Miss Windsor excitedly presents her rather spiffing, yet terribly simple Great British wartime dish – Dig for Victory Veggie Asparagus Tart. A recreation of Irene Veal’s Vegetable Tart – page 198 - Recipes of the 1940’s.
I say it’s been quite a while since I’ve graced you with my presence, and for my lack of, please do accept my heartfelt apologies as I was “incommunicado” for the best part of last year due to my posting as “head cook” in a top-secret location along the Western Front. I was not quite the Forces Sweetheart, but most definitely thought of very fondly by the courageous and kindly gentlemen who sampled Miss Windsor’s exquisite wartime cuisine……instead, one was affectionately known as Queen of the Naafi!
Welcome back to Miss Windsor’s Delectables! Once again, it’s a pleasure to receive your company – How spiffing!
I say, with just a pinch of time remaining before gooseberry season is well and truly over, I’ve managed to rustle up a scrumptious steamed suet pud – Miss Windsor’s Gooseberry & Redcurrant Suet Pudding. I created this with the simplest of ingredients: suet pastry, green gooseberries, redcurrants, and the ultimate sweet touch of a generous helping of sugar, which I must highlight is most needed due to the exceedingly tart nature of these fruits.
I based my culinary masterpiece on a Mrs Beeton recipe that was originally published in the 1861 first edition of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management. Evidently my dears, I recreated a frightfully Victorian slice of British, or some may prefer to say English, food history!
Food for thought: have you ever wondered about the origins of the illustrious dessert of gooseberry fool?
Well, maybe it was first served to King George III of England at a lavish dinner? Or could it be an invention of the overindulgent Victorians? Or just possibly, this dish first graced the likes of a medieval banqueting table? Indeed, a farrago of possibilities, which Miss Windsor investigated thoroughly and has endeavoured to describe her findings right here on this page.
Darlings, now I must express that I'm “tickled pink” (Oh, I say!) to present this vibrant and sweet, yet tart and creamy summertide dessert created with Grandmother Josie’s favourite summer fruits - Miss Windsor's Pink & Spicy Gooseberry Raspberry Fool – By Jove! that’s a bit of a mouthful.
I say, in keeping with the spirit of The Championships, Wimbledon, one hoped to stumble across a recipe with a tennis connection. Well, lo and behold whilst flicking through my 1906 edition of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, there I discovered a recipe for Tennis Cake!
And as you’ll soon discover, Miss Windsor’s spin on Mrs Beeton’s most decadent, moist and luxurious Tennis Cake boasts an appealing light texture and colour - bestrewn with a plenteous amount of chopped almonds and flavoured with a subtle zing of lemon.
Darlings, before we proceed any further, I shall indulge you with some quick-fire facts about The Championships, Wimbledon! Now, for those who are not in the know-how regarding the history of this world renown All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, it held it's first ever "men’s singles" tournament in 1877.
Drum roll please……. accompanied by the royal salute, I hereby present Royal Windsor Pudding!
I say, before we further our acquaintance; you may observe a one-off performance of the “royal wave” – which must be reciprocated with a curtsy or bow. Now the formalities are over and done with, one bids you a rather jovial welcome to the royal household of Miss Windsor’s Delectables – How do you do?
Darlings, one must admit, Miss Windsor has gone a bit pudding mad, of late! You see, following the success of Mrs Beeton’s Spicy Suet Carrot Pudding, one felt compelled to have another go at recreating a Victorian slice of food history, or in this case, a Georgian slice of food history! And may I remark, if a recipe was written between 1795 and 1837, many folks refer to that period of the Georgian era as “Regency”, thus Regency cookery.
By the way, I was instantly attracted to this recipe because of its original title of Windsor Pudding – very appropriate for cuisine favoured by Miss Windsor! Of course, one added “Royal” to the title, which gives it a trifle more pizazz!
Just in the nick of time for National Cream Tea Day (Friday 28th June 2019), I excitedly present Miss Windsor’s Wartime Girdle Scones – How spiffing!
Also, I wholeheartedly dedicate this recipe, admittedly a trifle late, to the recent celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings, which took place on the 6th June 2019, of course, the actual real thing took place on the 6th June 1944.
“Ummm, excuse me Miss Windsor, you mentioned “girdle”, but isn’t that a ladies undergarment worn to disguise one’s jelly belly?” Well, my dears, you’re absolutely correct, but not in the case of wartime cookery, also most folks were at their healthiest and about 10 pounds lighter back then! So, please do read on to find out more……..
Well, I say, thank you for popping by – it’s always a pleasure!
