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Edited by Wendy Pang
Edited by Wendy Pang
Thanks Special thanks to Sandra Routley for passing on Lizzie Moody’s recipes and sparking the idea that recipes are something that link us to the women in our history. Thanks also to: Irma Gold, University of Canberra, for her guidance through the project Adrienne, Deb, Kate, and Rhonda — fellow editors in the Advanced Editing course, for thoughtful suggestions Michael Pang, for the graphic design Copyright holders for recipe text and photos: Kenneth Draney, Roy and Spencer Featherstone, Rose Komduur, Gay Middleton, Robert and Wendy Pang, and Sandra Routley.
Grandma's Recipes ISBN: 978-0-9806119-0-8 (online) ISBN: 978-0-9806119-1-5 (paperback) Publication date: January 2009 Recommended retail price: $0.00
Published and edited by Wendy Pang 17 Cloncurry St Kaleen 2617 ACT Australia email@example.com 61 2 6241 4487
Some rights reserved. Read http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/Catalog-in-publishing data for more information. Computer typeset in Calibri, Cambria and Scriptina Printed in Canberra, Australia and also distributed electronically 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Page Introduction 10
Lizzie Moody Dot Featherstone Sarah Jane Bailey Elsie McAllan Ruth Draney Rea Featherstone Emmie Featherstone
From Yorkshire to Toowoomba in 1910 Making do in the Depression – the thirties A widow raising nine children alone – the thirties Holding dreams of better times – the forties Raising a family through the church – the fifties The fifties housewife Country hospitality in town – the sixties
11 16 23 25 27 29 40
From the editor Cooking terms and ingredients Oven temperatures
In June 2007, I cooked a nostalgic dinner using favourite recipes from my mother Rea Featherstone. The meal was to celebrate my sister Judy’s visit from the United States. It included my brother Spencer’s and my families. Afterwards, I started to write out my mother’s recipes to share with everyone. Then I realised that the recipe book should include recipes from grandmothers, my mother and aunts. My cousin Rose Komduur sent me my grandmother Dot Featherstone’s Depression-era recipe book. My relative Sandra Routley sent me her grandmother’s recipes, reminding me that keeping their recipes alive is a way to remember our grandmothers. In the days when communities were small, most men were remembered for their contribution to the community in an obituary. The contribution our mothers and grandmothers made is rarely recognised this way. Some of them left England never to return, like Dot Featherstone and Lizzie Moody. Others were second-generation Australians like Rea and her sisters Elsie McAllen and Ruth Draney. They were the wives of working men – average Anglo-Celtic Australians. They pass down to us their way of speech, their linen and jewellery, their sewing machines and recipes. I hope you will cook some of these recipes and smile at others, remembering our grandmothers.
Wendy Pang Canberra December 2008
From Yorkshire to Toowoomba in 1910
Elizabeth Basterfield married John William (Jack) Moody in England, probably in the 1890s. They had four children before they decided to migrate to Toowoomba, Queensland, on SS Orvieto in September 1911. Their last child, also called John William (Bill) was born in Toowoomba. The family never returned to Britain. They left Britain at a turbulent time. After Edward VII died in 1910, there were extensive strikes of seamen and miners, dockers and railwaymen. Suffragettes were protesting vigorously. By coming to Australia, Lizzie gained the right to vote earlier than women in Britain. Lizzie settled into life in Toowoomba. Jack had a mixed business in Middlesborough, opposite the Hippodrome, and sold it before they left. In Toowoomba, as a first-class coach painter, he set up a coach-painting business. That business later employed young Bill and his cousin Don Featherstone. Although it isn’t difficult to find out about Jack’s life, it is more difficult to find out about Lizzie. She was a home-maker, and raised five children. She has left us some recipes, and through this tenuous link, we have a picture of Lizzie’s connection to the land of her birth. Lizzie’s granddaughter Sandra Routley, daughter of Lizzie’s son Les, sent me Lizzie’s Yorkshire recipes, with a reminder that we should not lose the recipes, as they are our heritage.
Moody’s Lizzie Moody’s recipes
From Yorkshire to Toowoomba in 1910
Peanut parkins Popovers Yorkshire bran loaf Yorkshire cheese cake Yorkshire fruit cake Yorkshire pudding
Lizzie Moody Peanut parkins
These biscuits are delicious. They cool quickly and need to be lifted off the tray before they cool, because they shatter.
Ingredients 1 ¼ cups sugar 1 cup plain flour 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon golden syrup grated rind of orange or lemon ½ teaspoon each of ginger, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda ¼ cup boiling water a few peanuts
Directions Mix dry ingredients. Melt butter and syrup. Dissolve bicarbonate of soda in ¼ cup boiling water. Mix well. Add peanuts. Place small pieces on a greased oven slide. Bake in a moderate oven (180° C). Leave plenty of room as they spread – 5 or 6 to the tray at a time is plenty.
When they are done on one side they pop over by themselves. Granddaughter Sandra used to eat them with syrup or jam.
Ingredients 1 egg ¾ cup milk pinch nutmeg pinch salt ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar 1 cup flour
Directions Beat egg and milk. Add nutmeg, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Sift cream of tartar into flour. Beat well. Fry walnut-sized balls in deep boiling fat.
Yorkshire bran loaf (sticky bread)
Use any cup size.
Ingredients 1 cup of each of the following: All Bran moist brown sugar seedless raisins milk self-raising flour
Directions Stir first 4 ingredients and leave overnight. Stir in flour. Put into loaf tin and cook for 1–1½ hours at 325° F (160° C).
