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About Margo

I was born in London at the end of The Battle of Britain, during The Blitz. The family moved to Gloucestershire at the end of the war when my parents had a change of career and took over a hotel. I was a student at The Gloucestershire Training College of Domestic Science and gained a Diploma in Institutional Management in 1961. As a career in the catering industry was not compatible with married life, particularly to that with a RAF Officer, I followed the flag around the world and enjoyed life bringing up two little boys. We lived in Berkshire, Sussex, Singapore, Cyprus, Somerset, Suffolk, Rutland, Germany, Wiltshire and South Africa and I have now, at last, returned to Gloucestershire and have no intention of moving again. In Cyprus in the late 1960s I was involved in the publication of a cookery book called the Cyprus Cooks Calendar, which gave me an insight into writing a cookery book and I had a couple of my recipes published in that. In Germany in the late 1970s I had the opportunity to write the English cookery version of an American diet book for arthritics. The book Diet for Life was published by Pan in 1980. Hamlyn bought the title and published it as part of a set of glossy dietary books, which was great, as I got to work with their home economists doing the photography. Diet for Life was 2

translated into French and Serbo Croat! In the late 1980s I edited The Malmesbury Abbey Cook Book, which was sold to raise funds for The Abbey. As I began to do more teaching of adults I re-trained as a Lecturer in Further Education at The Lady Spencer College in Oxford, and gained my Teachers Certificate in 1981. After this I taught full time at both Swindon and Chippenham Colleges of Further Education. A spell in South Africa in 1990 curtailed my full-time teaching and, on returning to the UK in 1992, I set up my own small catering company called Cuisinires. When we moved from Crudwell, across the county border into Tetbury in 2002, I fully retired and have enjoyed putting together this book of recipes and anecdotes, which have played a large part in my life over the past 60 plus years.


A Collection of recipes used over the years by members of the Smith-Cumberlidge families with later influences by the Colemans and the Barbers

Dedicated with love To my grandsons William, Matthew and Oliver

Margo Smith


Copyright Margo Smith The right of Margo Smith to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with section 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers. Any person who commits any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. A CIP catalogue record for this title is available from the British Library.

ISBN 978 1 84963 298 0 First Published (2013) Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd. 25 Canada Square Canary Wharf London E14 5LB

Printed & Bound in Great Britain 7

Thanks to my darling husband Roger who has eaten his way through all the food and regularly sorted out the computer.

When I first started to put together this collection of recipes it was only meant for my immediate family. Like many people who have had to feed a family everyday over many years, I had cut recipes from magazines and newspapers and I also had notes about dishes I had enjoyed, along with my professional notes. Some of it had been put into files, other bits just left on scraps of paper. As one reaches a certain age there are things that get put on The Bucket List that is things to do before one gets to a point of shuffling off this mortal coil. Sorting my recipes was one of those jobs. As I began my sort, I thought it would be fun to put the recipes in some sort of chronological order, and as we had moved around the world quite a bit, they could be grouped into countries as well, telling the story of a military wife travelling around the world with her husband. The next stage was publishing and I am delighted that Austin Macauley liked the manuscript enough to put it into print. I do hope you enjoy using the recipes and hearing a little about my travels. I always used to say there were three people in our marriage, Roger, Me, and The Queen, and what The Queen said came first! But, it has been a great adventure in many ways and I am pleased that I lived at a time when travelling at The Crowns expense was still possible. There are a number of people who I need to thank, because without their help this book would never have been published. Firstly my very dear Roger, who has eaten his way through all this food over the past 48 years and has become a pretty good cook himself along the way. He has also been the person who has stepped in to stop my tantrums when the computer has not 9

performed what I thought it should have done, and calmly taken over and sorted out the mess. To my family and friends who have given me recipes, ideas and inspiration to produce dishes for special occasions, and who have also eaten through their share of some of the prototypes. Thanks also to Kay Adkins, whose friendship dates back to the early 80s when we all lived in Wiltshire. She very skilfully helped me balance peppers on the edge of an ironing board in my kitchen so that she could take the photo for the cover of the book, and then make it look as though I am at the bottom of The Chipping Steps! Finally there is also an artistic import from Roger who did the line drawings

