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.
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!
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.
Anyone for tennis? Oh dearie me, the last hurrah of The Championships Wimbledon was on Sunday 15th of July 2018 (this year's season ended on the 14th July 2019). But not to worry my dears, as Miss Windsor’s here to console you with a sup or two of her frightfully fruity Pimm’s cocktail - just the tonic to soothe one’s post-tennis blues.
Or why not join Mrs Simkins (my culinary collaborator) and I for a jolly good quaff of the good stuff at our summer garden party- here's the LINK: Mrs Simkins & Miss Windsor’s Summer Garden Party!
So, move over Mr Original Gin Sling, and make way for Miss Windsor’s intensely vibrant vodka-based tipple, which oozes a luxurious touch of Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur.
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