Lizzie Moody Yorkshire cheese cake
Lizzie’s granddaughter Sandra suggests cottage cheese or ricotta instead of curds. Junket tablet is a source of rennet.
Ingredients – curds (no quantities given) rennet milk
Directions – curds Add rennet to milk and strain, or use sour milk and strain off whey.
Ingredients – cheese cake 2 eggs 2 ounces sugar (60 g) 2 teaspoons melted butter, if desired 2 ounces currants (60 g) ½ pound curds (250 g) rind of a lemon uncooked plain pastry case nutmeg to sprinkle on top
Directions – cheese cake Beat eggs and sugar and add melted butter, if desired. Stir in currants. Add curds. Put into an uncooked plain pastry case. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Cook until firm in a fairly slow oven (170° C).
Yorkshire fruit cake
To be eaten with cheese. Traditionally all the fruit and nuts are ground. I’ve suggested some directions, as none were provided.
Ingredients 1½ tablespoons plain flour 1½ tablespoons caster sugar 1½ tablespoons butter 12 eggs 2 pound currants (1 kg) ¼ pound sultanas (125 g) ¼ pound lemon peel (finely ground) (125 g) ¼ pound ground almonds (125 g) ¼ pound cherries (125 g) 1 nutmeg, grated 1 glass rum 1 teaspoon ground mace or black treacle 1 uncooked plain pastry case
Directions Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Add flour and spices to ground fruits. Combine all ingredients. Cook pastry case filled with weights such as dried peas, in oven for about 15 mins. Remove peas when cooked. Put mixture into cooled pastry case. Cook in a slow oven (150° C) for a long time – test after 1½ hrs.
Lizzie Moody Yorkshire pudding
A savoury pudding, this traditional British dish is to be served with roast meat and gravy. The Yorkshire pudding should rise into hills and valleys. The critical thing is to get the right sized tin for the recipe, and for the fat to be really hot.
Ingredients 1 egg salt and pepper ½ cup milk 1 tablespoon cold water 2 rounded tablespoons flour
Directions Mix well together and leave in refrigerator for at least an hour. Pour batter into hot fat in a baking tray. Cook in hot oven (230° C).
Making do in the Depression – the thirties
Dot and Joe Featherstone followed her brother Jack Moody and his wife Lizzie a few months later from Middlesborough to Toowoomba. Dot, Joe and their five boys arrived in Australia on SS Themistocles in January 1912. It was the same summer as Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole and Sir Robert Scott perished on the way back from it. This period of Antarctic exploration has been called the Heroic Age. I think that a woman who takes her family of five boys to the other side of the world, never again to see her eight other brothers and sisters, is heroic. Her sixth son, Ian (pronounced iron but known as Jack), was born in Toowoomba. Dot, born Eliza Dorothy Moody, was thirty-six when she arrived. She had long hair, and wore long dresses and corsets, in the style of the time. She must have been glad when the twenties arrived. Hems went up, corsets were abandoned, and hair was cropped. She started writing her recipe book in 1931, when she was in her fifties. 1932 was the worst year of the Depression in Australia. By then her boys were young men. Bill and youngest brother Jack, with a few mates, an old truck and an Alsatian dog, made their way from Maryborough in Queensland to Cairns, buying apples in bulk and selling them door-to-door to make a living. The recipes in Dot’s recipe book reflect a time when neighbours called each other ‘Mrs Langsdorff’ or ‘Mrs Featherstone’. In spite of the difficult times, they made eye masks for their beauty routine, and lotions for their hard-working hands. The life of a railwayman’s wife was not easy during the Depression. If people wanted beer or coffee, they made it at home. Visiting the doctor was rare, so housewives had many home remedies for their large families. Dot’s small black recipe book was given to me in 2007 by my cousin Rose. It is a glimpse of a difficult period in Dot’s life.
Featherstone’s Dot Featherstone’s recipes
Making do in the Depression – the thirties
Recipes Gem scones with anchovy butter Mock brains Tomato salad Malt biscuits Beer Coffee
Home remedies Cure for chilblains Cure for indigestion Cure for rheumatism Egg mask Fruit salts To soften hands Tonic for nervous and digestive systems
Dot Featherstone Gem scones with anchovy butter
A gem scone iron is a small metal baking tray with semi-circular depressions for the gem scones, which rise to create ball shapes. This is Dot’s recipe with Rea’s anchovy butter. Serve some gem scones with butter and some with anchovy butter. I have suggested directions.
Ingredients – gem scones 1 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons sugar 1 egg 1 cup milk 1½ cups flour 1½ teaspoons cream of tartar ¾ teaspoon soda pinch salt
Directions – gem scones Preheat gem scone irons in hot oven. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and milk alternately with sifted dry ingredients. Take the gem irons out of the oven. Put a tablespoon of mixture in each of the gem iron holes. Bake in hot oven (230° C) for 10 minutes or less. Serve hot. Directions – anchovy butter Mix all ingredients together well.
Ingredients – anchovy butter 1 tablespoon butter ¼ teaspoon dry mustard 2 teaspoons Anchovette or ½ teaspoon anchovy paste pinch cayenne 1 teaspoon vinegar
Sounds better than the real thing. From the days when mothers cooked breakfast.
Ingredients 1 cup rolled oats ½ cup boiling water parsley, chopped onion, chopped 1 egg breadcrumbs salt and pepper
Directions Cook oats in water with parsley and onion. When well cooked and thick, put in basin to set. Then cut in slices and fry to a nice golden brown in egg and breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
Dot Featherstone Tomato salad
When she was first married, Aussie Rea Featherstone was somewhat shocked by English Dot Featherstone’s Yorkshire approach to tomato salad.