So, whilst you’re here I wish to titillate your taste buds with my splendidly gratifying little meaty balls of deliciousness – By Jove! that’s quite a mouthful Miss Windsor.
Darlings, I guarantee my recipe created with quails’ eggs and butchers best sausage meat - "jazzed up" with spring onion, a smattering of parsley, plus a dash of wholegrain and Dijon mustard - will satisfy all carnivore palates and will certainly give Fortnum & Mason a run for their money! In fact, they proclaimed the delightful Scotch egg was invented in 1738 at their Piccadilly, London store – Miss Windsor’s favourite!
Evidently, my dears, the Scotch egg commenced its culinary journey during the Georgian period (1714 to 1837).
Just a quickie before you crack on with this regal recipe! You see, I actually made Miss Windsor's Chocolate Orange Cream Roll last year last year to celebrate HM Queen Elizabeth II "official" birthday of Trooping the Colour, which took place on the 9th June 2018.
However, just the other day I recreated it again for an afternoon tea soiree. I was so pleased with the result that I couldn't wait to showcase my new photo's of this chocolate orange masterpiece on my website - so purely for your delectation, here they are!
Darlings, here's what I wrote last year:
I say, my royal counterparts are really putting on a jolly good show this year – Bravo!
Not only were we treated to a beautiful wedding as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - How spiffing! Then on Saturday 2nd June, we joined the gaiety as HM Queen Elizabeth II celebrated 65 glorious years on the throne – well done your grace.
It’s an absolute pleasure to present Miss Windsor’s "spin" on a frightfully decadent and regal recipe fit for a QUEEN - Chocolate Queen Pudding! You see, I recreated this palate teasing, chocolaty kind of luxury bread pudding to celebrate our sovereign's "official" birthday of Trooping the Colour, which takes place on Saturday 8th June 2019.
And I must divulge darlings, that my beloved grandmother Josie and Her Majesty The Queen both entered this magnificent world during the year of 1926 – known as the roaring 20’s! And suffice to say, both ladies are of the greatest personage and have many things in common, one being they are "chocoholics" of the incredibly ardent and incurable kind – Oh, I say!
Hip, hip, hurray! it’s National Tea Day (Sunday 21st April 2019)
Darlings, now before I proceed any further, I must admit, I haven’t foggiest idea how or why this recipe commenced its culinary journey as a “saucer cake” – so, if you possess an inkling of a clue please do let me know!
Okey dokey, in celebration of this totally “tea-tastic” day, may I present Mrs Beeton’s Rose & Lime Saucer Cake – How spiffing. Yes, that’s right darlings, this bloomin’ marvellous floral creation oozes the delightful fragrance of an English country garden, well, in this case the delicate aroma of pink dainty roses that grow in a wreath-like fashion, tightly gripped around the grand stone entrance of one of those quaint countryside abodes – a picture postcard image, springs to mind!
Miss Windsor bids you a rather spiffing "carrot-licious" International Carrot Day – Thursday 4th April 2019.
Also, I may be a trifle quick off the mark, but I wish to dedicate this recipe in memory of the brave men, including my darling grandpa Larry (Royal Marine Commando) who on the 6th June 1944 participated in the D-Day Landings, thus finally freed Great Britain from the clutches of Nazi Germany.
You see, in celebration of this incredibly carrot-licious day, and to commemorate (in advance) the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings, may I present this truly scrumptious, Victorian, British, suet pudding recipe – Mrs Beeton’s Spicy Suet Carrot Pudding, which was first published in the 1861 edition of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management. Oh, and by the way, I added the "spicy" twist to this subtly sweet yet wholesome pud!
I say, darlings, now you’re probably wondering, “What the heck have carrots got to do with the D-Day Landings, Miss Windsor?” I hear you shrill with immense intrigue! Well, there’s no direct connection, but suffice to say, the courageous and healthful carrot also played an important role in winning the war, hence their culinary contribution helped to save the British people from starvation.
Eat cake, sip champagne, and be merry!
Come and join the revelry, as I crank up the volume to "Happy Birthday" by America's very own soul/pop/R&B/funk/jazz sensation - the one and only Stevie Wonder! One, two, three - now altogether, “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday” – Oh, what a classic!
“So, what’s all the fuss about?” I hear you squawk? Well, obviously it's Miss Windsor's birthday today and to mark such a joyous occasion, one has recreated an age-old recipe from one's trusty, 1906 edition of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management – with a bit of a Miss Windsor twist, of course!
Happy British Pie Week!
I say, my dear fellows, in the spirit of British Pie Week Miss Windsor’s been having an absolute blast reviving age-old recipes from the past! Therefore, regarding the next item on the menu, and just in the nick of time before this wonderful week comes to an end, one wished to "Spitfire" back to the British wartime days and recreate something frightfully healthful and wholesome – a dish Grandmother Josie would’ve certainly approved of!
