Friday, May 25, 2012
Belated Mother's Day post
I bought myself this cookbook for my Mother's Day present. On the Friday before Mother's Day, I was sent off to the shops by my husband and told to "buy yourself something."
I was pretty happy with this. At least I knew that I would use whatever I bought. So I ended up with this cookbook by Merle Parrish.
For those who don't know Merle, her claim to fame is that she appeared on last year's series of Masterchef and judged a couple of the contestants who were baking her famous peach blossom cake. The recipe for it is in the cookbook. She's also a CWA member who both enters and judges CWA baking competitions. This is nostalgic for me. My grandma was in the CWA and I still remember going to a couple of meetings with her when I was a little girl. She used to be famous for her Kentish cake, which isn't in Merle's book, but I have the recipe for that one anyway.
I've been really impressed with the cookbook so far. The recipes are mostly pretty straightforward and most of them use ingredients you already have sitting in the fridge or pantry. I get annoyed with recipes that require ingredients you can never find in the supermarket or that tell you things are available in "specialty food shops." We don't have any of those kinds of shops around here.
So far I've made coconut biscuits, a pumpkin fruit cake, and a lime and buttermilk cake. There are lots of other great recipes for cakes, biscuits and treats that you would have seen at street stalls and fetes during the 1970s and 80s as well. She has a whole chapter on sponges, which I've never been brave enough to attempt to make, but she makes it sound so easy, I'm actually thinking about giving one a go. There are plenty of handy hints about how to bake cakes and how to present them for competition if that's ever something you want to do.
All in all, a pretty handy cookbook to have in the pantry. I know I'll use it often.
The kids came home with the usual gifts from the school Mother's Day stall. They know to go for useful stuff too. From Liam, I received a pen and one of those cardboard deodorizer things that you hang on the rear vision mirror of the car (it says "World's Best Mum"). And Aidan gave me a pink drink bottle. Not my first colour choice but it's a nice stainless steel model so it should last for a while.