Sunday, 12 June 2011

Rainy day blues...

Sigh...the British summer has an unsurprising alteration (not!) rain is pelting at the windows, hair and clothing efforts shrink in the sodden weather. On with wellies and raincoat and off out to get some ammunition for this droopy day! Buzzing around the kitchen is the order for the day me thinks,  some sort of cake maybe?

What do you gals do hair and clothing wise when horizontal wind and rain is about. Being a natural curly frizz and fly-aways are at abundance so headscarves are usually my saviors (that only for my hair though)! 
I would be alright with a coat like that! Lets face it who wouldn't.
Well I'm going to dive into my cookery book to see what enlightening recipe I can bring to my kitchen! Will let you know my choice in due course, bye for now.....

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The verdict...

Tea for one?
I wouldn't say that these taste like the traditional gingerbread men, they have a lighter, more crumbly texture and the flavour is very 'in your face' ginger rather than a warming tone of spices were normally used to. The crumb is fine which is unusual but nice this may be due to the icing sugar. I would make these again but not with the same 'classic gingerbread men' expectation, instead they are more of a pleasant oaty biscuit that accompanies tea well. I would call these 'oaty-men' to avoid confusion. These were easily made, but maybe I should have rolled the dough out and and used my gingerbread cutter (yep seems obvious) however, I wanted to follow the recipe near to the word. I am pleased with the outcome and will make these again but not anytime soon (icing needs practice). Moreover, they haven't lasted overly long in my household so I guess that's a good sign aye? Score: 7/10

Friday, 10 June 2011

Gingerbread men...

Well the truth is, I need to stock up my pantry again but I don't have time today and I need to bake. What do I make without eggs I wonder? Gingerbread men of course! A household favourite but I think i may turn to my new cookery book and little recipe leaflet to see what wonders they may bring. Yes, there is a small recipe for gingerbread men without the use of eggs in the kitch little baking leaflet. However, it isn't you average gingerbread recipe so I am a bit apprehensive but, I have most the ingredient (no vanilla extract) so I will give it a whirl!!

Gingerbread men           Makes 12 men      preheat oven to 170oC/350oF

  • 8oz Butter or marg (room temp or you'll get cramp in you arm like me)
  • 3oz of sifted icing sugar (yes it's a first on me)
  • 8oz Self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger (all important!)
  • few drops of vanilla essence/extract (I added water instead)
  • 3oz porridge oats (This is interesting as well)
  • Thick glace icing (water and icing sugar)
  1. Beat fat then blend in icing sugar.

phew... that my workout done for the day!
2. Stir in the flour, sieved with salt, ginger and essence (water in my case). Add porridge oats and mix to make a stiff dough.
3. Mould dough into heads, bodies and arms for 12 gingerbread men. Join pieces together on greased baking sheets, allowing room for spreading during baking.
Hmm I not sure they quite look like men.
4. Bake for 15-20 mins. Cool on rack. Use glace icing to pipe in face features and buttons (oh dear this could go wrong).

Yep they resemble swollen jelly babies. (nice clean cooker in background fresh from the 70s) at least they are golden wish me luck withe transportation process onto the rack.

Oh dear not quite the look I was after but lets call them rustic gingerbread men. 

The Complete Cook by Neil Heaton.....

 (Sorry about the terrible picture I have a ancient camera)

I have recently been given a fabulous vintage recipe book (courtesy of my mothers' resilient rummaging) dating from the 1940s?? I cant wait to get stuck into it! However, first I must show you a few things that are hidden inside they are the sweetest things.....

 I found this little note written inside the front cover (To Mum with love and best wishes, Xmas 1947, Curis) how cute and talk about neat handwriting! What a fantastic name Curis; wasn't there just some great names back in the day (gosh that makes me sound ancient!). I Also found this little pamphlet slotted inside...

Sorry I couldn't get this on portrait...darn camera!
So sweet, a few coloured page and recipes on the inside.

I just love this little 'pull-out cookery booklet', it says it was presented in 'Woman' magazine in September 1959. It is 'Ruth Morgan's Best cakes, 36 sure-to-please family treats'. I must try these recipes soon, I can't wait!  As for the recipe book well it is a veritable bible must say; from Planning meals to Sweet treats.

416 pages of pure, simple domestic bliss ahhh....where do I begin? I cant wait for the first recipe trial.