If you have any Portugese speaking friends, please let them know. This is more than just a recipe book. It has recipes from over 100 years ago and gives an insight into how people ate from 1909 to the present day. There are also anecdotes about the people from whom Viv received the recipes.
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Also, The ebook version of The Stones of Earth and Air, which has recently been released as an Audiobook, will be FREE from tomorrow until 7th July. Hurry to get this bargain before you miss it.
After the Crown Prince of Ponderia starts behaving strangely, his best friend Pettic discovers that the prince has been replaced by a doppelganger, and the real prince kidnapped.
Unable to accept the loss of his friend, Prince Torren, nor the cruel impostor to become the new king, Pettic sets on a quest to rescue the prince. After he sees the fake prince meet a mysterious man, Pettic discovers that Torren has been imprisoned in another plane of existence.
With the help of Blundo, the court magician, Pettic finds that the only way to enter this other world are with four keys, each of them associated with a different element. As Pettic sets on his seemingly impossible quest, he discovers that the four worlds that hold the keys are all vastly different… and more dangerous than he could have ever imagined.
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Before Covid-19 took over our lives and made it difficult to go out, except for essentials, few people made their own bread. I have always made it from time to time. I find it therapeutic, and the bread tastes so much better than the shop-bought stuff.
Hand-made is better than bread machine, too, in my opinion. I somehow feel that in a bread machine, it’s not really made by me. I stick in the ingredients and leave the machine to do the work.
However, when the lockdown came, everyone seemed to decide that this was the time to make their own bread (and cakes, probably biscuits, pies and everything else that needed flour). Flour vanished from the shelves, as did yeast, so I was stuck.
Amazon came to the rescue, however, and I got bread flour and yeast. (Both from the UK) I could only buy 16kg flour, so that’s a lot of loaves! I also bought some bread improver, too.
So we set off to make bread. We decided to experiment and wrote what we thought of each experiment.
First of all, I would like to mention the yeast. Of course, you can use fresh bakers’ yeast if you can get it. (I got some from Morrison’s before all this lockdown stuff kicked off.)
The problem with fresh yeast is that you need to use it fairly quickly as it only keeps 2 weeks maximum in a refrigerator.
Also, be careful when using dried yeast. Some is ‘quick’ or ‘fast-acting’ and some isn’t. If you have the fast-actingtype, you can simply sprinkle it on your flour and mix well in. For the other, non-quick, you need to activate it first in some warm water taken from the total amount you are going to use. If you like, you can add some sugar to help it get going, but not too much.
Here is my final recipe:
500g strong bread flour 350ml warm water (about 30C) 2 teaspoons sugar 7g dried yeast (activated if necessary with ½ teaspoon sugar) 5g bread improver (optional) 2 teaspoons salt.
Put the yeast into a cup and add ½ teaspoon from the sugar. Pour in about 50ml of warm (30C) water from the 350ml and stir with a fork. Put to one side and leave for around 10-15 minutes, or until it’s bubbling and frothy.
Carefully weigh the flour and put it into a large basin. Add the bread improver (if used) salt and the remaining sugar. Mix thoroughly together.
When the yeast is nice and frothy, pour it into the flour. Use a little of the warm water to make sure it’s all out of the cup, then add the rest of the water.
Mix until it comes together and makes a fairly sticky dough. Turn it out onto your work surface WITHOUT adding flour. If you put flour on your work surface, it will make your carefully weight amounts wrong.
Knead the dough. I used a technique from Richard Bertinet who is a professional baker. You can watch a video of how he kneads bread on YouTube.
When the dough is elastic, dust a large bowl, put the dough in and cover it with a clean tea towel. Leave in a fairly warm place for at least an hour. The length of time will depend on the warmth of the room. Wait until it has doubled in size.
Shape the dough and make rolls, round loaves, long rolls, or put it into a tin. Cover again with a tea towel and leave until doubled in size once again. The longer you leave it at this stage, the lighter your loaves will be. The yeast will produce more carbon dioxide and thus more holes.
