Friday, 28 August 2015

Digestive Biscuits - Jennie On The Kitchen Front

Hello Biscuit Lovers!

First up, I'll give you the grim news that we lost 5 of our 6 hens to a fox on Monday. Bright, sunny afternoon too, foxes only usually turn up on grim days and at dawn around here. But this fox was different, he was the size of an Alsatian and quite aggressive with Ma, who stepped outside and found him in the garden - He got away, but he must've been been waiting around for us to step inside as we were later in for dinner than usual.
We're all devastated by the loss, they were all wonderful, cheeky, adorable girls, and will be very much missed - Rose, Ruby, Doris, Iris and Annie.
Mary somehow survived, she was found hiding in an overgrown patch of garden. She's alright, shaken and missing her sisters, but now she has a big brother in the form of our cat, Charlie. He's become very protective of her.

I could talk about the girls and boy for ages, but I shall get onto the recipe now.

This week I thought you might like some biscuits. So, are digestives alright for you? These aren't like the well known branded ones, more like a cross between those and oatcakes. Learn from my mistake though, I don't have any table salt, I only had rock salt, and I didn't pound it up very well. So use table salt if you can, rather than having lumps of salt in the occasional mouthful - Like salty roulette!

Digestive Biscuits - 1942

Makes about 24 if a 2 1/2 inch cutter is used (I rolled a little thin and came out with 28)

6 ozs Wholemeal Flour
1 oz White Flour (plain)
1 oz Oatmeal
3 ozs Fat - I used a veggie Baking Fat
1 Dessertspoonful Sugar
1/2 Teaspoonful Salt
1 Teaspoonful Cream of Tartar
1/2 Bicarbonate of Soda
A little Milk and Water to mix

Mix wholemeal and white flour, salt, cream of tartar and bicarbonate.

Rub in fat.

Add oatmeal and sugar, mix again.

Gradually stir in a little milk and water to make a stiff dough.

Knead well.

Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness.

Stamp out rounds with a plain cutter.

Border the biscuits all round with small holes, making these with a skewer; similarly prick a small inner circle of holes.

Cook on a baking sheet in a moderate oven, Gas Mark 5 (190 C / 375 F) for about 20 minutes.


I hope you enjoy these, I'm trying to resist their charms until I put the kettle on next... About 5 more minutes then!
I'll leave you with a quote from Ma, when a couple of hours before making I said "I hope they're alright". Ma replies "Well, if they're not, chuck some chocolate on them" - Thanks Ma!

Any requests for next week?

Until I next post


Friday, 21 August 2015

Jennie On The Kitchen Front - Little Fruit Cakes

Hello all, I am indeed back with another recipe. I am intending some posts for other things beside baking, but as yet, I haven't gotten around to it.

This little recipe is from 1943. The cakes in question are not the light and airy ones you may be expecting, but are quite tasty, and not very sweet at all, indeed, I'm intending on splitting them and having them spread with butter and jam. I say that, but with half of them gone, I'm not sure it will happen :)

I've just realized what they remind me of, blueberry muffins... without the blueberries! Though you could use some more exotic dried fruits if you wish

Here's to it then readers:
Little Fruit Cakes (1943)

Makes one dozen cakes.

6 ozs flour (plain)
Pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoonful baking powder
2 ozs margarine or half and half margarine and lard (or baking fat) - I used all margarine
2 tablespoonfuls sugar
2 tablespoonfuls sultanas or small raisins - I used sultanas
1 reconstituted dried egg - I used 1 fresh egg
About 1 gill of milk (about 1/4 pint)

Halve sultanas or raisins.

Mix flour, salt and baking powder..

Rub in fat.

Add and mix in sugar and fruit.

Stir in beaten egg and enough milk to make a mixture of stiff drop-from-the-spoon consistency.

Fill into 12 greased queen cake tins or patty pans.

Brush with milk.

Bake in a moderate oven, gas mark 6 (200 C/400 F) for about 20 minutes.

I hope you've enjoyed this recipe, now I'm off to polish off another cake with some tea

Until next time


Friday, 14 August 2015

Jennie On The Kitchen Front - Chocolate Rocks


Welcome to the first installment of my new cookery feature, here on the old bloglette.
I'll be rummaging through my wartime magazines and testing the recipes, before writing them up here.
I won't be changing the sugar/fat quantities, but I will be providing suitable alternatives where it's needed - Such as using baking fat instead of lard for us veggies, and using fresh eggs when the original recipe calls for reconstituted dried egg, though I will say if dried egg is mentioned.

So let's get started. Here is the first recipe, 

Chocolate Rocks from 1943

Makes 16

1/2 lb Flour (plain)
Pinch of Salt
1 Heaped teaspoonful Baking Powder
3 ozs fat - half and half margarine and lard/baking fat
3 ozs Sugar
1 Tablespoonful Cocoa
1 egg (or one reconstituted dried egg)
A little milk
Vanilla Essence (optional)
Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa.

Rub in fat.

Add sugar.

Mix to a stiff dough with the egg and a little milk, about 3 Tablespoonfuls. Add vanilla (if using).

Place mixture in 16 small heaps on the greased baking sheet (I use baking paper on a tray).

Bake in a quick oven, gas mark 7 (220 C / 425 F) for 15-20 minutes.

Personally I think these are a nice mid-morning treat with a cup of tea, and not too greedy on the fat and sugar ration. I hope you'd enjoyed the first recipe, do tell me if you try them out and also if there's anything in particular you'd like to see a recipe for.

Until next time,


P.S. Apologies for the photos, the big bad black cloud was coming over fast when I was making these!

Monday, 10 August 2015

The Great Eggscape


Oh dearie, I've been awful for keeping up to date with the blog. I'm just getting back into reading other blogs, but I'm not quite sorted when it comes to my own, but it will happen... One day!

Anyway, to some news!

When I was growing up, we couldn't have hens, which was a shame as my Ma had grown up with hens (I always picture the Larkins when I think of how Ma grew up) and my Gran had hens throughout her childhood and I think my Great-Gran did too... Anyway, Ma decided to put this right a few weeks ago and ordered a hen house and put her name down for four hens from the BHWT.

Well, last Sunday we went to collect four ex battery hens. They had some which were without a home to go to, so were offered more. Ma, suddenly struck by a bout of MoreHens disease, agreed to take another two.

It's been a week of worry and joy - Little Mary has been a worry, she just didn't want to do anything, and though we put it down to the shock of the change, it seems it may also be because she's suddenly sprouted a back and belly of feather spikes. But she's a bit brighter by the day, and is joining the others in discovering a free range life.

We had about 21 eggs in the first week... I've never eaten so much cake in all my life! And I'm about to make some biscuits or cake, I've yet to decide, as we has a soft-ish shelled egg this morning and I want to use it up before it gets broken. Ginger biscuits or  chocolate cake? Oh dear, what a life!

They are a little bare in places, though within a week of pellets, corn and roaming, the feathers are fluffing out everywhere. Though from some angles they are still a little "oven-ready" looking - Poor things.

I'll leave you with my favourite photo, taken on Saturday afternoon, when I should've been catching up on jobs, but was actually lounging on the swing seat, drinking tea, eating swiss roll, watching the cat and the hens and knitting... Tough life!

So, may I present to you... The Bare Bottom Girls - 

I'll be back shortly, I'm feeling the call of the blog now, so it shouldn't be too long before my next post :)

Until then

Jennie xxx