Granny – just engaged to Grandad
Food – the planning, the buying, the preparation, the eating and remembering who with. It isn’t just feeding to sustain the body – the one thing I’m hoping with this blog is that you will come to love cooking and baking as much as I do and not as a chore.
Thus, the two recipes for today are about memories and the person who gave them to me – granny. I was brought up with my brother and parents outside Glasgow and each year we went to my mum’s mum in the Lake District for nearly all the school summer holidays. For 6 years – 1960 to 1966 when granny died – mum, Stewart and I took the steam train from Glasgow to Lancaster and then a little train that stopped at every little station down the coast to Roose (dad came for his 2 weeks in the middle). A trunk filled with our clothes was sent on ahead and the days counted down. Granny’s garden was filled with roses (from which my brother and I made “perfume”) and raspberry and blackcurrant bushes to be picked all summer long. Her garden went out onto a field and we used to spend ages out there catching frogs and toads. One of my main jobs was shelling peas into a chipped enamel bowl – I can still hear the ping as they hit into it. Next door lived Mr and Mrs Story who owned a bookshop (yes, really!) and Whisky the cat who let me put him in my dolls pram and wheel around the garden.
Granny was a wonderful cook – nothing fancy – meat and potato pies (see an earlier post for the recipe, my dad’s favourite), Lancashire hot pot, crumbles and scones and amazing cakes! She pickled and jammed (no freezers then) and rolled pastry on a marble tabletop (keeping pastry cool when you are handling it is the answer to perfection). The following recipes are hers – lemon curd and treacle toffee (my mum made it when there was a sore throat in the house so another memory there!)
GRANNY’S LEMON CURD
- 225 grams sugar
- 50 grams butter
- juice and zest of a lemon
- 2 well beaten eggs
Half fill a pan with water and put on to heat. Put all the ingredients in a bowl, big enough to put into the pan without the water bubbling over. Keep on a low heat until everything melts, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until a spoonful on a cold plate wrinkles when pushed. Pour into small jars, cool and keep in the fridge. Its lovely on hot buttered toast and also as pudding by swirling it into natural yogurt.
GRANNY’S TREACLE TOFFEE
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 100 grams butter
- 3 tablespoons treacle
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
Put everything into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Keep on a rolling boil (I keep a wooden spoon in it so it doesn’t over boil). It is ready when a small spoonful goes hard when dropped into a bowl of cold water. Pour into a greased baking tin (BE CAREFUL AS ITS VERY HOT AND WILL BURN YOUR SKIN). Allow to harden, turn tin over and tap till it drops out. Keep in a airproof tin or tupperware.
My brother and I – and Whisky the cat
PS I know the above recipes are for more than one but preserves and toffee can’t ever be made for just one sitting! The lemon curd will keep for up to a month in the fridge particularly if you put it in small jars rather than big one – and it’s up to you how quickly you eat the toffee! If you want to just make a little you can substitute the tablespoons for dessertspoons and just 50 g butter and 1 teaspoon of vinegar.