Margo Smith

Tetbury July 2012


Food Family and Faraway Places

By Margo Smith A unique cookery book divided in to geographical/ autobiographical sections starting from my early life growing up in a hotel in Gloucestershire, and then on to the worldwide travels as the wife of a serving officer in the Royal Air Force. The recipes are in chronological order with anecdotes. We moved 24 times in the first 20 years of our marriage, living in 5 counties in England and 5 countries overseas. Now retired we have now lived in Tetbury for 10 years and have no plans to move anywhere else! My original training was in Hotel and Catering Management, but retrained as a Lecturer so that I could teach Catering Students; I have also run my own Catering Company. Over the years I have been involved with the publication of several cookery books, including the best seller Diet for Life A Cook Book for Arthritics which was published by Pan.


Family Members mentioned in the book

My parents, Bill and Lillian Cumberlidge, married in 1929, both now deceased. I married Roger Smith in 1963 and we have two sons Duncan and Antony. Duncan married Karen in 1987 and they also have two sons, William and Matthew and they live in Canada. Antony married Estelle in 2002 and they have one son Oliver often called Ollie. Rogers parents Bernard and Margaret married in 1940 and they had no other children. They originally lived in Kenya but moved to South Africa in 1960. They both died in 1990. Rogers mother Margaret had two sisters Doreen and Thelma. Doreen married George Bonnar and they lived initially in Kenya then South Africa and finally Zimbabwe, sadly both now dead. Thelma married Jimmy Lapraik, in Kenya and they worked for many years in various countries in Africa, and they came to England in early 80s with twins Graham and Victoria. Unhappily Jim and Victoria are no longer with us. My sister Mary married John Worgan in 1960 and they have a daughter Elizabeth and a son Christopher. Elizabeth married Paul Ashford in 2000 and they have three daughters Phoebe, Alexia and Georgina.


Chapter 1 Early Days


My parents left London at the end of the war and we moved to Lydney in Gloucestershire. I was 5 years old. Having spent a large part of my childhood living near the River Severn, salmon was a regular part of our diet. This was long before salmon was ever farmed; we used to eat Wild Salmon straight from the river. My parents Bill and Lillian Cumberlidge used to run a Commercial Hotel in the small town of Lydney. It was called a commercial hotel because many of the guests were Travellers, today we would refer to them as Salesmen, who travelled around the country taking the latest items to hit the market to local companies. Along with the 9 bedrooms the hotel boasted an Assembly Room, and it was in this room that Salmon featured so much in the meals that were served. At that time, pre 1955, Wales did not serve alcohol on a Sunday and the Welsh border was about 9 miles away. Some enterprising soul from The Welsh Valleys saw a gap in the market, so on Sundays from about April through to September the Sunday Mystery Tours were started. A group of miners would get together about midday, pile on to a coach and be driven from the valleys through Chepstow and the Wye Valley, visit Symonds Yat Rock, then down through The Forest of Dean into Lydney. They would arrive at about 5pm. Now the bars didnt open until 7pm on a Sunday, so during that 2-hour spell, we would serve Severn Salmon Teas. If my memory serves me right, my parents used to charge 5/- (shillings) per head. In todays money (201 2) 25p, however, 5/- went a long way then and it was not that cheap. We regularly served up to 100 people on a Sunday. They sat at long trestle tables, covered with snowy white cloths, and the menu never varied! In front of every person would be a pre-plated salmon salad: 14