Ingredients tomatoes, sliced vinegar
Directions Spread sliced tomatoes out on a serving dish. Pour a generous amount of vinegar over. Serve.
Rea’s copy of this recipe shows she was still calling her mother-in-law ‘Mrs Featherstone’ four years after she was married.
Ingredients 4 ounces butter (125 g) ½ cup brown sugar 1 tablespoon malt extract 1 tablespoon golden syrup ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 1½ cups flour 1½ cups rolled oats 1 cup coconut pinch salt
Directions Put first 4 ingredients into a saucepan and bring to boil. Add bicarbonate of soda dissolved in a little warm water. Have dry ingredients ready in a bowl. Pour hot syrup over dry ingredients and mix into a dough. Make walnut sized balls of dough and flatten on oven tray. Bake in moderate oven (180° C) about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Dot Featherstone Beer
Yes, beer. You’ll have to guess how big a packet of hops is, if you make this recipe.
Ingredients tin golden syrup large tin malt 3 pounds sugar (1.5 kg) 1 teaspoon salt ½ packet hops about 2 cups yeast
Directions Boil hops in 4 gallons (16 litres) water for 20 minutes. Add salt. Put in syrup and malt when moderately cool. When at blood heat, add yeast and allow to work about 60 hours skimming each day twice. Bottle and cap securely.
Two ways to make ‘coffee’. In the Depression, there was no money for luxuries like coffee. Dot didn’t specify how much treacle is needed.
Ingredients – version 1 1 pound wheat (500 g) 1 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons sugar Ingredients – version 2 2 cups bran 1 cup oatmeal pinch salt black treacle
Directions – version 1 Mix all ingredients. Brown in oven. Put through mincer. Directions – version 2 Damp dry ingredients with treacle and brown well in oven. Put through mincer.
Cure for chilblains
For those frosty Toowoomba winters.
Ingredients one fair-sized potato water to cover salt
Directions Peel potato then cut into pieces about ¼ inch (7 mm) thick. Place in basin and cover with salt. Stand for 8 to 12 hours. Strain juice, and keep in a bottle. Sponge affected parts with juice.
Cure for indigestion
A sixpenny coin is like a five cent coin. A shilling is like a ten cent coin.
Ingredients ½ pound sultanas (250 g) ½ pound dried figs (250 g) sixpence worth syrup of senna sixpence worth Peruvian bark (powdered) two shillings worth brandy
Directions Chop all ingredients and mix with brandy. Dose: 2 teaspoonsful every morning.
Cure for rheumatism
I suggest using cooked rhubarb. The amount of honey is up to you.
Ingredients 1 ounce sulphur (30 g) 1 ounce cream of tartar (30 g) 1 ounce rhubarb (30 g) honey
Directions Warm honey. Mix thoroughly. Dose: 2 teaspoonsful dissolved in tumbler of water at night and early morning. Can be flavoured with lemon juice or white wine.
Dot’s beauty treatment is not much different from the ones in women’s magazines today.
Ingredients 1 egg few drops glycerine honey
Directions Separate white from yolk of egg. Beat white to stiff froth. Add glycerine and apply mixture to face. Steam face for a minute then smooth honey all over the face and leave on for a few minutes.
Presumably for using in the bath
Ingredients ¼ pound cream of tartar (125 g) ¼ pound tartaric acid (125 g) ¼ pound bicarbonate of soda (125 g) ½ pound icing sugar (250 g) 4 packets Epsom salts 1 ounce magnesia (30 g)
Directions Mix thoroughly. Keep in a securely corked bottle in a dry place.
Dot Featherstone To soften hands
For hands rough from too much housework. A one shilling coin is like a ten cent coin.
Ingredients 1 teaspoon powdered starch juice of a lemon half bottle glycerine (1 shilling size)
Directions Mix starch and lemon juice. Add glycerine and boil till clear. Rub into hands at night.
Tonic for nervous and digestive systems
It makes me nervous to think what this would do to your digestive system.
Ingredients 1 pound eating prunes (500 g) 1 pound dates (500 g) ½ pound raisins (250 g) ½ pound currants (250 g) ½ pound sultanas (250 g) 1 pound figs (500 g) 1 ounce senna powder (30 g) 4 tablespoons honey
Directions Put all fruit through mincer. Add senna and honey. Dose: 2 teaspoonsful before breakfast and on retiring.
Sarah Jane Bailey
A widow raising nine children alone – the thirties
Sarah Jane Risson was born in Australia, of English immigrant parents who settled at Ma Ma Creek, at the foot of the Great Dividing Range. She grew up on a dairy farm carved out of the bush by her father, and went to school at the school that her father and others petitioned the government to build. Her husband Thomas Bailey’s story is similar. He was also a first-generation Australian, born of Scottish parents, who lived in the next valley at Flagstone Creek. When Thomas died after an accident at work as a carter in 1929, Sarah was left to raise those of her nine children still left at home. Through the thirties and forties, Sarah worked as a cleaner and laundress, and her younger children helped by picking up and delivering the laundry. My cousins remember a woman who could never stand seeing an idle child, so she would always give them something to do. She never had a holiday until her youngest daughter Rea took her to the Blue Mountains, after Rea started work about 1940. Sarah was a staunch member of the church, and made sure that all the children attended church and Sunday School regularly. Youngest daughter Rea was awarded an engraved gold brooch, for not missing a day at Sunday School for five years. Rea would walk to church, attend youth group, and walk back to sister Ruth’s home to look after her young cousins while their parents attended church, then she would take the children Sunday School. She would then walk them home, collect washing from a family and take it to her home. She would then return in the evening for another service. She would take the freshly ironed washing back on Monday. It is hard to imagine when Sarah had time for fancy cooking, but my cousins clearly remember her beautifully-presented rows of preserved fruit and vegetables on display in the kitchen.
