Saturday 5 March 2011

Mum's cookbook

Some of you will have seen my post about the old slides I have been converting to digital files. Well, inspired by this I have dug out from the loft another family treasure - my Mum's old cookbook.

It is basically a scrapbook, containing a collection of recipes evidently compiled over a number of years, spanning the 1950s and 1960s. Unfortunately none of the recipes are dated, despite the fact that many of them were cut out from magazines.

Some of them are hand-written - sometimes on loose scraps of paper. This recipe for Tomato Chutney, written on the back of the cover of a pad of Basildon Bond writing-paper has obviously been well used...

A high proportion of the recipes are for sweet things, like cakes, pastries and desserts - presumably a rebound from the austere days of rationing after the Second World War.

Some of my earliest memories involve garishly-coloured Birthday cakes in complicated designs. Here's a recipe for a one in the shape of a steam locomotive (aka Puff-a-train)

The 1950s idea of what constitutes Good Taste is a bit different to that of 2011...

Inside the book was tucked a sheaf of leaflets, like this one from the Stork Margarine company

This company was evidently responsible for this recipe for a ship-shaped cake  - The S.S.Stork...

I would have preferred this one with aeroplanes all over it - Wow, even Spitfires and Lancasters!

Many of the recipes are still perfectly viable today, so to honour my Mum's memory, Jane used this recipe from one of the leaflets

to make this delicious Steamed Syrup pudding

It was wonderful, served with some fresh custard! Some things are just timeless...


  1. I like your mum's cookbook; I also have Mother's scrapbook cook book. She would mark her favorites with little ratings. What wonderful memories they bring back to me!Thanks for sharing.

  2. What a keepsake, your mother's recipe book. That is a tasty treasure! Enjoyed the photos of the cakes from the book.

  3. The oldies are the best and were creative in terms of baking cakes etc. I treasure all the old cookbooks I have. Great to see others do too.

  4. Those recipes are a part of your heritage. I have my Mum's old recipe books as well and I treasure them. One day I would love to compile a combined family history/recipe book - when time permits.

  5. This is such a precious thing to have, both personally and as social history. The look of these highly coloured pictures takes me right back to childhood.

  6. That recipe book brings back a lot of memories my gran had a one very similar with a lot of pages from the magazine woman's realm if I am not mistaken. The recipe book that I use a lot was from the milk man. I can see steamed pudding and custard in my future.


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