I love my pantry

When we built our house recently, one of the little treasures we loved about it, was the pantry off the kitchen.  My daughter calls it my ‘hobbit hole’ but it is a really wonderful room.  As well as storing food (although I don’t have nearly as much food as Bilbo Baggins – I am astounded by how much food one creature could have stashed away) I do have a bit stashed in there.  But the truly wonderful thing in the room is the amount of storage space.  As you can see by the photo I have room for books and knick knacks and all sorts of little treasures.

I love my pantry

I love my pantry

Now if you look closely at the books, you might see that one of them is missing a spine.  This was my very first cookbook, the one my Mum had to buy for me when I started high school just a few (cough cough) years ago.  I have referred to it so much over the years that the spine fell off some time ago.  Here it is – and yes, I know it is the “Revised Metric Edition” but don’t read anything into that – it really has nothing to do with how old it is…..

A cook book written for children...

A cook book written for children…

The reason I love this book so much is that it was WRITTEN FOR SCHOOLCHILDREN.   So it is simple.   The recipes are basic, so they are brilliant for the cooking challenged like me.   Over the years I have made many of them, and have adapted my favourites to suit me.  Later editions of this book (my children used an edition with COLOURED PHOTOGRAPHS!!) are more contemporary and have more international recipes, but I prefer my trusty old tattered, stained book.  And why not, when it teaches you yummy treats like these – don’t you just feel like pudding when the weather turns cold?

Chocolate self saucing pudding: (Serves 4)

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding

Cooking time – 45 minutes

Pudding

1 cup SR Flour

2 tsp cocoa

60g butter

½ cup caster sugar

1 egg, beaten

½ cup milk

Sauce

½ cup brown sugar

1 tbs cocoa

1 ¼ cups boiling water

Sift flour and cocoa.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg, mix well.  Stir in flour and milk to get a smooth consistency.

Pour into pie dish.  (If you are truly lazy and/or pushed for time, you can mix the batter in a soufflé dish, and bake it in the same dish).

Mix sugar and cocoa, sprinkle over batter.  Pour boiling water over the back of a spoon (to diffuse the water so it doesn’t make a crater in your batter) over the mixture.  Bake in an oven preheated to 190 degrees celcius (or 180 for a fan forced oven) for 45 minutes.

I like to serve it with cream, but you can use custard if you prefer.

 

Steamed jam pudding: (Serves 4)

Steamed Jam Pudding

Steamed Jam Pudding

Cooking time – 1.5 hours

125g butter

½ cup caster sugar

1 egg, beaten

3 drops vanilla essence

½ cup milk

1 ½ cups SR flour

3 tbs of your favourite jam

Cream butter and sugar, add egg and mix well.  Stir in flour and milk until batter is smooth.  In the bottom of a medium sized pudding steamer, place 3 tablespoons of your favourite jam.  Pour batter over.  Cover the steamer, and place on a trivet in a pot of boiling water.  The water should come about half way up the side of the pudding steamer.  Steam for 1 ½ hours, checking that the water doesn’t boil away, and topping up if necessary.  Upend pudding onto a serving dish so that the jam is on top, and serve with cream, ice-cream or custard.

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