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Mon, 19 Sep 2011
A brand new page especially for you. Cooking with a difference... Well not different but very old recipes from very old cook books and the normal banter to follow. Dodie xxx


Autumn and Acorns


Most of these recipes are at least fourty year's old but many, you will find even older and more daring.  I must admit to not trying every one of them myself, mainly due to the ingedients not the taste, which I am sure is delicious.

I think with it being Autumn a few recipes for this time of year wouldn't go amiss. ENJOY!

But before all that to accompany these recipe I have decided to add a little about the history of food and its changing habits over the years. not in any special order, today it could be food that the good King Henry ate, then the next might be Victorian or even what we bring in from abroad. Just enjoy the whole feast  that will be spread before you. Apples and Blackberries, definitely Autumnal and definitely centuries old.

AppleApples originated in the Middle East more than 4000 years ago; fruit have   been grown in the UK as a cultivated crop since the Roman occupation. Specially cultivated apple varieties spread across Europe to France, arriving in England at around the time of the Norman Conquest in 1066; and the Crab-tree apple or the Wild Apple Tree (Pyrus malus) may be a descendant of these early varieties.  The demise of rural areas and apple growing, commencing in the 13th Century with the Black Death, the War of the Roses and repeated droughts, was reversed by Henry VIII who instructed his fruiterer, Richard Harris, to establish the first large scale orchards at Teynham in Kent. Scouring the known world for the best fruit, the majority were pippin varieties or eating apples.

Blackberries have also grown across Asia, Europe and the Americas for tens of thousands of years. blackberryArchaeological records show that European inhabitants ate them as long ago as 8,000 BC.

During World War One, children in England were given time off school to collect blackberries for the production of juice that was sent to soldiers to help maintain health.

Today there are over 2,000 varieties found throughout the cooler regions of the world. Blackberries are more highly prized as a food in Britain and Northern Europe than anywhere else in the world.

And so with those few facts we shall get on with this small recipe.  So set your oven to 185c or gas mark 4 , then start preparing yourpudding;

Stuffed Apples with Fresh Blackberries


Apples and Blackberries

Sugar or Golden syrup

Peel and core sufficient apples for your diners.

Press the blackberries to a pulp and mix with either brown sugar or golden syrup.

Press this pulp down well into the opening of the apples, and if there is any left over throw it among the apples when you have placed them in the casserole or pie dish. Cover the dish with a plate, and cook in a moderate oven till soft.

Serve hot with custard or fresh cream.

And that is it! all of the recipe given in the Farmhouse Fare cookery book, compiled by The Farmers Weekly in 1954, and  from Mrs Livingstone who hailed from Warwickshire.

I do like these flowers

And what of all those apples and blackberries you have left over? Well what about some Blackberry and apple jam. This recipe also comes from a lady in Warwickshire, Mrs C. Harper and from the same wonderful Farmhouse Fare.

Easy to make Blackberry and Apple Jam.

3 lbs.  Apples (windfalls will do)           2 lbs.     Blackberries.

3 lbs   Sugar                                              1 teacup of cold water (not a Mug)

Do try to use a preserving pan, as most of the ordinary pans of today , won't take the heat of jam preserving.

Peel, core and cut the apples into thin slices and put in the preserving pan with the tea cup of water. Let them simmer until tender; then add the blackberries and boil together for 5 minutes before adding the sugar.

     Bring back to the boil and boil well for 25 to 30 minutes. 

Check for setting by placing a little of the jam on a cold, saucer, if ready it will set.

Oh my goodness, something I just remembered from my childhood and my mother who was a cook by trade. 

"Dorothy, have you remembered to take the pan off the fire before testing."

Yes and I mean the fire. We were lucky to have a huge range, with arms that folded across the fire to cook on. I'm afraid even in the fifties and early sixties electricity still wasn't the cooking genre that we used in the tiny Welsh village of "Bontnewydd" it was cooking on the fire and ironing with a flat iron. Aladdin Lamps and the loo was outside behind the holly bush in its own private shed. We were posh mind for our outside loo had two holes in, which meant you could take your younger sibling out with you to keep you company in the dark of night.

My Oh My, those were the days alright!

Good Cooking,  Dodie x

Posted 11:35

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