Sarah Jane Bailey
Bailey’s Sarah Jane Bailey’s recipe
A widow raising nine children alone – the thirties
Bread and butter cucumbers
Economical and easy to make.
Ingredients 3 medium cucumbers 1 pound onions (optional)(500 g) 1 large green pepper (capsicum) ¼ cup salt 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed ½ teaspoon turmeric ½ teaspoon ground cloves 1 tablespoon mustard seed or 2 teaspoons mustard powder if seed unavailable ½ teaspoon celery seed 2 cups white vinegar
Directions Wash cucumbers and cut into very thin slices. Peel onions and cut into thin slices. Put cucumber and onion into a bowl with coarsely grated capsicum. Sprinkle with salt and stand 3 hours. Drain and rinse under cold water. Put brown sugar, turmeric, cloves, mustard seed, celery seed and vinegar in a large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and liquid comes to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add vegetables. Bring just to the boil. Remove from heat. Pack into sterilised jars. Pour liquid over and seal. Makes about 6 cups (1½ litres)
Holding dreams of better times – the forties
Elsie Bailey was Rea’s eldest sister. There were twenty years between them. Elsie would have been twenty-five when their father Thomas died unexpectedly. Because she was older, Elsie would have been one less for her widowed mother to look after. Rea, the youngest, was only five, and there were seven other brothers and sisters between the two of them. Perhaps because of family responsibilities, or the Depression, Elsie didn’t marry until she was thirtyfour. She married Andy McAllan, a widower with a young son and daughter. Their happiness was short-lived, as Elsie died seven years later. Rea copied this recipe into her recipe book about nine years after her eldest sister had died in 1943. Her recipe for a rich Christmas cake must date from before the war, because the ingredients would not have been available during that time, with wartime rationing. There was no question of making a cake with ten eggs. However, holding on to the dream of better times was important. This recipe and these photos are all I have from my Auntie Elsie.
McAllan’s Elsie McAllan’s recipe
Holding dreams of better times – the forties
I have suggested some instructions as none were given. This cake should keep well.
Ingredients 3 pounds dried mixed fruit (1.4 kg ) orange juice 1 wineglass rum 1 pound butter (500 g) 1 pound brown sugar (500 g) 10 eggs ½ packet spice 1 nutmeg, grated cinnamon salt and pepper 1 pound flour (500 g) 2 ounces self-raising flour (60 g) grated rind of a lemon 2 tablespoons milk
Directions Mix dried fruits and soak in orange juice and rum, preferably overnight. Beat butter and brown sugar. Add eggs. Add sifted dry ingredients and lemon rind. Mix well, while adding milk. Stir in fruit mixture. Put in a cake tin, lined with brown paper so that it is taller than the cake tin. Cook in a moderately slow oven (170° C) for 1– 1½ hrs.
Raising a family through the church – the fifties
Ruth and her older sister Elsie were born at Flagstone Creek, at the foot of the Great Dividing Range where Toowoomba is situated. The girls went to school there before the family moved to Toowoomba. Ruth was twenty-three years old when their father Thomas Bailey died. Ruth married Ray Draney, a fellow church member, the year after Thomas’s death. They had four children, and Ruth raised them all by herself while Ray was away for four years during World War II. Like her mother Sarah, Ruth was very active in the Toowoomba Church of Christ. This church was formed in Australia, and Ruth’s husband Ray became president of the church in Queensland. Ray often used to preach. His dedication included pushing two of his young children in a pram for miles across Toowoomba to preach at Harlaxton church on Sunday afternoons. Ruth assisted with Ladies Groups and the Women’s Ministry. She helped establish Mylo Home for the aged, where she eventually spent her last years. Her son Ken became a minister, and her daughter Aileen was a missionary in Papua New Guinea for many years. Ruth supported her daughter’s missionary work by writing to her every single week. Ruth raised four children in her home in Rome Street. Her recipe will feed a large family.
Draney’s Ruth Draney’s recipe
Raising a family through the church – the fifties
Mince was a staple food of Australian households. It was often fatty, so it was normal practice to boil the mince in a pan of water first, to remove the fat. This recipe is the first one in all these hand-written recipe books that refers to a world beyond English cookery. A sustaining meal to feed the whole family.
Ingredients 1 cup rice 1 tablespoon margarine 1 large onion 1½ teaspoons curry powder salt and pepper 4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced 1½ pounds mince (750 g) 1– 1½ pints water (700 mls)
Directions Soak rice for 30 minutes. Melt margarine in frypan. Brown sliced onion. Drain rice, add and coat well in margarine. Add curry powder and salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes. Add tomatoes, sprinkled with sugar if desired. Cook a few minutes. Add mince and water. Cook 30 minutes at 260° F (160° C). Stir frequently and add more water if required.