Preheat your oven to its highest temperature (ideally around 250C). I heated mine to 230C which is as high as it will go. Heat for at least 30 minutes. I used a baking stone, already in the oven, but you can use an upturned baking tray, heated in the oven for the half hour.
I used a wooden slider thingy to get the bread off the tray it had proved on, but you can use whatever you have. Be very careful not to handle it as it will quickly collapse. Slide it onto your stone or tray and shut the oven door. I allowed it to cook for 10 minutes at the highest temperature then turned it down 20C as the first ones I made were slightly burned on the crust. Cooking time will depend on what you’ve made. Rolls will take around 15-20 minutes, but a large loaf can take up to 45 minutes. When cooked, the bread will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
You can get the ebook version of my first recipe book, Viv’s Family Recipes FREE from today until June 2nd. I have an interest in history as well as cooking and this book has recipes from the early part of the 20th Century until now. It is interesting to see how our tastes have changed during that time.
I’ve been wondering whether to publish another recipe book. This time it would be a yeast cookery book, I think. What do you think of that idea?
The recipes in this book date from the beginning of the 20th Century and cover the time up until the present day.
The very old ones come from a little book that Viv’s Grandmother had, in which she jotted down some recipes and her accounts, and dated them as 1909. Other recipes are from recipe books that belonged to Viv’s mother and aunt, many of which are mid 20th Century. It gives an interesting picture of how the foods we eat have changed over a century.
But this is not only a recipe book. Viv has put in comments that she remembers about the various people who supplied the recipes. There are also hints and tips about cleaning from early times as well as some of her grandmother’s old-fashioned ways of getting rid of coughs and colds.
Why not buy a copy for your favourite cook? They will be delighted with the historical information, and maybe wish to try out some of the old recipes that we no longer cook.
To buy, click here and the link will take you to Amazon where you are. Or click on the book cover in the side bar.
I would love to hear from you, especially if you choose to give the book as a present. Let me know how your loved one liked it.Or better still, post a review on Amazon.
Many years ago, I came by a small book that had belonged to my grandmother. In it were some recipes, and at the back, some of her accounts.
Then some years later, when I married, my mother gave me an exercise book in which she had written some of her recipes.
When her eldest sister died, who had no children, I acquired her recipe book.
My grandmother’s book had accounts dated 1909, many of my aunt’s would have been thirties and forties, and I suspect many of those my mother wrote down for me would have been fifties and sixties.
Added to recipes that I had acquired from friends, I thought this would make an interesting read for anyone interested in cooking, especially the kind of things our ancestors cooked.
I put together a book of these recipes that I called Viv’s Family Recipes. I added a few comments about the people who gave them as well, and in my Aunt’s book were some hints and tips for cleaning, which I added alongside some cures for ailments I remember from my Grandmother.
Viv’s Family Recipes is now on offer for the meagre price of $0.99, £0.99 until Thursday 21st November, so Hurry and get your copy. On Friday it will be back to its normal price.
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Thank you for reading. If you would like to reblog this, I would be most grateful.
I inherited a small book of hand-written recipes from my Grandmother. The back of the book had some of her household accounts and they were dated, so I know the date of the recipes was around 1909.
I found it interesting to peruse these old recipes and compare them with the food we eat now. There was so much more fat then, and it was mainly animal fat.
I thought you might be interested in looking at some of our history, as far as food is concerned, and so here is one of the puddings from Grandma’s Little Book.
Of course, the weights and measures were in imperial measures, so I changed them for a more modern audience. If you live in the USA, I’ve put Grandma’s measures in brackets.
This is not a picture of the Amber Pudding, but the nearest I could find as to what I think it is. It will not have the sauce.
Just over 100g (8oz) breadcrumbs
100g (8oz) beef suet
60g (2oz)moist brown sugar
3 dessertspoons marmalade
Mix all ingredients well together.
Put into a buttered basin.
Steam for 2 hours.
If you find these old recipes interesting, you can find out more in Viv’s Family Recipes. See the book on My Books page. Click on the link here and it will take you directly to the book’s page on Amazon.