Last night’s Masterchef was all about the Country Women’s Association and their classic baking recipes – lamingtons, scones, neopolitan cake, fruit cake, and a jam. The contestants struggled mightily (which I have to admit, I found enormously encouraging as I struggle with anything I bake, and have more failures than successes). I don’t actually own a CWA cookbook – but I will be nicking out to get one before we leave. How can I be without? I feel it could be my last patriotic act before heading North.
Instead, I do have this doozey of a book from 1930 (from what I can gather from a little research, but it’s not actually dated), which I rescued from my late Grandma’s house last year. A Calendar of Puddings? How good is that? Do you dare me to do a Julie and Julia and cook each pudding for an entire year? I don’t think so. We would roll like little pudding people down the side of our new mountain home, and then bob about in the lake below.
I like that this probably hung in the kitchen in my Great Grandmother’s house – there are pencil ticks against the ones she was interested in (someone in the family must have liked chocolate), there are food splats across the pages where she’s obviously given something a go. Each recipe has been submitted by a New Sout Wales CWA member, and I have flicked through to find the recipes submitted from the town where my family lived (and many still live!). There’s a Mrs Arthur’s Fruit Flummery – and that’s it. So disappointing. I was hoping to see a Reid or a Rogerson but no such luck. Maybe there’s some genetic lean away from baking in my family. I have determined that Junee must have been an epicentre of baking back in 1930 as they are strongly represented – perhaps one of the calendar co-ordinators was a local.
Anyway – I am off to make a one pot pasta wonder, while I dream of steamed pud. Or Apple Snowballs. Or Honolulu Delicious. Or even Raspberry Tapioca. Can I tempt you with a Washing Day pud from October 26th? It’s so easy when you’ve been washing all day; Grate a pineapple, pour over whisky and stir in 1 dozen bananas. Done!
So, to start a tradition, here’s the recipe from July 1st to leave you with:
July 1 – Drought Plum Pudding
3 cups of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 3/4 lb. raisins (340g), 1 lb. currants (450g), 2 cups of hot water, 2 tsp. carb soda, 1 scant teasp. salt, candied peel and spices if approved. Mix the dry ingredients well together. Put dripping (the amount of dripping is not actually specified) into 1 cup of hot water and dissolve the soda in the other. Pour intogether and mix well. Boil for 4 hours and serve with sauce.
Mrs Gallen, Nandewar Branch.