The fifties housewife
Rea married Bill Featherstone in 1948. He was nineteen years older than her. Perhaps he did not marry earlier because he was a young man during the Depression, and then he was away serving in World War II. As a child at primary school, Rea’s contribution to the war was to knit socks for servicemen, as she walked around the playground. Rea was a stay-at-home mum, sewing clothes for her four children on her Singer sewing machine housed in a silky oak cabinet made by her brother Stan. She loved to knit, and won a prize at a CWA competition for speed knitting against stiff opposition. She knitted seven complete dresses between the ages of 17 and 19, including a ballgown. Sadly, these dresses are lost to us. Postwar shortages affected the home cook during the fifties, but the shortages gradually eased. Rea has a number of recipes such as ‘mock chicken’, as she ‘made do’ with what she had. She optimistically started this recipe book on the day I was born. In the sixties, we children would come home to homemade slices and biscuits. She involved us all in bottling fruit in the Fowler’s Vacola. These were simple times for the children, if not for the housewife. Rea graduated from boiling the washing in a copper in the backyard to using a wringer machine about 1960. It took all Monday to wash and iron for a family of six. So to have a simple recipe for Washday Pudding was handy, because evening meals always included dessert . If it was ‘cook’s night off’, we would eat canned tomato soup with jaffles – sandwiches toasted in an iron jaffle maker heated in the firebox of the wood fire.
Rea Featherstone’s recipes
The fifties housewife
Nibbles and snacks Mock chicken Main course Crunchy Norwegian casserole French cabbage rolls Savoury chops Shepherd’s pie Biscuits cakes and sweets 123 piecrust with stewed fruit Delicious lemon cheese for tarts Eggless chocolate cake Melting moments Neenish tarts Pumpkin fruit cake Pusher biscuits Rocky road Washday pudding Lamingtons
Preserves Imitation apricot filling Tomato and passionfruit jam Hints To polish cutlery and silver Ivory knife handles For flies Curly wool
Rea Featherstone Mock chicken
We frequently ate this spread on our white bread sandwiches for school lunches.
Ingredients 1 small onion 1 rounded teaspoon butter 1 tomato, skinned and chopped 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs 1 beaten egg 1 tablespoon grated cheese salt and pepper to taste
Directions Cook onion slowly with butter, for about 10 minutes. Do not brown. Add the tomato and herbs, and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat. Add the beaten egg, salt and pepper, and cheese, and beat well. If the egg isn’t quite cooked, put back on the stove for a minute or two. Add 2 crushed shredded wheatmeal biscuits if required to be thicker.
Crunchy Norwegian casserole This was a Featherstone family favourite, often served in winter. Substitute chilli sauce if Tabasco is unavailable. Ingredients – white sauce 1 tablespoon flour 1 tablespoon butter 1 cup milk Directions – white sauce Melt butter and mix in flour. Heat remaining milk separately. Add a little warmed milk to the butter–flour mixture and stir to prevent lumps. Add more milk, stirring, and then add this mixture to the rest of the warmed milk. Cook until the sauce coats the back of a wooden spoon. Directions – casserole Combine and sauté vegetables. Mix in other ingredients and top with the melted butter and crumbs. Cook in moderate oven (180° C) for 30 minutes.
Ingredients – casserole ¾ cup green pepper ¾ cup onion 1 cup diced celery 7 ounces tuna (220 g) 3 ¾ ounce tin sardines (110 g) 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 2 drops Tabasco sauce 1 cup thick white sauce Topping 2 tablespoons melted butter 1 cup cornflake crumbs
Rea Featherstone French cabbage rolls
Another way to serve mince – a cheap family meal. I think the garlic is the reason for the ‘French’ name, as it was an unusual ingredient in the fifties.
Ingredients – filling ½ pound mince (250 g) ½ cup uncooked rice ½ cup soft breadcrumbs 4 tablespoons finely chopped onions 1 garlic clove ¼ teaspoon pepper 1½ teaspoon salt 2 large tablespoons margarine 12 tender cabbage leaves
Directions – cabbage rolls Mix together all ingredients except cabbage leaves. Simmer cabbage leaves in boiling water 3–5 minutes. Remove leaves. Drain and cut out rib, then spread with mixture. Roll firmly. Stack closely in oven dish. Put on lid and cook 40 minutes in a moderate oven (180° C). Pour sauce over cabbage rolls. Replace lid and cook another 20 minutes. Directions – sauce Cook onions and garlic in melted margarine for 2 minutes. Add plain flour and enough stock to make creamy sauce. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Ingredients – sauce 2 ounces margarine 2 teaspoons onion 1 garlic clove 2 tablespoon flour stock juice of a lemon salt and pepper
Mutton chops are no longer common, but it was everyday family food then.
Ingredients 1 pound stewing chops 4 slices bacon 1 carrot 1 onion 2 tablespoons flour plus salt and pepper, to make seasoned flour 2 cups water
Directions Trim chops and cut rind off bacon. Scrape and slice carrot. Peel and slice onion. Roll chops in seasoned flour. Into a pie dish place layers of chops, bacon, carrot and onion. Add water. Cover pie dish and bake in moderate oven (180° C) for 1–1½ hours.
This traditional dish warmed the family on cold winter nights.
Ingredients – stewed mince 1 pound mince (500 g) 1 onion parsley 1 small carrot, grated ½ cup water 1½ teaspoons salt pepper 2 tablespoons flour 1–2 tomatoes, sliced Ingredients – mashed potato 4 large potatoes 1 rounded teaspoon butter 2–3 tablespoon milk
Directions – stewed mince Place meat, chopped onion, parsley and grated carrot in a saucepan. Add water, salt and pepper. Cook over gentle heat until well cooked. Add water if necessary. Sprinkle flour over meat and mix well. Allow to thicken. Pour into pie dish and cover with slices of tomato, if desired. Directions – mashed potato Peel potatoes and cut into chunks. Add to boiling water and boil until very soft. Drain. Return to saucepan. Add butter and a good dash of milk. Beat well until very smooth. To assemble
extra butter, melted
Put the mince into a greased rectangular baking dish, and top with mashed potato. Use a fork to decorate the top, and brush with melted butter. Cook in a hot oven (230° C) for 15 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve hot.
