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.

Saturday, 17 September 2016


Yesterday was a chilly, wet, and miserable day.

The canny cats decided to stay indoors and toast themselves in Cosy Corner, enjoying the heat from the Rayburn.

 I decided to bake.   Bread.  

One thing lead to another and I ended up with these.

The small ones are roughly the size of those miniature Hovis loaves which I remember from my childhood.   My grandchildren love the novelty of having a whole loaf to themselves every bit as much as my brothers and I used to.


Bread rolls for my grandchildren, a loaf for Miles and Poppy, and a loaf for us.   Happiness all round.

I used one of my favourite recipes by Dan Lepard,  his Sour Cream Sandwich Loaf recipe.  I didn't have sour cream in the house, but hey, so what!   I improvised and used some Greek yogurt instead - we always have a supply of that - and it worked just as well as ever.

The bread is light and fluffy and a pleasure to eat either buttered, or in a sandwich.   It also makes the best toast ever.  

One day I plan to explore some of the many bread recipes in my old books, I'll need to do some arithmetic and scale down the quantities.  They often call for "a peck of flower"  and I believe that a peck is something like 2 imperial gallons in volume...   I'll leave that all for another day!

I also found time to use some more apples.

This time I used a Tamasin Day Lewis recipe, taken from her book, "Kitchen Bible".    

It was a sublime apple pie, despite the rubbish photograph;  the  recipe has made it into my book of favourites.

Sprinkled among the apples was a mixture of molasses sugar, orange and lemon zest plus juice,  nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon, with tiny dabs of butter.     Heaven in a pie, far too nice, far too moreish.

I also made a Lemon Drizzle Cake for Poppy's birthday cake.    

Next year I hope to be writing about how we make Moon Cakes for the Chinese Festival which I told you about on my other blog.   

Enjoy your weekend!


  1. Look at those loaves! I spit on you 3 times so I don't give you the evil eye (so envious). Terrific idea doing a small loaf for each child. Mine would just love that too. And another 'must do' apple recipe.....oh boy, another pie another kilo.

  2. Hi Linda, I found those tiny loaf tins about ten years ago, way before I had any grandchildren. They were so cute and so cheap I just knew they would be useful.
    Those pie kilos are a pain, wish I knew how to make an equally delicious calorie-free one.

  3. I used to love those mini Hovis loaves when I was small, they were always my purchase of choice when I visited the baker. Lady Magnon makes a very good Lemon drizzle cake, she usually does one for MY birthday too.

    1. Hi Cro, Some things just work! That applies equally to mini loaves and Lemon Drizzle cake. No baking today; it is the one day of the year when the local fields become a motorbike race track so I'll be out there with my camera trying to capture at least one half-decent shot. Our normal peace and quiet should resume around 3.30 pm.

  4. happy kitty!!!!!!!!!! and yummy bread x

    1. Hi Dom, Welcome back from your holidays. Millie is having a great life with Sparky, so don't worry. The bread was scrumdidliumptious!x

  5. When I was younger(!), the little Hovis could not be bought locally. We always had them bought by Mum when she went to the Ideal Home Exhibition.
    Thanks for the reminder of those little treats that were unpacked with stuff that would clean silver or brass without any elbow grease or several little furry flat paintbrushes.

    1. Hello potty, Those little Hovis loaves live long in the memory of so many of us! I'm glad they were part of your childhood, too. Which reminds me, I haven't made any for my brothers yet, I must remedy that soon, see what memories are stimulated for them.