200g/8oz Salmon, some lettuce, 1/2 tomato, 4 slices of cucumber, 1 tablespoon of diced beetroot in vinegar, and a dollop of salad cream. Along the tables would be placed plates of bread and butter, and many cups of tea would be poured. For Afters they would have an individual Trifle. The reason why I remember this in so much detail is that from an early age, my sister Mary and I would be involved in the laying of the tables, making sure that the salt and pepper pots were full (I can get very angry in a restaurant today if a salt pot is empty!) and then all the fetching and carrying of the plates from the kitchen to the Assembly Room. The plates would be laid out on the enormous kitchen tables and in a very organised way they would be filled. Mother always did the salmon as she could judge an 8oz piece of salmon to within a few grams, and then the rest of the team would follow behind with the salad, tomatoes etc. I always hated doing the beetroot as I thought it looked as though someone had bled all over the plate: The waiters would then move the filled plates to the Assembly Room, so that the big table could be covered with more empty plates. I know that we used to work at a fast pace, as this needed to be fitted in between the bars closing at 2pm after the lunch time trade and the 5pm arrival. I never remember a lot of waiters, certainly no more than 3 or 4, which is why Mary and I were involved. I do remember that it was never something Mary enjoyed doing and being older than me she could often find somewhere else she preferred to be between 2pm and 7pm on a Sunday. (Maybe out with boyfriend John her future husband!) The trifles, which would have been made the day before, were served in little conical shaped glass dishes. Firstly a piece of trifle sponge, split and spread with jam would be rammed in the bottom of the dish next came 2 or 3 pieces of canned peach slices and then red jelly was poured on top. When set, the jelly was covered with Birds custard to just below the rim. This was important because on the Sunday morning it was often my job to pour a thin layer of evaporated milk over the custard, sprinkle over some 15

desiccated coconut and top with a piece of glac cherry. Haute Cuisine it was not, but it was a good business and very much enjoyed by the customers, in the days when eating out was a very rare treat for the vast majority of people. After the tables had been cleared and the bars opened, the customers would all enjoy a few drinks and would spend the evening singing. They would often have Male Voice Choirs with them and we would hear hymns and ballads, old and new pop songs, all sung in 4-part harmony, and a fantastic sound. Quite a regular singer to come along with the coach parties was a young girl from Cardiff called Shirley Bassey who of course went on to greater things. As our bedroom overlooked the Assembly Room, for many years I went to sleep to the sound of those voices singing Cwm Rhondda. The main part of this meal was of course the salmon. Salmon weighing 25-30lbs were not uncommon and they would be delivered to the hotel on the Friday. The whole fish would have been gutted and scaled, and Mother would wrap the fish in some old sheeting. In the kitchen there was a large Copper. These were usually used for laundry, and consisted of a galvanised iron pan with a gas jet underneath but I have to say our copper was never used to launder the hotel laundry. The pan would be filled with cold water to which would be added a good few glugs of malt vinegar. The gas would be lit and in would go the wrapped fish. As soon as the water came to the boil, the gas would be turned off and the fish left in the water overnight. The following morning, out would come the fish (easily handled because the sheeting held it together) and the long process would start of removing the skin and all the bones, so as to leave the large succulent flakes of delicious pink flesh. Wild salmon is still available today and for Mothers 80th Birthday party I did get an 8lb Severn Salmon and it was delicious, although it cost 3 times the farmed equivalent. Large fish from the Severn are no longer common, as over-fishing has been a problem. We have become accustomed to the taste of the 16

farmed variety, which usually is very good, and often comes from Scotland, but, compared to a wild one, it is Chalk and Cheese


Avocado with Bacon and Stilton

As a child in Kenya, Roger used to scrump for Avocado Pears the way we used to do with Apples as children in England. His favourite way of eating really ripe Avocado Pears, was squashed onto a thick slice of bread and butter, and generously sprinkled with salt and pepper. When we were first married I once bought an Avocado Pear as a surprise. I had no idea what they were supposed to be like, as they were very rare commodities in the shops. This one cost me 3/6d in 1963, which was a very large chunk of my housekeeping money. With a great flourish I gave The Pear to Roger. He took it, felt it and told me rather brusquely that it would be fine in about 2 weeks time! How was I to know that the thing should have a little give in the flesh when gently pressed? This one was like a bullet! We did keep it in the airing cupboard and it did eventually ripen, but I fear it was a poor relation to the ones Roger had been used to. This recipe is one of Rogers specialties and needs a ripe but firm avocado. He had it once in a pub and came home and re-created it. For 1 serving 1 rasher streaky bacon Fry the bacon until it is dry and crisp and then crumble. 25g Stilton cheese Mash the Stilton cheese with a fork and stir in the chopped fried bacon and form into a small ball ripe avocado pear Place the ball of bacon and cheese in the hole left by the stone and place the avocado under a preheated grill for about 2 minutes until the cheese has started to melt. Serve with a little salad garnish.