May I present the rather delectable and exceedingly homely Miss Windsor's Wartime Meatless Farmhouse Pie - How splendid! You see, I stumbled upon two terribly toothsome and similar pie recipes in my copy of Recipes of the 1940’s by Irene Veal. Therefore, my version is a fusion of both, just minus the meat! Oh, and darlings, evidently, you’ll soon discover that the operative word for British Pie Week in the Miss Windsor household is VEAL!
Happy British Pie Week!
By Jove! Miss Windsor has certainly surpassed herself today! You see, in the spirit of British Pie Week, and my passionate quest in "Bringing food history alive", I recreated Mrs Beeton’s Veal & Ham Pie.
Oh, and whilst searching for something frightfully unusual, yet awfully hearty and traditional which one could recreate for British Pie Week, thankfully, one stumbled upon Mrs Beeton’s Veal & Ham Pie recipe - in my 1906 edition of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management - first published in 1861.
Darlings, now you’re forbidden to turn your nose up to this glorious dish, which I must admit, is of an acquired taste, yet delightfully delicious (believe me, I was extremely surprised by how mouth-watering tasty this recipe turned out to be!) British, suet crust, meat-based pie created with an unusual concoction of ingredients such as sliced veal fillet or cushion, chunky bacon bits, hard-boiled eggs, a sprinkling of seasoning, followed by a "gill" (translation: 140ml or 5 US fl oz.) of beef stock – and nothing more!
Simple, more-ish and comforting, you can’t get much more homely than this traditional British pudding that travelled over to America with the Pilgrim Fathers (or Forefathers, as they were first known). Originally from Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire the pilgrims set sail for America in 1620 hoping to recreate their favourite foods when they got there.
As it turned out, the pudding needed a bit of a makeover: wheat flour was scarce so early settlers used cornmeal or ‘Indian corn’ instead and topped it off with a splash of newly discovered maple syrup.
Hasty pudding, sometimes known as Indian pudding is now regarded as an American classic whereas the English version has inexplicably fallen out of favour.
It’s is well worth a revival: try both, equally delicious, versions and see what you think.
Miss Windsor excitedly presents Mrs Beeton’s Hasty Pudding (Nutmeg & Vanilla Tapioca Pudding).
Okey dokey, Miss Windsor has no time for "dilly dallying", so without further ado I’m going to get straight to the point – chop, chop! about this subtly sweet yet rather wholesome member of the British milk pudding family.
You see, as far as I know, hasty pudding or more commonly known as tapioca pudding has been a staple of our beloved sweet course since the 1800’s – well, a lot less so in today’s modern world, but suffice to say it’s certainly making a glorious comeback!
Oh, and I must quickly mention that I’m "chomping at the bit" as I excitedly present this recipe as my first offering to "At Home With Mrs Simkins & Miss Windsor" – our new collaboration which opens with an all guns blazing HASTE-OFF, hence HASTY PUDDING.
Warm up your "cockles"- Oh, I say! with Mrs Beeton’s Useful Soup for Benevolent Purposes - Victorian cuisine at its finest! Created with a jolly good dousing of Thatcher's Oak Aged Vintage Cider - the very best of Somerset fayre!
My dears, you maybe already know, that in 1861 during the reign of our sovereign - Queen Victoria (curtsey please!) Mrs Isabella Beeton’s most treasured creation – Beeton’s Book of Household Management was first published. And as nature intended, she flourished into the worlds-greatest teacher of all things "domestic and culinary" – Oh, what an inspiration! And luckily for Miss Windsor, she just so happens to own a copy of the 1906 edition which evidently was bestowed the new title of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management – How spiffing!
Moving swiftly on, whilst scouring through my glorious 1906 edition, there I discovered Mrs Beeton’s ONE and ONLY recipe to be of her very own creation – Benevolent Soup, which was originally known as Useful Soup for Benevolent Purposes.
Happy Yorkshire Pudding Day! (3rd Feb 2019)
In the spirit of this most wonderful day, I wished to recreate a family sized Yorkshire pudding; not the individual type that we’re all so familiar with – How spiffing!
Therefore, I just so happened to find the ideal recipe in my 1903 edition of Mrs Beeton’s One Shilling Cookery Book, which originally belonged to my great great grandmother Georgina.
Oh, and by the way, Mrs Beeton’s recipe makes two puds, so you may scoff one with your Sunday dinner of roast beef and gravy, and freeze the other for a rainy day!
Happy New Year!