Rea Featherstone 123 piecrust with stewed fruit
As easy to make as it is to remember: 1–2–3. I suggest baking in a moderate oven for 20 minutes.
Ingredients 1 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons sugar 3 tablespoons self-raising flour Stewed fruit such as peach or quince
Directions Mix ingredients together with fingers until crumbly and sprinkle it thickly over cooked fruit. Bake in usual way, but not too quickly.
Delicious lemon cheese for tarts
Rea used to say that the lemons must be fully ripe, and that the recipe will not set with Meyer lemons. This is typical picnic food, served in a crumbed biscuit tart shell and eaten with a cup of hot tea while Bill and Uncle Don painted watercolours of gum trees down by the creek.
Ingredients 1 tin condensed milk rind and juice of 4 lemons egg yolks tart shell made of biscuit crumbs and melted butter, chilled
Directions Mix all ingredients well. Spread mixture in tart shell. Store in ice chest.
Eggless chocolate cake
There are many eggless recipes in Rea’s recipe book. This may be because of post-war shortages.
Ingredients 1 cup hot water 4 teaspoons golden syrup ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 3 tablespoons margarine ½ cup brown sugar 2 cups self-raising flour 2 tablespoons cocoa pinch salt
Directions Place ingredients in basin in order listed, up to the flour. When margarine has melted, add self-raising flour and cocoa. Mix thoroughly. Bake in a moderate oven (180° C) about 25 minutes.
Rea Featherstone Melting moments
A classic biscuit recipe. We often found these in the bikkie tin when we came home from school.
Ingredients ¼ to ½ pound butter (125–250 g) 2 ounces sugar (60 g) 4 ounces cornflour (125 g)
Directions Beat butter and sugar to a cream then sift cornflour in slowly. Roll into walnut sized balls in the palms of the hands. Put on a greased paper on biscuit tray. Use a fork to flatten onto the tray. Bake in a moderate oven (180° C) about 10 minutes. Sandwich pairs together with white icing.
Rea recommends these special-occasions tarts for afternoon tea, or to serve with coffee after dinner. Almond meal should be used for the pastry, she says, but champagne pastry is good too.
Ingredients – champagne pastry 3 ounces butter (90 g) ¼ cup caster sugar 1 egg yolk ¾ cup flour ½ cup self-raising flour pinch salt 1 tablespoon milk
Directions – champagne pastry Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolk then sifted flour alternately with milk. Knead. Rest 15 minutes. Roll out thinly. Cut circles for tartlets. Prick with fork after placing on tray to bake. Bake 10 minutes at 375° F (190° C). Makes about 20 small tart shells. Cool before filling. Directions – almond cream Cream butter and icing sugar, then add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Fill the small tart shells with almond cream, smoothing it over so it is even with the tart edges. Chill in fridge. Directions – icing Make the white icing. Halve, and add cocoa to one half to make brown icing.
Ingredients – almond cream 3 ounces butter (90 g) 6 level tablespoons icing sugar 1½ tablespoons condensed milk 3 tablespoons honey few drops almond essence
Ingredients – icing 1 cup icing mixture 1 tablespoon butter 1½ tablespoons milk Brown icing 1 tablespoon cocoa
To assemble Ice each filled tart half with white icing and half with chocolate icing. 35
Pumpkin fruit cake
This was Rea’s most famous recipe. A beautiful moist golden fruit cake.
Ingredients ½ pound butter (250 g) 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 cup cold mashed pumpkin 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon cream of tartar ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 packet mixed fruit (375 g)
Directions Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Add pumpkin and sifted dry ingredients, and lastly mixed fruit. Bake in a slow oven (150° C) 1½–2 hours.
This buttery mix can be pushed through a metal biscuit maker tube using different inserts to make a variety of decorative biscuits that look good for Christmas. Kids enjoy helping to make these.
Ingredients 2 ounces butter or dripping (60 g) 2 ounces sugar (60 g) 1 egg 6 ounces self-raising flour (180 g) ¼ teaspoon salt
Directions Beat butter or dripping and sugar to a cream. Add egg and sifted dry ingredients. Mix and put mixture through pusher. If mixture is too stiff for pusher, add a little boiling water after adding flour. Cook in moderate oven (180° C) about 10 minutes. Variations Vanilla fingers: add vanilla essence. Strawberry cream: add strawberry essence and join biscuits with strawberry icing. Monte Carlos: Add 1 tablespoon honey. Join with raspberry jam and vanilla icing.
Rea Featherstone Rocky road
Rea has many recipes for sweets. The kids helped her make them for school fetes. Instead of Jellettes, make different colours of packet jelly with half quantity of water. When the jellies are set, dice. You can also add sultanas.
Ingredients 6 ounces marshmallows 4 ounces white shortening (Copha) ¾ cup sifted icing sugar 2 tablespoons cocoa vanilla ½ cup walnuts or peanuts 3 coloured Jellettes (chopped)
Directions Cut marshmallows into small pieces. Grease 7 inch square tin. Melt shortening over gentle heat – it must only be lukewarm. Add to icing sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Mix till smooth. Fold through marshmallows, nuts and Jellette pieces. Press into prepared tin, chill. Cut into squares. Wrap if desired.
Even after a day boiling the copper and folding the family washing, the family expected dessert. It needs no sauce as it has enough.
