This is where I note my efforts as I try to recreate some old recipes. Most are taken from my small collection of handwritten recipe books which date from the late 1700's to around 1922. I also have a collection of old tatty old recipe books, well thumbed and heavily splashed from years of use. I love them all!

The old-fashioned very stylised handwriting writing is sometimes difficult to decipher, measurements and cooking instructions are minimal, no tin sizes given. Luckily I enjoy a challenge. Just to complicate things I cook and bake on my wood-fired Rayburn, which can be... unpredictable.

I suspect this blog is less about the food and more about my passion for these lovely old books and the wonderful women who wrote them.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Magic of Fresh Yeast!

The Easter holiday has arrived - Grandson Number 1 is off school today and spending the day with me.   His parents (both teachers) and sister don't break up until this afternoon.    

In between walking the dog, feeding the hens and checking for eggs, we have been building lots of lego projects, and watching an episode of his favourite programme.  

We have also fitted in some Easter baking, of course.    I used fresh yeast to make these hot cross buns which I don't think he'd ever seen in action before.   He was very impressed by the way the yeast fed on the warm milk, water, sugar and flour and became a big, lively, bubbling mass.   It was worth the extra effort just to see his face.

Hot cross buns - I followed Ruth Mott's recipe from her 'Favourite Recipes' book.    I was a huge fan of the Victorian Kitchen series - and an even greater fan of Ruth herself.

The weather looks as though it is going to be rather typical for a Bank Holiday weekend, cold and wet.   No surprise there.

So I intend to make the most of it and spend the weekend reading.   I have a large stash of books which are simply begging to be read...  of course that doesn't mean that I will be granted the time to read, somehow I think the grandchildren will be spending rather more time here than at their own home!

This is what we did last Easter Sunday - an Easter egg hunt in our little woodland, no doubt we'll be having another one this year.   This young lady takes her handy sniffer-dog along to help.

This is what my grandson and I are having for tea today - lemon drizzle cake with white chocolate topping.   We both love this version.

One thing I should have mentioned in my previous post is that the lemon flavour really develops if you can leave the cake in a tin until the next day.    It does call for self-control, but it really is worth it.      The recipe is exactly as before, just substitute white chocolate for dark.

 'Happy Easter' from Parsonage Cottage.


  1. Lady Magnon has also been elbow deep in Hot X Bun mix; in her case it was Marry B's recipe..... well it would be wouldn't it.

    1. Marry B? That should read Mary B.

    2. I bet they were delicious, too.

      You may remember me as Elaine (Pear Tree Log, Bramble Rambles, A Woodland Journal) blogs which I abandoned because of some rather dodgy 'scraping' of my content - never did manage to get that successfully resolved. I left blogging behind for a while, but I missed it. So Felicity at Parsonage Cottage came into being and onto this exploration of my old recipe books. Happy Easter.

    3. I didn't realise it was you, Elaine. I'm following again!

    4. I didn't realise it was you, Elaine. I'm following again!

    5. It's definitely me; I'm just trying to share a little less about the family - but as my son and lovely daughter-in-law are coming to live in a village just a few miles away, there is less need to keep them updated with things here in England.

  2. I'm trying the King Arthur Hot Cross Bun recipe in the morning ... these look wonderfully golden brown! Happy Easter!

    1. Happy Easter, Susan. The Hot Cross Buns were very well received. My granddaughter ate two of them as soon as she got home from nursery school - older brother glowed with pride at having created such wonders!