock Salmon, to mention but two. They were probably nothing like real crab and real salmon but no doubt delicious in their own right. Brenda Hayler well remembers when she was a care assistant in the 90's and used to help an old lady who had managed though two world wars. She used to give Brenda tastes of Mock Crab and Season Pudding but was reluctant to divulge her recipes. Just before she died, the old lady confided these two recipes to Brenda.

2 large tomatoes peeled.
2 oz cheese
1 oz butter
1 piece (?) onion.
1 egg
salt and pepper.

Put all ingredients into a pan, adding the well-beaten egg last. Cook until the onion is tender.

Supplied by Brenda Hayler.

2 well-beaten eggs
1 grated onion
8 oz flour
2 oz oatmeal
1 thick slice of bread, soaked and beaten to a pulp
2 oz. shredded suet
Salt, sage and thyme to taste,

Mix all ingredients and beat well and either cook in oven or fry.

Nellie Barker's Recipe. Supplied by Brenda Hayler

¼ lb tomatoes skinned
grated onion
½ oz butter
2 oz breadcrumbs
2 oz grated cheese
1 egg
salt & papper

Put butter, grated onion and skinned tomatoes into a pan and simmer until tender. Add grated cheese and breadcrumbs, then the beaten egg and seasoning. Blend until it thickens, put into a dsih and cover with melted butter.

Supplied by Sheila Craven

2 oz sifted icing sugar
2 oz margarine
½ oz cornflour
1 gill milk
few drops vanilla essence

Blend the cornflour with the milk and boil for three minutes. Allow to go cold and then beat into the creamed margarine and sugar, a little at a time. Add the essence and beat until smooth.

Supplied by Peggy MacKay From the Creamola booklet

When I was girl, we had very hot summers and my visits to Australia remind me of those hot days. We used to have a lovely cooling salad that looks most attractive served in helpings on beds of lettuce.

1 packet of lime or lemon jelly,
5 oz of hot water.
2½ oz cold water or pineapple juice.
15 to 30 mls lemon juice
5 mls salt
30 mls mayonnaise or salad cream

Beat all ingredients together and quick chill till almost set. Then add about a lb of carrot, cabbage & pineapple all shredded.(or cabbage, apple and raisin or any combination of your choice.) Then chill to set.

She also says, "Each autumn the garden was full of apples, many varieties we didn't even know, so each year we searched for new ways to use this welcome harvest of fruit."

½ lb self-raising flour,
4 oz sugar,
4 oz margarine roughly chopped,
3 or 4 cooking apples sliced or chopped
1 beaten egg
sufficient milk to make into a fairly stiff mixture

Put in a roasting tin for about an hour in a moderate oven. Sprinkle with sugar after 1 hour. Serve hot or cold with cream or custard or just buttered.

Supplied by Ruth Vigors

Peggy Mackay has a super collection of printed recipe books,
which she brought in. "ROYAL Recipes for Today," dated 1951 from Standard Brands Ltd of Liverpool, who made Baking Powder, contains a number of recipes using dried egg.

"Simple recipes for Dyson's self-raising flour " was published undated by R. S. Dyson &Co. Colonial Works, Wakefield, and has some lovely sepia photographs of the baking all laid out on beautifully crocheted doilies.

The "Gold Reef" self-raising flour recipe book from the Creamola Works Glasgow also contains all the classics like MeltingMoments, Fairy Cakes, Butterfly buns and Queen cakes, as well asan array of delicious sounding sweets such as Eve's Pudding,Treacle Pudding, Jam Dumpling and custard
tart, all without any health hazard warnings.

The booklet published by the Co-operative Wholesale Society of 1 Balloon Street, Manchester is not dated butsold at l/6d a copy. The first page contains a list of some ingredients, most of which were packaged for, and sold by the CWS.
In its day the CWS must have been a real force to be reckoned with.
The book is not as down to earth as you might expect, being quite comfortable using words and expressions like Au gratin, Bain Marie, Blanquette, Bouchees, Fleurons and Rechauffe.