Ingredients 1½ cups self-raising flour 1 tablespoon butter 2 tablespoons boiling water ½ cup milk ½ cup sugar 1 tablespoon syrup 1 tablespoon butter 1 cup boiling water, extra
Directions Rub flour and butter together. Add boiling water and milk. Mix well. Cover with sugar, syrup, butter and 1 cup boiling water. Stand basin in boiling water and steam ½ hour. Do not cover basin with lid.
Tomato and passionfruit jam
Women used what they had on hand, and adapted recipes to use available ingredients. Rea also made jam from rosellas, a native fruit.
Ingredients 2 pounds ripe tomatoes (1 kg) 1 pound peeled and cored apples (500 g) 6 passionfruit 3 pounds sugar (1.5 kg)
Directions Peel and slice tomatoes and add chopped apples and boil together until soft. Add sugar. Stir until dissolved then boil the mixture hard for about 30 minutes. Add the passionfruit pulp. Boil again for 5 minutes. Test the jam and continue to boil till setting point is reached. Bottle in sterilised jars. 37
Rea Featherstone Imitation apricot filling
This surprising recipe is nice in tarts or biscuits. Don't mention it has choko and no-one will know what it really is, Rea tells us. It’s important to mash the chokos well.
Ingredients 1 pound sugar (500 g) 1 pound tree tomatoes (tamarillos) (500 g) 4 or 5 chokos
Directions Slice the tree tomatoes and cover with sugar. Allow to stand overnight. Peel and cook the chokos while sugar and tree tomatoes are cooking. Drain and mash chokos well or puree them. Add to fruit–sugar mixture. Cook until it jells.
Lamingtons were invented in Toowoomba in 1896. Lord Lamington, the Governor of Queensland, used to spend each summer at Harlaxton House. His cook, unable to bake the snowball cakes he liked, invented what we now know as lamingtons.
Ingredients ½ cup butter 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 2/3 cup milk 2 cups flour 3 teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt
Directions Cream butter and sugar, beating until very light. Add beaten eggs and vanilla. Sift flour with baking powder and salt. Add some sifted dry ingredients to the mixture, then some milk. Continue adding flour then milk until it is all used. Bake in greased and floured tin for about 20 minutes at 180° C. Cut cooled cake into squares. Roll each lamington in brown icing and dip in coconut.
To polish cutlery and silver
This imparts a brilliant polish, and cutlery will not require any special treatment if treated in this way every fortnight. The mixture is also good for household silver.
Ingredients 1 cup yellow soap 1 cup washing soda 1 cup whiting
Directions Dissolve all ingredients in a saucepan over a slow fire. Pour into a tin. Place the cutlery in a dish with 2 teaspoons of the mixture, pour in hot water, and wash in the usual way. Dry the cutlery while hot.
For ivory knife handles
Rea received ivory-handled knives for her wedding. You might find some at vintage markets.
Ingredients lemon rind salt
Directions Ivory knife handles will turn yellowish if they are allowed to go without a periodical treatment of being rubbed over with a piece of lemon rind dipped in salt.
Rea’s answer for a constant problem.
Ingredients ½ teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon cream
Directions Mix well and place on plate in room.
For curly wool
Rea loved to knit. If one of the kids grew out of a jumper, this was how to recycle the wool.
Requirements unravelled wool from an old garment aluminium saucepan
Directions Wind wool round saucepan. Fill saucepan with almost boiling water and allow it to stand with wool round it, while there is any heat in the water. When removed wool is ready to reknit.
Country hospitality in town – the sixties
Emmie Gillam was descended from the family of Charles Gillam, gentleman, of Allora. She loved horses, and rode well. Her daughter Rose inherited her love of animals, and they both share the wonderfully warm sense of hospitality that is typical of country people. Emmie, small and round, married Don Featherstone, tall and thin. They shared a warm relationship, always teasing each other. There was usually a very chatty budgie in the kitchen, who could call the dogs to come for dinner, sounding just like Emmie. There was usually at least one dog underfoot, and our favourite cousin Rose’s cats, cockies and curlews roamed the back yard. When television came to Toowoomba about 1960, Bill and Rea didn’t buy one. Often on a Sunday night, the Ford Prefect with four children in the back would drive over to Don and Emmie’s to watch TV. We were supposed to go home before the movie, but we children would try to get the adults chatting so that they would not notice that the movie had started. Then we would need to stay for supper, wouldn’t we? Saos with cheese and tomato, and a warm tea cake were Emmie’s favourites – and ours.
Emmie Featherstone’s recipes
Country hospitality in town – the sixties
Saos with cheese and tomato
Sometimes the simplest things are the best.
Ingredients Sao biscuits butter (not margarine) tasty cheese home-grown tomato salt and pepper
Directions Butter Sao biscuits. Top with sliced tasty cheese and a slice of home-grown tomato. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Served warm, with cinnamon sugar that sticks to fingers.
Ingredients 1 large tablespoon butter ½ cup sugar 1 egg ½ cup milk vanilla 1 cup self-raising flour Ingredients – topping 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon coconut 1 rounded teaspoon butter
Directions Cream butter and sugar. Add well-beaten egg, milk and vanilla, then flour. Bake in a buttered tin, in a moderate oven (180° C) for about 20 minutes.
Directions – topping When the cake is nearly ready, mix topping ingredients. Smooth over hot cake. Put back in oven for a few minutes. Serve hot or cold.
From the editor
All these recipes came from hand-written recipe books. I have not cooked them all, so I can give no assurance that the recipes work. However, I am sure you can trust these grandmothers, as they used the recipes themselves. I would not suggest you try the home remedies, nor would I suggest that making your own beer or coffee from these recipes is a good idea. As grandma would say, “Just use your common sense!” Where possible, I have provided Australian Standard metric conversions for imperial measurements, based on the Macquarie Dictionary of Cooking, McMahon’s Point, N.S.W. , edited by Judy Jones in 1983. I have not attempted to provide equivalents for things like ‘2 shillings worth brandy’, or ‘large tin malt’.
