Tasty Chinese Style Mild Beef Curry


500g minced beef,

250g diced beef,

1 medium sized onion,

3 medium/large carrots,

1 300g tin of marrowfat peas,,

1 170g tub of Maykway curry sauce mix, (mild)

1/4 cup of wine, (optional)

3 tbsp olive oil, or veggie oil, (which ever you prefer)

dash of Worcestershire or soy sauce. (optional)



Firstly peel and grate the carrots and put these on to boil in a pan of water salted to taste.

While they are cooking, finely chop the onion, then add this to the minced beef and 2 tbsp of oil and cook in a large saucepan over a medium heat until done. Turn down the heat and add the full tub of maykway curry sauce and stir in until thoroughly mixed with the beef then add the carrots along with the water they were cooked in, followed by the tin of peas. Leave to thicken stiring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. (Note! you will possibly have to add more water to reach a nice consistency, just boil a kettle and add a little at a time as desired.)

Next slice the diced beef into thin strips, and fry these in the remaining tbsp of oil over a high heat for a minute each side to seal them, then add the wine and the dash of Worcestershire or soy sauce (actually I add a splash of both), and top up with water till the meat is just covered over, turn down the heat cover the pan and simmer until most of the liquid has gone, by which time the meat should be lovely and tender, then just add to the curry.

Note! If like myself you like a lot of the curry sauce you can add a tbsp of corn flour to thicken things up a bit more, thus allowing more liquid to be added resulting in more sauce. If this is the case add it at the same time as the curry sauce mix. As an onion lover I also like to add some larger chunks of onion shortly before dishing out the curry. This way it remains nice and crunchy which I think adds a welcome texture to the curry.

                              The Finished Curry

Leek Tart

A couple of weeks ago we were looking through a vegetarian cookery book and we found the Leek Tart, it looked easy enough so I gave it a go! This isn’t the easiest recipe, about 3/5 for difficulty!

You will need:

  • 500g chopped leek WHITE parts only (we followed the recipe with 700g but it was too much leek for us)
  • 75g polyunsaturated oil (sunflower oil)
  • 225g wholemeal flour + 2 tbsp
  • 2tbsp salt & pepper (1tbsp salt 1tbsp pepper)
  • 75g butter or polyunsaturated margarine
  • 450ml milk (any)
  • A pinch of ground/grated nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g grated cheese
  • 2 tbps cold water


1. We are making the pastry first. Put the oil and water in a bowl and beat mercilessly with a fork… then, in a separate bowl, mix the 225g of flour and a pinch of salt then gradually add the oil mixture to make a dough.

2. Roll out the dough on a flat, floured surface. Take a 10 inch (25cm) flan dish and place the dough inside and trim the edges. Prick the base with a fork and place a sheet of grease-proof in the base, add baking bean or rice (we used rice) to weight it down. This is called blind baking and it is the prevent the base from getting soggy.

3. Bake at 190*c, gas mark 5 or 375*F for 10 minutes.

4. While that’s cooking, melt 50g of the butter in a big saucepan and add the leeks and stew gently. DO NOT allow to colour. Add just enough water to stop them from burning.

5. Melt the remaining butter in a different saucepan and stir in the additional flour and cook for a couple of minutes without allowing to brown. I didn’t stop stirring during ll of this and when I did nanny took over. Gradually stir the milk into the pan as well as the juices from the leeks until there are NO lumps at all. Add the nutmeg and salt & pepper for flavour!

6. spread the leeks out evenly in the pastry case made earlier, beat the eggs and add to the liquid mixture along with half the cheese and stir. Pour into the leaks and make sure to do it carefully, you don’t want it getting down the sides and making the pastry soggy, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Bake at 200*c, 400*F and gas mark 6 for 25-30 minutes or until it has slightly risen and browned!

7. NOM NOM NOM!!!!!

Burger Press Review


I have been making my own burghers now for a number of years, the main reasons being that they are tastier, and also the fact that I have control over what goes in them i.e. decent quality meat, not to mention the satisfaction it gives when everyone comments how nice they are. After all who doesn’t like to be complemented? But up till now I have always shaped them by hand, with the result that more often than not they would wind up being different sizes and shapes, with the result that one or other of the kids would complain that theirs was smaller than everyone else’s, also being irregular in thickness they wouldn’t always cook evenly when on the grill.