"Cooking the Oxo way" is again not dated but must have been somewhat more up to date since there is no mention of Sheep, Pigs or Calves Heads.
Inside the back cover is map showing 17 Oxo Factories round the world. of which five were in England.

George Bradley kindly loaned us a couple of books. The Yorkshire Federation of Women's institutes, "Six Hundred Recipes" first published in 1927, and "100 well tried recipes" from the All Saints Church Almondbury, published in aid of their Christmas Fair in November 1930.

Perhaps the most amazing recipe that I have seen in the very many hundreds that I have seen while compiling this booklet is the one which I quote verbatim below. It's just the sort of thing for a busy housewife with half an hour to spare on a Monday when the washing was done.

Take a large fat goose, split it down the back and take all the bone out; bone a turkey and two ducks the same way; season them with pepper and salt, with six woodcocks. Lay the goose down on a clean dish with the skin side down and lay the turkey into the goose with the skin down.

Have ready a large hare, cleaned well; cut in pieces and put in the oven with 1 lb of butter, ¼ oz mace, beat fine; the same of white pepper, and salt to taste, till the meat will leave the bones, and scim off the gravy; pick the meat clean off and beat it in a marble mortar very fine with the butter you took off, and lay it on the turkey.

Take 24 lbs of the finest flour, 6 lbs of butter, ½ lb of fresh rendered suet, make the paste thick and raise the pie oval; roll out a lump of paste and cut it in vine leaves or what form you will; rub the pie with yolks of eggs and put your ornaments on the wall, then turn your hare, turkey and goose upside down and lay them on your pie with the ducks at each end and the woodcocks at the sides.

Make your lid pretty thick and put it on. You may make flowers, or the shape pf folds in the paste on the lid, and make a hole in the middle of the lid. The walls of the pie are to be 1½ ins. thicker than the lid. Rub it all over with the yolks of eggs and bind it round with three-fold paper and the same over the top.

It will take 4 hours** baking in a brown bread oven. When it comes out, melt 2 lbs of butter in the gravy that came from the hare and pour it through the ton-dish***. Close it well up and let it be 8 or 10 days before you cut into it. If you send it any distance, close up the hole in the middle with cold butter to prevent the air from getting in.

*(Recipe for an "Economical Goose Pie" copied from an early cookery book dated 1791, dedicated to the Hon. Lady Wourton whom the author served as housekeeper. (I would love to see her recipe for and extravagant goose pie - D.A. C)

** For those of you who will be trying this recipe, Sheila my wife reckons that it would take nearer 8 hours in the brown bread oven.

*** A ton-dish is a funnel

Recipe supplied to WI booklet by Ingleby of Arncliffe, Supplied by George Bradley

The same booklet also contains recipes for Ox Cheek Soup made from ¼ ox head and Brawn made from ½ a pig's head, Braised Ox Brains, Rook Pie and a variety of rabbit dishes, and Mock Crab and Mock Turkey.

Margaret Parton also has an enviable collection of very old printed recipe books.

The 1930 "Atora" recipe book published by Hugon's of Manchester contains such gems as suet dumplings and doughboys, roly-poly pudding and treacle pudding.

The 1945 Holmfirth British Legion recipe book, price 1/-, shows little evidence of wartime frugality, with chocolate cakes, fruitcakes, slab cake and the like-it-or-hate-it, seed cake and a wide selection of sweets such as chocolate truffles, fruit chocolate, peppermint lumps and three different styles of toffee.

The "Easy Way" cookery book compiles recipes from "Women's World", "Home Companion" and "Family Journal". It cost a shilling and runs to an impressive 150 pages with possibly 900 recipes.

The OLIO Cookery book goes even better with 205 large pages and 1326 recipes. Every page is headed with a motto or philosophical phrase, some very quaint by today's standards and some as true today as when the book was written.