Cooking terms and ingredients
Cup – use a standard Australian measuring cup, whether you are using imperial measurements or metric. There is little difference. Hops, malt, Peruvian bark, syrup of senna – If you wish to prepare recipes using these ingredients, I suggest you do your own research.
Moderately slow oven Slow oven Moderate oven Hot oven
330° F/170° C 250° F/150° C 350° F/180° C 450° F/230° C
Front cover Lizzie Moody © Sandra Routley, Dot Featherstone © Roy Featherstone, Sarah Jane Bailey © Kenneth Draney, Elsie McAllan, and Ruth Draney © Gay Middleton, Rea Featherstone © Spencer Featherstone, Emmie Featherstone © Spencer Featherstone Rose’s wishes © Wendy Pang Jack and Lizzie Moody © Sandra Routley Lizzie Moody’s Yorkshire fruit cake recipe recorded by Sandra Routley © Wendy Pang Lizzie Moody’s popovers recipe recorded by Sandra Routley © Wendy Pang Dot Featherstone — Darlington, UK, about 1910 © Roy Featherstone Dot Featherstone’s kisses and mock brains recipes © Wendy Pang Joseph and Dot Featherstone, William and Elizabeth Hunt, and boys (L to R): Sydney, William, Joseph Charles, Eric and Maurice © Roy Featherstone Dot Featherstone’s recipe book dated 1931 © Wendy Pang Sarah Jane Bailey © Gay Middleton Sarah Bailey’s home at 168A Bridge St Toowoomba — 1960s © Gay Middleton Elsie McAllan © Gay Middleton Elsie McAllan, step-children Hughie and Eunice, and possibly husband Andy — about 1940 © Gay Middleton Ruth Draney — about 1950 © Kenneth Draney Church of Christ Toowoomba © Gay Middleton Rea Featherstone © Spencer Featherstone Featherstones — Bill, Rea, Spencer (obscured), Wendy, Judy, Roy and dog Andy — Toowoomba, about 1962 © Rose Komduur Rea Featherstone’s recipe book dated 1952 © Wendy Pang Rea Featherstone’s recipe for sardine scones © Wendy Pang Christmas at home — Toowoomba 1960s © Roy Featherstone Emmie Featherstone — Toowoomba 1970s © Spencer Featherstone Featherstones — Emmie, Don, Dot with Lal and Rose in front — possibly 1950s © Rose Komduur Wendy Pang © Robert Pang Dot Featherstone, William and Elizabeth Hunt — Toowoomba about 1913 © Roy Featherstone
7 11 12 15 16 17 19
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
33 36 38 40 41 45 Back cover
Entree or snacks
Gem scones with anchovy butter Mock chicken Popovers Saos with cheese and tomato 18 31 15 41
Preserves and beverages
Beer Coffee Tomato and passionfruit jam 19 20 37
Crunchy Norwegian casserole French cabbage rolls Mexicana mince Savoury chops Shepherd’s pie 31 32 28 32 33
Home remedies and hints
Cure for chilblains Cure for indigestion Cure for rheumatism Egg mask For curly wool For flies For ivory knife handles Fruit salts To soften hands To polish cutlery and silver Tonic for nervous and digestive systems 20 20 21 21 39 39 39 21 21 38 22
Bread and butter cucumbers Mock brains Tomato salad Yorkshire pudding 24 18 19 15
Desserts and sweets
123 piecrust with stewed fruit Delicious lemon cheese for tarts Imitation apricot filling Neenish tarts Rocky road Washday pudding 33 34 38 35 37 37
Biscuits and cakes
Christmas cake Eggless chocolate cake Lamingtons Malt biscuits Melting moments Peanut parkins Pumpkin fruit cake Pusher biscuits Sticky bread Tea cake Yorkshire bran loaf Yorkshire cheese cake Yorkshire fruit cake 26 34 38 19 34 13 36 36 13 41 13 26 14
Wendy Pang is a baby-boomer, now taking time to reflect on where she came from. She went to school at Toowoomba High School, like her mother, and then to the University of Queensland. Wendy spent a year in France before marrying her Malaysian Chinese husband, Robert Pang, and raising three children – Andrew, Kim and Michael. Wendy and Robert met in Brisbane and spent seven years in Perth, where she taught in high schools, before moving to Canberra in 1984. She joined the Public Service and worked in computing and departmental libraries before becoming a website manager. She enjoys quilting and founded Australia’s first online quilt group, who later created a Bicentennial figure in her honour. She has won gold medals at the Australian Masters Rowing Championships. She inherited a sweet tooth from her mother, and enjoys cooking cakes and biscuits. Most of the household cooking is done by her husband, and they both agree that this is a good thing.
Grandma’s recipes brings together recipes from a group of women related to the editor. They lived in Toowoomba, Queensland, from 1910 onwards. The recipes represent home-cooking through the twentieth century, when the Depression and World War II affected daily lives dramatically. Reading the recipes offers a glimpse of the lives of mothers and home-makers – a role that is hidden from society at large, but represents a big influence on family, friends and neighbours. Wendy Pang presents recipes with metric measurements where possible, so that they can be enjoyed today. There are also recipes that readers will wonder at, but probably not want to recreate – like recipes for making coffee from wheat. Enjoy the recipes. Cook them, and remember the hard-working women who went before us.
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