Saturday, March 13, 2010

Granny and Gingerbread, Saturday morning memories

I'm often asked if I cook (umm I have a cookbook shop people, is that a clue?) and my response is I have been cooking since I was old enough to stand on a stool at the kitchen table. And as with many people, some of my fondest memories of childhood and family revolve around food - the smell of garlic that always accompanied my grandfather, the taste of eggplant my Granny cooked and pineapples growing in her Durban backyard, guinea fowl hanging in our dark pantry.

My earliest cooking memory is of an afternoon tea for my class one (prep) teacher, Mrs Mulcahy. My best friend Rose and I stood at the white melamine table in the kitchen of our fire station flat (there's a whole other non-food memory: the acrid smell of smoke on my father's uniforms) helping Mum bake. I can't remember what else we made, but I will always remember the rich dark and fragrant gingerbread with white icing. Possibly all I did was stir the mixture, but I always claim it as my first venture into baking. I called Mum this morning for the recipe, only to be told it had been lost years ago and she had replaced it with one very similar. So this Saturday afternoon I made it in honour of my beloved gran, my beloved mum, Rose and Mrs Mulcahy, wherever she may be. I also made it for my son Jonathan who is home for dinner tonight after walking from Melbourne to the Dandenongs (a distance of around 36 kms). I think he'll need the sustenance.

Dark Sticky Gingerbread

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup golden syrup
1 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice

Cream the butter and sugar. Add beaten egg and syrup. Add sifted dry ingredients. Add hot water. Beat until smooth. Bake in a 180 oven until cake begins to draw away from sides and top springs back to the touch. (Sorry since I startd using the Aga, timing in recipes means nothing to me - it's done when it's done.

Ice with a simple white glaze icing

1 comment:

K_Bom said...

Hi Barbra, I have just read the last few entries in your blog and it's wonderful! It was also lovely meeting you today - I hope you do stay in Kallista as I don't think our beautiful little town would be the same without your shop. The Olive book I bought today is a gem, thankyou!