Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Cat's Birthday Cake/Pudding

This is one of the recipes that brings a smile to my face.  I can just imagine mum baking, using up all her left-overs, a custom in the Turner household, and then giving her creation an imaginary name. This one, as the name suggests, must have been made on the cat's birthday!  Whatever the occasion was the cake was, as always, lovely.  Here is how she did it:-


Old buns, crumbled
Butter or margarine
1 tbsp marmalade
Currants, raisins, cherries (depending on contents of the buns)
1 egg

Sorry, she didn't write down the amounts.

- Mix ingredients together and then steam for 1 hour or bake in oven for half an hour.
- Cut into squares and serve with cream or custard.

I'll also include a recipe for Apple Custard.  You might like that.

Batter Pudding

One particular category of food that mum was brilliant at was puddings.  Not just any ordinary pudding but simply the most delicious work of art you can imagine.  They weren't necessarily fancy or exotic, but it was all the various tastes that were magical.  Many of her puddings were steamed and it is this method that keeps the pudding moist and very moreish.

Mum's Batter Pudding was one of my favourites.  Because of its title it's hard to imagine unless you've actually seen it.  It's so easy to make.  Try it!  I'm sure you'll love the unique flavour.


2 eggs
1/2 pint milk plus a little water
6oz flour (half plain, half self raising)

- Mix to a thick consistency and put into a greased pudding bowl.
- Steam for 1 hour plus (keep steamer pan topped up with water and avoid removing pan lid until ready to serve).
- Serve with butter and sugar.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

My Mum's Malt Loaf

If you like the Bran Loaf you'll love this Malt Loaf. It's very similar and just as easy.

I found this recipe on an old stained sheet of note paper covered in splashes with notes on the back. Her handwriting and the information on it took me back 40 years. Those were the days!


1 cup All Bran
1 cup mixed dried fruit or just raisins
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp Ovaltine

1 cup milk (she probably used full fat, but semi-skimmed is fine, I'm assured)

- Mix together and stand over night.
- Then add 1 cup self raising flour and mix well.
- Glace cherries and a tbsp of marmalde can also be added here.
- Cook in a greased loaf tin for about 1 hour 10 minutes at 180C/375F.

Serve sliced with butter.

My Mum's Bran Loaf

One of my mum's old recipes that is always a favourite with any family member or visitor is Bran Loaf.  My wife loves to make it; in fact she'll be making some to sell at our daughter's school fair!

This really easy method uses a handful of wholesome ingredients that won't cost the earth or take hours to prepare.  It's so easy a child could make it.  Ours often help their mum!  What a fun way to get the kids involved too.

This is basically a fruit loaf that is best thickly sliced and covered in the butter of your choice.  It's simply delicious and healthy too.


5 oz dark brown sugar
2 oz bran
8 oz dried fruit - raisins, sultanas, currants, dates (even dried apricots, chopped)
1 heaped tablespoon tangy marmalade
1/2 pint semi-skimmed milk
6 oz self raising flour

- Mix the first three ingredients a large bowl.
- Add the milk, then the flour and mix really well.
- Pour mixture into a greased loaf tin.  Don't worry about the mixture being too runny.
- Bake for about 75 minutes at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
- Leave to cool in tin for a few minutes then turn out onto a cooling tray.

Serve thickly sliced with butter and enjoy.  For even greater pleasure serve slightly warm.

These measurements are for a 1 lb loaf tin.  For a larger size just double up the ingredients, being careful not to add too much milk.  (Add the extra liquid gradually.)

This loaf can be kept for quite a few days in an airtight container wrapped in cooking foil to keep in the moisture.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

My Magical Mum

In memory of my mum who would have been 100 a few days ago.

Who doesn't get a lovely, warming, tingling sensation when you think of that good old-fashioned heart warming meal?  There's never anything quite like a healthy, hearty soup or stodgy but delicious pudding, ones that only your loving mum could make.

My mum's recipes used to give me that feeling.  Hers were perfected using only a limited number of ingredients due to either rationing during the war years or made from leftovers in lean times.  These recipes, however, were good enough to be passed on from generation to generation.  And to make it all the more interesting she would give her creations names like "Cat's Birthday Cake", "Railway Pudding" and "No Name Cake", to name a few.  Her sense of humour came out in her cooking!

Not only did mum have the ability to make the moistest sponge puddings (steamed of course) made from whatever was in the cupboard, she regularly made, and I will challenge anyone to this, simply the best scones EVER.  Her magic ingredient was obviously a closely-guarded secret as I have never tasted any scone like it before or since.  She was a genius.  My wife has tried many times to replicate them but to no avail; in fact she says she's given up hope of ever coming anywhere near them.

Mum's special recipes gave me a sense of security as I was growing up - she and her great meals were always there when I needed them and, as a result, I have developed a love for great food.

We all dream of emulating the latest celebrity chef in creating a delicious gourmet meal, but at the end of the day a simple, healthy dish with basic ingredients always comes up trumps and satisfies the soul.   That's what my mum was so good at.  In fact I can't recall her making one bad meal.  My mum's recipes were simply an inspiration and never failed to please.  They warmed your heart and I will always treasure them.

If you are interested in natural foods, natural health products or generally interested in health, then go here.