Old Fashioned Family Recipes ... 

Perfect Hair, Perfect Starched Apron ... not in my Galley

What are your favourite childhood memories from the kitchen. Mine funnily enough is sitting on a high stool in my grandparents kitchen drinking sweet tea out of a proper chinaware tea cup called "my lady cup" and devouring what ever sweet treat was fresh out of the oven. 

Both my Grandmothers were good cooks. But let's face it they had to be. There was no ducking out to the Cheese Cake Shop to pick up a New York Baked Cheese Cake. Good home cooking was part of everyday life. It's so good to see the kitchen becoming the hub of the family once again. Both of my daughters love to cook and my daughter in law makes a wicked Frangipani Pie. Exploding with flavour, layers of pineapple, coconut cream and meringue, one mouthful and you are in heaven.  

So recently my mum and I have been going through some old family "stuff" and in it we have found some recipes from generations back. I loved the fact that most are hand written, typed or collected from newspapers into a variety of notebooks, address books and scrapbooks. 

Many of these old fashioned recipes have been in our family 60 to 70 years or more. The old fashioned Apple Bake recipe came from my grandmother, who got it from someone who served it at a school picnic in the early 1950's. I have decided to make these "Ol' Favourites" and share them, hoping to pass on some of the passion these fabulous home cooks had. 

Some of these were created by the cook and some are clippings from newspapers. All have delightful stories behind them. Most of them are on scraps of paper handwritten, I can see my Grandmother asking "Oh Joy you must give me that Meatloaf recipe, here I have pen and paper". The original is in my Nanna's recipe book as a newspaper clipping, a copy is written in my mothers and the corresponding is a scrap of paper in my Grandma's very distinctive writing. 

I selected those featured for their taste and time tested quality of the old fashioned recipes. I've tried to choose from different decades 40' 50' 60' and 70's. First because they are delicious and, secondly, they stir treasured memories. 

Most of us will agree many of our fondest memories involve our loved ones gathering, cooking, eating and enjoying food. Old recipes involved a lot of creativity back in the day, using simple ingredients as many things common today weren't available then. Many foods hadn't been introduced to Australia yet. European immigration was just starting to happen and our cultural menu was still largely based on English recipes. My mum jokes the only curry she ever knew was Keens Curry Powder.
You will discover that many of these will take you back in time, to fond memories.
Who can't remember Grandma, with an apron tied around her waist, beads of sweat on her face from the hot stove, and skirting around the kitchen tasting and testing this and that to ensure her family had a perfect meal? 

Where were those Thermomixs, food processors, rice cookers, microwaves? The old fashioned whisk, beaters and saucepans did a fine job. Or was it the great cooks using them that made it work.

Then there were the desserts. Oh my! Delectable puddings and cobblers, luscious frosted cakes, and always rainbow coloured jellies setting in the fridge.

It's small wonder back in those days so many kitchens were called "The Family Room".

A couple of my favourites I have found so far.

1950 .... Apple Bake  - this hand written recipe is in my late grandmothers hand writing. Just the simple fact that she had taken the time to write (very nicely) had me running to the galley to make it. Such a simple one dish dessert. Made in no time at all and I can also see it made with any stone fruit that happens to be in season. A modern twist on this is tossing the apples in a mix of Maple Bourbon Balsamic Vinegar and brown sugar.

1960 ..... How about the old fashioned Cheese Ball Recipe. Bursting with flavour but with such simple ingredient, this recipe has long been an entertainer's must have. I can remember it being served just as described "on a bed of lettuce leaves surrounded by jatz". We now have all sorts of cheese balls but this one takes me back to the Tupperware party days.

1940 .... Sybil's ANZAC slice I'm sure was enjoyed at the Holland Park Bowling Club ladies days. I remember my grandmother always taking a plate to add to the combined table for morning teas. This is a great recipe that we can add a few modern twists to. How about some lemon myrtle or a sweet Dukkah combined or sprinkled over the top. 

1950 .... When I saw this next recipe I knew it would be especially popular in our family. My aunts Ginger Fudge.... I love the added "Nice with Coffee"

1970 .... My Mum's famous "Rice Meatloaf with Apricot Topping" sounds kind of interesting. Love the line "to give the loaf a surprise". I actually found this recipe as the newspaper version pasted in my Nanna's recipe book, hand written into my mum's and then the hand written version below in my Grandma's collection. As meat was an expensive ingredient then, padding out the recipe with rice insured more mouths were feed. It is a very tasty meal and many variations could be made. Just make sure you put in "The Surprise".

Whether the recipe needs it or not, all of these recipes can be made with a modern twist. I'd love to hear about your favourite old family recipes. But all of this has me thinking of how in a few generations time our grandchildren will be reading our recipes. Will they be lost in cyber space forever.

My Favourite Recipe of all Time!


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