Queens Fish Pie

Over the years I managed to collect an awful lot of Cookery Books. Most came from charity shops or Summer Ftes. I cannot say I ever found a really expensive collectors piece, but I did love just to read them and get ideas. Sometimes I would adapt them to my way of cooking. This recipe is my own simpler version of the dish cooked for Queen Elizabeth II and her family, and it came from a book (which I no longer have) written by one of the Royal Chefs in the 1950s Serves 4 Oven 180C/Mk4 750g potatoes salt Peel and cook the potatoes for 15-20 minutes until soft. 4 tablespoons natural yogurt black pepper Drain the potatoes, mash and add in the yogurt. Season to taste with pepper 5 fillets of anchovies 2 tablespoons tomato puree Place the canned anchovies and their oil in a small pan and add in the tomato puree. Cook over a low heat until the anchovies break down to form a rich sauce. 500g white fish e.g. cod or haddock Grease a shallow ovenproof dish with butter and place the fish in a single layer on the base. Spoon the anchovy sauce over the fish and spread evenly. Top with the mashed potatoes. 50g cheddar cheese grated Sprinkle the grated cheese over the potatoes and bake the pie at 180C Mk 4 for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are browned and the fish cooked. 19

Beef Curry
When I was a child, curry was something we ate on a Tuesday! Roast Beef on Sunday, cold beef with Bubble and Squeak on Monday and whatever left over by Tuesday was Curried. This meant frying some onions, adding in a teaspoon of curry powder, a bit of left over gravy and the cold beef. This was heated through; sometimes a few sultanas were thrown in for a really exotic taste and lo and behold we had curry! I even remember my mother sprinkling over some cornflakes, obviously predating poppadums. By the 1960s there were quite a few Indian Restaurants opening and we began to realise that the dish we ate on Tuesdays was not quite the real thing. I remember in about 1964, being shown a Curry Kit and I couldnt wait to send off for one for myself. It contained little jars of individual spices with unusual names like, coriander, cumin and garam masala, along with a made up curry powder and whole spices like, cardamom, cinnamon sticks and chillies. It was all so exciting! With the kit came a little book of curry recipes and it is still on my bookshelf, looking very dog-eared and greasy from years of use. This beef curry recipe comes from that book and has been much enjoyed by many. Incidentally, all ground spices deteriorate at quite a rate, so it is best to buy them in small quantities and store them in a dark cupboard or drawer, a freezer is also a good place to keep a readymade spice mixture. Serves 6-8 Oven 170C/Mk3 2 tablespoons mild curry powder 2 teaspoons garam masala 2 teaspoons ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground chilli 20

1kg chuck steak (cut into cubes) 250g raw minced beef Add the spices to the meat and rub them well in, so that each piece of meat is well coated in the spice mixture. Leave on one side. 4 large onions, (finely sliced) 8 cloves garlic (crushed) 8 dried red chillies 1 tablespoon oil Heat the oil in a large oven- proof pan and gently fry the onions, garlic and chillies until the onions are soft and golden brown. Turn up the heat and add in the meat a little at a time until the meat is well sealed. 4 bay leaves 6 cardamom seeds 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (crushed) 1 teaspoon salt +/- 250ml pint beef stock or water Add in the extra spices and just enough water or stock to cover the meat. Bring to the boil, cover the pan and transfer it to an oven 170C/Mk3 for about 3 hours, or until the meat is tender . juice of 1 lemon Just before serving add the juice of a lemon and more salt if needed. Serve with plain boiled rice and a selection of Sambals. See Page 200. (As with most stews and casseroles, this does improve by allowing to go cold and then refrigerating overnight. When reheated the following day, the flavours will have mellowed.)


