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.

Monday, 4 July 2016

A Birthday Cake for Max

Last week I bought a punnet of gooseberries then quite forgot about them until this afternoon when I found them in the back of the salad drawer.    Mmmmn.   Well we have been busy working down at Cowslip Cottage, trying to get it finished in time for the return of Miles and Poppy, our son and daughter in law.    They fly in from Shanghai next week, along with their beautiful cat, Boy.

He is an indoor cat so once he gets used to being in England and living in Cowslip Cottage, he is going to enjoy watching these handsome animals in the parkland beyond the back gate.

He'll also enjoy watching the rabbits, squirrels and birds which visit the gardens.    Life is about to become very exciting for him.

Back to the gooseberries.   I decided to experiment, after all, Max loves the rhubarb and custard cakes which I made earlier in the year, so i reckoned it was worth swapping out the rhubarb for the equally tart gooseberries.

I originally posted about the rhubarb and custard cake here just substitute gooseberries for rhubarb.

I made it in the same way, baked it for the same amount of time, and then let it cool in the tin.   By the time Max came home from the cottage it had cooled and was ready to serve, with a scoop of really good vanilla ice cream, although it would work equally well with a drizzle of cream, creme fraiche, Greek yogurt or yet more custard.

It was declared a total success.    I'm delighted, that is puddings sorted out for this week.

Happy Birthday Max!


  1. Replies
    1. Cake with tart fruit and lashings of custard, perfect. How did you get on with making your cherry jam?

  2. Happy Birthday Max. Cake looks lush. Boy has such big eyes!

    1. Oh how he enjoyed that cake, Sol. Now that I have finally met Boy I can confirm that his eyes are beautiful and he is a truly delightful cat. He adores me, it's cupboard love but I'll take what I can get!