The ones I like are; - "Diet cures more than the doctor", "Forethought spares afterthought", "Better is a small fish than an empty dish ", "Eating and drinking should not keep men from thinking", "Gluttony kills more than the sword" and "The chief promoter of man's happiness is woman". Margaret's collection also contains two of the classic "Bero" books. The one from the 31st Million Printing has progressed to Coloured photographs of many items.

Her finest gem however is an exercise book with the name Miss Milner, Knowle, Mirfield on the inside cover. The handwriting is bold and black and obviously written with a "dipping" pen. The book has seen better days and has to be treated with reverence to avoid it falling apart. In amongst the pages are press cuttings regarding various recipes and household hints, one of which is from the Yorkshire Post, Thursday January 21st 1926.

Miss Milner 's recipe for Brawn contains ½ small head of a pig, a calf's foot and a large pistle. Neither of my dictionaries defines a pistle nor how to determine whether or not it was large. Miss Milner must have known!

Not that this little booklet ever claimed to be exhaustive or even extensive, but it would be lacking if it did not mention in some detail the "Be-ro " recipe booklets. I hope that the publishers won't mind if I quote their current front page verbatim.

Thomas Bell started a grocery business more than a hundred year ago near the Tyne quays and railway station. Two of his top selling products were baking powder and self-raising flour under the name 'Bells Royal', later renamed Be-Ro.

In the early 1920's self-raising flour was a novelty and one of the first convenience foods! In a bid to promote Be-Ro self-raising flour, exhibitions were held where freshly baked scones, pastries and cakes were sold for a shilling to visitors. These were so popular that people insisted they had the recipes to allow themselves the pleasure of baking these dishes at home.

As a result a little book was produced and handed out free at exhibitions and door-to-door. The first Be-Ro book was produced in 1923 and contained 19 pages. It has now grown to 86 pages and has reached its 40th edition. Over 38 million copies have been sold since its launch in 1923, making it arguably the best selling cookery book of all time.

In the 40th edition we have added a brand new section that is ideal for today's busy lifestyles called Quick and Easy. These convenient and delicious recipes range from dishes that are perfect for main courses through to recipes that are great as tasty snacks. Due to popular demand we have also added more recipes to the cake
section. With an improved layout making the recipes even easier to use, this new edition is an indispensable recipe book for all home bakers. Copies can be obtained by sending a cheque or postal order for £1.25 to The Be-Ro Kitchen, PO Box 100 Blackburn, Lanes BBO 1GR

My dad always used to call mother's Pasty "wringing machine" which referred of course to its thickness or should I say lack of it. Sylvia Womersley 's grandma must have thought that "Pasty" was a gourmet delight worthy of its own written record, simple as it was. She was right of course but I suspect that with the eggs and baking powder, it would not have been anything like my mum's.

3 cups of flour
2 Hands of Sugar
2 eggs
3 teaspoonful of Baking Powder
2 oz of Butter
2 oz of Lard.

Roll out and put jam between.

Supplied by Sylvia Womersley

Virtually all the handwritten recipe books have recipes for remedies of one sort or another. The idea was that you took a medicine bottle down to the chemist and asked him to make up your own formulation for you. It would be almost impossible to copy these recipes today since nearly all the ingredients were in pennyworths. No wonder babies slept well when their mothers made them gripe water like this one:-

2d Essence of peppermint
2d Oil of Aniseed
2d Laudanum
2d Syrups of Rhubarb
3d Manna

Put Manna, ½ lb sugar and 3 gills of water in pan and simmer down to half. When cold add other ingredients and bottle.

(Laudanum was of course an opium preparation and my dictionary tells me that Manna is a sweet substance exuded from plants that yield mannitol and acts as mild Laxative. D.A.C.)

Supplied by Sylvia Womersley

1 pint of old ale
1 gill of black beer
1 gill of rum
6d bottle of Bovril
¼ lb Demerara sugar
½ gill boiling water

Pour the water over the sugar and Bovril and when dissolved pour in the other things, stir well and bottle.

Supplied by Sylvia Womersley

That should provide a cacophony of competing flavours with which to tickle their palates. I'm not sure what it would taste like, but you can't help feeling that it would "do them good".


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