I’m thrilled to present my great great Grandma Georgina’s Cold Winter Pudding!
So, darlings, it’s time to fasten your apron strings, pull up your sleeves, grab ya mixing bowl and wooden spoon, and join Miss Windsor for a gay ol’ time down memory lane where together we’ll recreate a delicious slice of food history!
I say this frightfully British suet pud will certainly raise one’s body temperature during those rather inclement days or evenings – How spiffing! And I dare say, if you’re a fan of bread pudding, although this recipe contains no bread at all, I’m sure you’ll fall head over heels with Grandma Georgina’s creation!
Oh, and I must admit Grandma's original recipe lacked a bit of winter flair! So, I "jazzed" it up a tad with the addition of mixed spice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and lemon/orange zest – How inventive, Miss Windsor!
patate di agnello in fuga,patate di agnello fuggito, patate di agnello vagante
Welcome back to Mrs Simkins and Miss Windsor’s Italian Escapades.
I had planned to bring you pasta carbonara for my second recipe, based on the gorgeous one we had in that lovely restaurant in Venice earlier this year (see intro). We were only there for 3 days and I never got the chance to order my own but the forkfuls I blatantly stole from my husband’s plate were absolutely wonderful.
Anyway, as I was saying to Miss Windsor the other day, I shall have to put that on hold as our hens, now sadly depleted from 5 to 4, have gone off lay for a while and we are lucky if we get one or two eggs a day. A series of family birthdays and other events has meant eggs have been whipped away from under the hens for cakes almost as soon as they are laid.
Fancy something a tad sweet, rather creamy, extremely boozy, laced with coffee, rich and velvety, a touch spicy, intensely Italian, a teensy nutty, with a brush of British (namely Bristol City) – NOW BREATH! - then Miss Windsor’s Festive Sherry & Spice Tiramisu is the perfect dessert for you – How spiffing!
Of course, if you haven’t a clue what I’m going on about, I simply created this recipe with Amaretto Morbido (translation: Italian soft almond macaroons) or one may use the customary ingredient of ladyfingers (Savoiardi) dipped in booze enriched with espresso coffee and layered with a mascarpone cheese mouse like filling.
I'm thrilled to present Miss Windsor's Quick & Easy Victorian Boiled Fruitcake - a delightful addition to your afternoon tea pageantry of goodies; or a rather toothsome, time-saving alternative to the traditional Christmas cake.
Oh, and I'm proud to say that my version is 'loosely' based on my beloved grandmother Josie's recipe. You see, ever since she sadly waltzed through the Pearly Gates in 2013, I've tirelessly strived to resurrect her scrumptious culinary creation. I say, but Grandmother Josie is quite a hard act to follow, plus she left no written record of her recipe.
Miss Windsor excitedly presents Mrs Beeton’s Traditional British Christmas Pudding recipe - a frightfully fruity, remarkably rich, temptingly moist, and abundantly boozy classic festive dessert, which I discovered buried deep within my culinary bible - my 1906 edition of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management - page 939, to be exact - How spiffing!
And I must say, what thrill it was, although rather laborious, to step back in time to the late 1800's and recreate an age-old recipe following traditional methods. And so, with a whole day set aside, and with my great great grandmother Georgina in mind, I wished to experience the joys of a Victorian 19th-century cook, slogging away in the kitchen as one prepares for the Christmas Day feast - well, so far, just the Christmas pudding!
Okey dokey - let’s crack on and make some pumpkin puree from scratch! Perfect for pumpkin pie or as a tasty, seasonal, healthful alternative to our beloved starch ladened mashed potato!
I say, if you're keen on creating the latter, then Miss Windsor recommends to ‘jazz’ it up with a dollop of butter, followed by a sprinkling of sea salt and cracked black pepper – Oh, how spiffing!
I excitedly present Fannie Merritt Farmer’s good old-fashioned American pumpkin pie!
You see, I discovered this frightfully fabulous and easy recipe in my 1909 edition of The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book - How Spiffing!
Yet rather interestingly, the origins of pumpkin pie tumble all the way back to the 1500’s, where Medieval cooks served stewed pumpkin, sweetened with sugar, livened up with spice, and enwreathed with pastry – I say, mouth-drooling scrumptious!
Also, there are many early recorded recipes of pumpkin pie, one of which has a French connection - Ooh la la! - Tourte of Pompion - created by Francois Pierre La Varenne in 1653. Then of course, as the years zoomed by, during 1796 a recipe for pumpkin pie appeared in the first known American cookbook by Amelia Simmons, which is very similar to Fannie’s version, although it requires scalded milk, eight eggs, and one may add grated lemon-peel instead of spices.
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