Curry Puffs
This version of a pasty really is good stick to the ribs type of food especially on a cold day. When we were first married, Roger was one of the few married Co-Pilots on the squadron, so the chaps would often pile into our house at the end of flying, rather than go back to the Mess. I used to make dozens of these along with bacon sandwiches. All very healthy stuff! Makes 8 pasties Oven 200C/Mk6 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 onion chopped 2 cms fresh ginger peeled and finely grated Fry the onions and ginger in the oil until soft and brown. 1 tablespoon medium curry powder Add in the curry powder and stir-fry for about 5 minutes to develop the flavour. 250g good quality minced beef Add in the beef and stir until the meat changes colour and all the grains are separate. 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon salt 250g peeled and diced potato 100g frozen peas 50ml water Mix in all the ingredients and leave on one side to cool. 500g readymade puff pastry Roll out the pastry and cut into 10cm discs. Place a tablespoon full of the meat mixture in the centre; damp the edges of the pastry and fold over to form a pasty. Crimp the edges together and make a small cut in one side of the pasty to allow any steam to escape during the cooking time. 22

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water Brush the pasties with the egg glaze and cook in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. These are also great to take on a picnic.


The Colonial side of the family has a somewhat Lavatorial sense of humour, and this joke is one of the genres! A gentleman in a restaurant says to the waiter I would like some Pissoles please the waiter says Sorry that is a mistake that P should be an R. OK says the customer, I will have some Arseoles please. Just about every time Rissoles turn up on the table you can bet someone will make that joke! Rissoles can be made of just about any meat left over from a roast, and with the advent of the food processor there is never a reason for throwing food away. Christmas Rissoles are probably the most delicious as they have so many lovely flavours from the meat and the stuffing. There is NO recipe, because they are always different. However a few basic rules should be applied. 1) Make the rissoles as soon as possible after serving the original meal; meat that is stale is never going to taste good again. 2) Mince or process the meat but leave some texture, you do not want a MUSH. 3) Add chopped or minced onion about 1 onion to every 400g of meat. 4) Season the mixture with salt and pepper. 5) Potatoes and other vegetables can be used but never more than 1 part vegetables to 3 parts meat. 6) Moisten the mixture with a little gravy or beaten egg, so that it can be formed into small round patties, which hold together. 7) Dust the patties in whole meal flour, and if not needed immediately freeze them for use later. (Re-cook from frozen) 8) Fry them quickly in a very small amount of oil and make sure they are thoroughly heated.


Yorkshire Pudding
Yorkshire Puddings are always a great favourite, but are often disappointing. I have read and tried many recipes; even one that said the real secret is to add a spoonful of snow to the batter just before cooking! This does make some sense, as it would reduce the temperature of the batter prior to going into the oven. But Hey! I like Yorkshire puds even when it is not snowing. Antony came up with the ultimate recipe and it works every time. Of course you can buy Yorkshire Puddings frozen and they may look good but they still taste of cardboard. Allow 1 egg for two generous servings. Pre-heat an oven 210C/Mk8 This way of making a batter can be used for large, individual or even Toad in the Hole. Crack the required number of eggs into a measuring jug and note the measurement. Pour the eggs in to a mixing bowl. Rinse and dry the jug and measure in the same quantity of plain flour and add this to the eggs. Add a good pinch of salt. Finally measure the same quantity of milk. Use a whisk to mix together the eggs and the flour and gradually whisk in all the milk. Then whisk for about a minute to make a smooth batter. Leave on one side while you prepare a shallow baking tin or a 12 hole bun tin. Place a small amount of oil, or dripping in the base of the tin and place in the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove and quickly pour in the batter. Return to the oven and cook for 15 minutes for individuals or 20-25 minutes for a larger pudding. The crust should be golden brown, crisp and firm. If they are well cooked they will hold their shape. 25

Toad in the Hole

Serves 4 8 good quality sausages Roast the sausages in a shallow roasting tin for about 10minutes until some fat runs from them, then pour over a 2 egg batter mixture and return to the oven for a further 20-25 minutes.