A year of deliciousness


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.

30 Responses to “A year of deliciousness”

  1. Kate

    Oh what fun!Unfortunately it seems that I can’t cook anything that I don’t have a photo for. I don’t know why. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. And something tells me that book does not come with photos.Thanks so much for your timely comment last week. I was struggling with the place of my blog in my life and yours was a lovely affirmation at the right time.I am so excited for you guys and your upcoming adventure. Oh what fun.It seems our adventure has become our life and so we are planning the next adventure. We are taking 6 months off next year and heading west with no plans at all. Yay! I can hardly wait. Love Kate XX

    Reply
  2. Kirsty

    Score. I LOVE old fashioned recipes, especially of the sweet kind. And old sewing notions, and preserving jars, and spoons…..There was an era where jelly came in, and boy, the recipes they made using jelly packets – the mind boggles.

    Reply
  3. Fiona

    That looks like an absolute cracker. I have a couple of those kind of CWA-ish cook books and there was a LOT of experimenting with pineapple going on back then – none nearly as impressive as the Washing Day Pud, though. xo

    Reply
  4. jo's comment

    I like that line…spices if approved…approved by who???I love old cookbooks

    Reply
  5. lekki

    well, there’s not too much on the internet that I laugh out loud at, but the washing day pudding did it for me!I reckon to skip the part about grating the pineapple, it sounds like too much effort to me, especially after a day of boiling up the copper, lifting laundry out with tongs, putting it through the mangle and then rinse, rinse, rinse! Just head straight for the whiskey, have a tot or two, and forget about the bananas!

    Reply
  6. Heather

    Thanks for that dripping link! Please post more puddings – some of us LOVE ’em just that much.

    Reply
  7. Joan

    Hello Claire, Sounds like a good recipe to try on the Island.I’ll provide the wiskey

    Reply
  8. Miriam Rogers

    Hope it’s ok to send this to here but I can’t find another method just now.Hi Claire, I found you whilst looking for something in my head! Long ago I was called Mimble. One day I was wearing a lovely blouse with buttons down the back as well as the front. (it was the early 70’s!) Now, the person that re-named me told me that I reminded her of Mimble. She had many daughters and all their clothes had buttons down the back so they stood in a circle to fasten each others clothes!!!!!!!!!!Mimble (or Mymble) and the Moomin trolls has always been in my head and for some reason, today I decided to track it down. I found you.Does any of this ring any bells with you and your love of all things Moomin?

    RegardsMiriam in the south west of the UK

    Reply
  9. Katie

    I live in the UK and do admit to dipping into my copy of the CWA cookbook – childhood memories of all sweets with coconut! Along with my Golden Wattle Cookery Book. The more simple life! Definitely take a copy with you.

    Reply
  10. Sharon McKenzie

    I thought that looked familiar and discovered I have my own copy of this (although its a bit less complete, thanks to Mr Nibbles). Thanks for jogging my memory.

    Reply
  11. Wendy

    I too have the Sth Aust CWA 365 calendar of cakes. It looks identical to yours with a lovely red rope to hang it off the back of the pantry door (it was a wedding gift to my mother in law in 1963 and she gave it to me when I married her son last year). It is much treasured and a great “time waster” as I can never decide which one to cook next. Enjoy!

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  12. Kylie

    Wow mabey you need all that whiskey after you have washed all day!I have a very dear cook book circa 1977, not quite as old as yours. It’s the wives of the Millewa (wheat farming country out the back of Mildura heading towards SA) fave recipe’s and all labeled with their names. I was just having a laugh with the hubby about how in the list of ingrediants of one recipe it listed ‘deep fat’ for frying…mmmm healthy!

    Reply
  13. Emjie

    Oh, you tempt me with so many tasties. The pudding, pasta, and all the other lil treats sound so delicious. I’m dying for food right now, but I’ve got this tummy bug. Which means I want to eat, but right now eating equals pain. I swear when this passes I am going to have that pudding, and the pasta

    Reply
  14. Madolyn

    What a wonderful find 🙂 I was excited the other day when my mum sent me a recipe for zucchini slice that her mum wrote down for her many many years ago on a scrappy piece of paper (on my blog http://blushingbirdcages.blogspot.com/) but this is so much better 🙂 You should post some pics of the inside pages, would love to see them! Oh and can’t wait to see what the August recipe of the month is 🙂

    Reply
  15. kids wall art

    Loved your post! I love special old finds like that! My husband has alot of old books from his grandma, and each is a special memory. We also found this ancient ‘uncle tom’s cabin’ in that collection.Maybe not a pudding every night, but I think you should try one at least each week.

    Reply
  16. rhonda jean

    I use a 1930’s CWA cookbook from the Barossa Valley, it even has a method for cleaning satin shoes! The calendar of puddings sounds lovely. Last time I was in a bookstore, I noticed a newly published CWA cook book, as usual there are no photos. Maybe you can join your local branch and add your family recipes to the next book.

    Reply
  17. Tali

    What a great keepsake. I love that you can see which recipes your nan would have made :)It’s a beautiful connection from grandma to granddaughter.

    I too have been getting my bake lately, as happens on cold Melbourne winters, but I fear I won’t fit into any of my clothes if I continue making sweet treats!! hehe

    Reply
  18. Maddy

    Miss Claire I’m wonderig what’s happened to the fast broadband connections on the island? Or did you meet that bear? Anyhoo, to quote that aussie girls we no longer name, “where the bloody hell are ya?”

    Reply
  19. Clebs

    Agreed with Maddy! Where are you Claire??? (echo, echo, echo)I hope that you’re safe and sound, and we’re all looking forward to seeing pics and hearing about the big BAD move when you get around to it.:)

    Reply
  20. kirst

    Hi Claire,Just wanted to say how absolutely awesomely freaking inspirational your blog is (I’m an aspiring author, struggling with the beginnings of a blog) I spent most of last night digging thru your archives – you’ve given me heaps of ideas! Thank you xo

    Reply
  21. Cushyco

    No, all those puddings every day of the year would be too much! Yes, I have a CWA cookbook and it is my most used cookbook but no, I am still a hesitant cook. It is wonderful enough just to own one.

    Reply

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