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!
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. And so, I excitedly announce with oodles of glee that it turned out to be an absolute culinary triumph – How spiffing!
Oh, and I must mention, that I 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, whilst searching for something frightfully unusual, yet awfully hearty and traditional which one could recreate for British Pie Week!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Miss Windsor and I have come to the end of our summer garden party collaboration, and hope you’ve very much enjoyed it as much as we have. We’re taking a bit of a break now but will be back before too long with a special quartet of recipes inspired by our respective Italian travels earlier in the year.
Until then, we leave you with Miss Windsor’s sparking summer beverages: a fabulous fizzy lemonade which she also uses to make a gorgeous summery cocktail with Pimm’s number 6 cup, a special edition one with elderflower and blackberry. It sounds so nice I can’t wait to try it. I really must get out more as I’d never even heard of this Pimm’s until Miss Windsor told me about it!
And, finally, from me a classic Victoria sponge. Every garden party needs a nice simple Victoria sponge so here you are; complete with tips and a brief cake history.
(You may be wondering why our garden party has suddenly morphed into a bit of a Teddy Bear's Picnic as well, but all will become clear as you read on.)
I excitedly present Miss Windsor’s Blackberry & Elderberry Breakfast Muffins – based on an original Fannie Merritt Farmer recipe. Therefore, these simple, subtlety sweet, and rather healthful bundles of fruitiness – are created with very little sugar; and naturally sweetened by British foraged fruits.
Oh, and funnily enough, one mustn’t forget to add that these rather toothsome darlings feel remarkably soft – just like a stroke of an alpaca’s furry mane – Ok, I admit that’s a slight exaggeration, but I’m sure you catch my drift!
Miss Windsor and I love a cream tea and are in complete accord when it comes to three pressing matters of scone etiquette.
First of all, do you say scone to rhyme with ‘gone’ or ‘phone’?
‘Gone’. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
Secondly, do you pull your scone apart gently at its ‘waist’ or cut it? Miss Windsor and I prefer to pull ours apart and happily; this is the correct scone etiquette!
Thirdly, should you spread your jam on first followed by a spoonful of cream or the other way round?
I hereby present my delightful sweet offering to Mrs Simkins and Miss Windsor’s summer garden party – my Seriously Scrumptious Lemon & Coconut Cake. I say what an adorable addition to your very own garden party, or afternoon tea pageantry of exquisite cakes and bakes. Oh, yes, and please do enjoy a slice or two with a cup of your favourite brew!
Darlings, just as it says on the tin – it’s seriously scrumptious, very lemony, with a saucy taste of paradise. Oh, dearie me! I fear I’m sounding off like an advert for a Bounty chocolate bar! But nevertheless, I’m certain my glorious cake will send you into a hedonistic state of "coconutty" heaven – How spiffing!
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!
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 - Oh, 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!
You see, to commemorate the anniversary of the coronation, my darling Mrs Simkins and fellow collaborator rustled up Her Majesty’s most favourite teatime dessert - Chocolate Biscuit Cake.
I say, so following such merriment we now prepare for our next royal ‘knees-up’ – the Queen’s official birthday of Trooping the Colour which takes place on June 9th (2018)
Miss Windsor and I send our very best wishes to newly married royals Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. And what a fabulous wedding they had, so very moving and full of wonderful and lovely surprises.
Darlings, I excitedly present Fannie Merritt Farmer’s recipe for GENUINE Sponge Cake – a flavour from the ‘old school’ - well, in this case, The Boston Cooking-School, Massachusetts, USA!
I say, Miss Merritt Farmer is an American culinary goddess from yesteryear, known as an advocate of ‘scientific’ cookery and household management. Thus, following her graduation in 1889 from The Boston Cooking-School, she served as assistant director and teacher; becoming school principal during the 1890's.
I say, fancy joining me for an nostalgic trip down memory lane, where you'll learn how to re-create one of my favourite, British, summertime or anytime desserts? Well, darlings, how could one resist a nibble on Miss Windsor's Blackberry & Apple Crumble - Oh, I say!
You'll be pleased to know that it's completely gluten-free and vegan - "OMG!" I hear you shriek with sheer utter delight! Oh, and it's so devilishly delicious that even the health-conscious community are rather baffled how I achieved such culinary excellence - despite the reputation that gluten-free food is notoriously bland!
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!
Darlings, 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.
It’s an absolute pleasure to present Miss Windsor’s ‘spin’ on a decadent, yet toothsome recipe fit for a QUEEN - Chocolate Queen Pudding! You see, I re-created this luxury kind of bread pudding to celebrate our dear sovereign's official birthday of Trooping the Colour, which took place on Saturday 17th June 2017.
I say, darlings, Grandmother Josie and Her Majesty The Queen both entered this magnificent world during the year of 1926 – known as the roaring 20’s! Of course, both ladies are of the greatest personage and have many things in common, one being they’re ‘chocoholics’ of the incredibly ardent and incurable kind – Oh, I say!
This utterly indulgent Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake has recently sparked a ‘titbit’ of attention on Instagram – Oh, how spiffing! You see, I received a request from a follower who kindly asked me to share this recipe - and so here it is!
Miss Windsor recently posted a photo of her delicious Gluten-Free Carrot Cake on Instagram, which surprisingly sparked a ‘titbit’ of attention – Oh, how spiffing!
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