So I was made up when I discovered this little burgher press, I wasn’t aware that anything like this existed, or I would have bought one years ago, it really is a cracking little implement to have around the kitchen. Firstly it’s a well- made solid little piece of kit, which should give years of service, and secondly it’s easy to use and gives great results, just cut a piece of grease proof paper to go in the bottom and another for the top so nothing sticks, put in your meat mixture and press down firmly, then turn out your nice round evenly thicknessed burger.

Incidentally if you fill the mould to the top, the resultant burgher comes out at a quarter pound, found that out when my granddaughter weighed one out of curiosity.

I was asked to review this item and I am really pleased with the results we got with it. Having now tried one of these I wouldn’t be without it now.

Favourite Pie 1915

First published in  Dr. Allinson’s Cookery Book, 1915

3 ounces of macaroni
2 breakfastcupfuls of Allinson breadcrumbs
2 onions, chopped very fine
2 breakfastcupfuls of tinned tomatoes
3 eggs, well beaten
3 ounces of butter
1 dessertspoonful of curry salt to taste
Boil the macaroni until tender, and cut it up into pieces 1 inch long; fry the onion brown in the butter, mix the breadcrumbs with the tomatoes, add the eggs, curry, onion and salt, and mix all this with the macaroni; turn the mixture into a pie-dish, and bake the pie for 1 hour.

Old Fashioned Rice Pudding

One of my memories from being young was rice pudding. Now, there were 2 very different types of rice pudding I ate. First the school rice pudding that was, well, beyond description really, but I’ll try. It was white, really snow white, and the taste, well there wasn’t one, bland doesn’t begin to describe it. And I can’t forget the blob of nondescript jam which was dropped into the middle of it. I don’t remember it ever being warm either come to think of it.

Now the rice pudding I got at home. It was delicious, rich and creamy and I always got a good share of the skin. I used to love scrapping the dish after it was finished to get any bits that were left. It was a real comfort food when I was feeling down or just when the weather was horrible and I couldn’t play out.

These days you can buy ready made rice pudding that, the maker’s claim, is as good as traditional, home made rice pudding. I will say that’s it’s cheaper than making your own, definitely quicker and more convenient but it’s no match for the real McCoy.

Now the problem I have! The recipe was my Nan’s who taught my mum how to make it but it was never written down. I don’t remember the recipe and so to my quest. I need to find something that tastes like it did when I was a child. This is going to be a mammoth task but I’ll do it!

This is the first recipe I’m trying, lets see how it goes.

140g Short Grain (pudding) Rice
410g Tin of Evaporated Milk
850ml Whole Milk
40g Golden Granulated Sugar (we didn’t have this so used normal granulated)
1 Whole Nutmeg (we used dried)
25g Butter

First butter an an ovenproof dish with a capacity of 1.4l and pre-heated oven to gas mark 2, 150°C
Place the rice and sugar in the ovenproof dish, pour in the milk and the evaporated milk and give it all a good stir.
Put the nutmeg on the top and then place the butter on top in small bits.

Ready To Go In The Oven

Place the dish on the middle shelf for a total cooking time of 2 1/4 hours. After 45 minutes give it a good stir and place back for the rest of the cooing time.

Ready To Serve

The Verdict:
It was a lot runnier than the one I grew up with and although it was creamy it just wasn’t right. The ‘skin’ wasn’t as tasty either. Tom isn’t a rice pudding fan (I know!!!!) so he wouldn’t even try it, Abbie tried it but didn’t like it. I wasn’t fussy but it was edible but Jess loved it  

My score would be 6/10

Back to looking, I’ll keep you updated on my search for the perfect rice pudding.



Chupatties 2 Methods 1917


Take a pound of whole wheat and mix it with water until a soft dough is formed. Knead this well. Put a damp cloth over it, and let it stand an hour or so. Then knead again. Make out into balls, each ball about as big as a walnut. Then roll each ball into a flat cake about as big around as a saucer. Bake these cakes one at a time over a very thick iron griddle that has been well heated. Keep turning them over and over while they are baking. Fold them up in a napkin as they are baked and keep in a warm place. The inside pan of a double boiler is a good place for them. To be properly made these cakes should be patted into shape instead of rolled, and the Hindustani women always do it that way. These chupatties are eaten with bujeas and curries.

Chupatties (Americanized):

Make a dough from a pound of whole wheat flour, a half teaspoonful of baking powder, and a little salt. Knead well and let stand. When ready to bake them, divide into balls as big as a walnut. Roll each out, spread a little oil or crisco over it; fold up and roll again. Grease an iron griddle and bake, turning from side to side. These are not actually fried, but the crisco in them and the greased griddle prevents them from getting hard, as they are apt to do if made according to the recipe above.

Carrot Soup 1915

This recipe for carrot soup was published in Dr. Allinson’s Cookery Book (1915).

1 carrot cut up small
1 potato cut up small
1 small onion cut up small
1 pint of water
a little butter plus pepper and salt to taste

Cook the vegetables in the water till quite tender then rub them through a sieve, add a little more water if necessary.
Return to saucepan, add seasoning and butter, boil up and serve.

NOTE: These days there is no need to use the sieve for the vegetables, unless of course you want to. A quick 5 second ‘whizz’ with a hand blender or in the food processor does the same job.

Carrot Soup 1915 Recipe

French Toast

A couple of days ago we made french toast, although to me it was more like a dessert it’s not classed as one, it’s a breakfast recipe. My grandad suggested it a couple day before we actually made it, I really liked the idea so we made it! This is a REALLY simple recipe, so here we go.

You will need: (note: this makes about 3 rounds of toast, depending on the size)

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Golden syrup or maple syrup
  • 60ml milk
  • 3-5 slices of bread
  • Lil’ bit of butter (we also use a little bit of oil as well, but butter is better tasting so we use both)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Easy peasy method:

1. In a jug, beat together the egg, vanilla, cinnamon. Add the milk and stir.

2. Pour in into deep plate (or shallow dish).Soak both sides of the bread in the egg mixture.

Soak Both Sides


3. Put the butter/oil/both in frying

4. pan and cook for a couple minutes or until golden brown.

Golden Brown


5. Pour syrup over toast.


Cobbler Topping!!

I recently baked a cobbler topping for my Nans stew… It didn’t work out, but if you follow to instruction and use SELF-RAISING flour instead of PLAIN flour (like I did, it clearly said SELF-RAISING) you’ll be fine!!

NOTE FROM NAN: If you do manage to add plain flour into a recipe that calls for self raising by mistake simply add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to every 200g of flour. And, I agree that it didn’t rise as much as it should have but it was really tasty just the same  😀

You will need:

  • 350g self-raising
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 4 tbsp mixed herb, preferably including thyme, rosemary and parsley
  • 200g of grated butter
  • A little bit of lemon juice (around a tea-spoon)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Water (Cant say exactly how much because it varies, but I used about 7 tbsp)


  1. Mix together the flour, herbs, Butter, salt & pepper using a fork (this is so you don’t mush the butter up, its SUPPOSED to be in small chunks).
  2. Make a hole in the middle so to mixture looks like a doughnut, add the lemon juice and water, slowly mix together.
  3. If the dough you just created is too dry add more water, if it’s too wet put in the fridge for a few minutes. I wouldn’t worry too much about it being a bit wet as it will pick up more flour as you roll it out on a floured surface to around 2cm thick.
  4.  Then cut out using a cutter, or just use a knife. Place on top of the stew/casserole and glaze with the beaten egg.

The completed cobbler topping:

Italian Spaghetti 1917

First published in Better meals For Less Money, 1917.

2 cups spaghetti broken in 2-inch pieces
1/2 onion
4 cloves
1/2 bay leaf
1 can condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup grated cheese

Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water with the onion, cloves, and bay leaf until tender. Then drain, remove onion, cloves, and bay leaf; add the soup and cheese and heat to boiling point.

One-half can tomatoes seasoned, stewed until thick, and pressed through a sieve, may be used in place of soup.
Macaroni may be used in place of spaghetti.