Way back when, Wednesdays

Miss Potato Head

We can all remember what we especially liked to eat as kids. Your tastes can change as an adult and sometimes we cringe at the peculiar foods that we used to crave as children. On the other hand, there are foods that we will always love, such as hot chips!

During the first part of 1969 the Leader Messenger featured photographs of little girls enjoying the hot weather. Like cute Nadene Woods who was pictured on the front page of the edition dated 5 March. Her fondness for potatoes started from a young age and she had developed a curious taste for eating them raw.

Potato feast

Unlike other vegetables, potatoes are seldom eaten raw because of their starchy texture and somewhat bland taste. However, some people like to eat them uncooked, seasoned with salt! Raw potatoes don’t increase your blood sugar and they contain more vitamin C, thiamine and riboflavin than the cooked variety.

For those who enjoy the taste of an uncooked spud, take care. Choose fresh, unblemished potatoes. Wash potatoes thoroughly to remove all traces of soil from the skin and peel them to avoid ingesting bacteria and other microorganisms which are usually killed in the cooking process.

Potatoes are full of goodness but it is advisable to eat this raw vegetable in moderation. They are high in starchy carbohydrates, as the main purpose of a tuber is to nurture a new potato plant. Unfortunately humans digest raw starches poorly. Pieces of raw potato pass through the upper intestine and into the lower intestine largely intact. Intestinal bacteria then start to break down the fibrous mass, starting a fermentation process. Fermentation produces gas, which can cause the raw potato eater to experience discomfort through bloating, cramping and flatulence.

Beware of eating a green or sprouted potato, even if it is cooked. Never eat the leaves and stems of the plant itself or any fruit growing above ground. Potatoes are a member of the nightshade family, which protect themselves by producing toxic alkaloids. Potatoes produce solanine and chaconine, both of which are dangerous to humans. Normally a potato tuber harvested underground contains only small amounts of these chemicals.  However, sprouted or green potatoes become high in solanine.  A tuber that’s been bruised, exposed to sunlight or stored for an extended period of time might develop patches of green. The green pigment is chlorophyll, which enables photosynthesis to take place. Once this happens, solanine is present.  Solanine causes diarrhea, nausea, cramping, headaches and in extreme cases organ failure and death http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com,  http://www.livestrong.com/article/523041-the-risks-of-eating-raw-potatoes.

#waybackwhenwednesdays

 

 

 

 

Way back when Wednesdays

Chocolate Marbled Cake

Chocolate Marbled Cake

Chocolate Marbled Cake

In celebration of Wednesday birthdays (including mine) why not try this vintage recipe for Chocolate Marbled Cake? It’s delicious and it works.

It comes from my mother’s cookery bible of 1961, A Good Housekeeping Cookery Compendium. Compiled by The Good Housekeeping Institute, the book was first published in 1952. In the Forward on page 6, the book states that cookbooks “sometimes assume that their readers are already familiar with the very simple processes, it can still happen that a young housewife  –  or a daughter-at-home called upon to produce a meal in time of domestic crisis-finds embarrassing and unexpected gaps in her cookery knowledge.” By today’s standards this is an outdated perspective which assumes that women are responsible for home duties and it does not allow for the modern practice of ordering takeaway food!   In contrast to other books of its time, A Good Housekeeping Cookery Compendium instructs the reader on everything you need to know about different techniques and how to prepare every type of meal, from cooking eggs, selecting different cuts of meat, preparing seafood, to making and decorating a wedding cake.

You could ice this cake with chocolate frosting or a ganache, drizzle melted chocolate over it or simply just sprinkle the top with icing sugar, as pictured.

Note: As this is an older recipe, you will need scales which can measure imperial weight.

6 oz. butter or margarine

6 oz. sugar

¾ cup warm milk

4 egg whites

9 oz. plain flour

2 tsps. baking powder

Vanilla essence

Milk to mix

1 ½ oz. block chocolate

Cream the fat and sugar very thoroughly and stir in the warmed milk and the stiffly beaten egg whites. Sieve the flour and baking powder and add to the creamed mixture, together with a few drops of vanilla essence, and if necessary a little milk. Divide the mixture into two, and add the chocolate (dissolved in a very little milk or water) to one part. Put alternate spoonfuls of the two mixtures into a prepared tin and bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees F, 190 degrees C, gas mark 4) for 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hours, until firm to the touch.  Enjoy!

Modern tips: Oven times may vary; if your oven is fan-forced, cooking time will be reduced. I use a ring tin for this recipe, which works well, but you could also use a round tin with a diameter of around 23cm. I lined the tin with baking paper. You may prefer to use silicone or non-stick cookware or grease and flour your tin. I interpreted ‘block chocolate’ as dark cooking chocolate.

The simple, but delicious scone

Who doesn’t enjoy a Devonshire tea, with warm scones fresh from the oven, topped with lashings of thick cream and jam?

The simple but delicious scone is loved around the world. In Patisserie : an encyclopedia of cakes, pastries, cookies, biscuits, chocolates, confectionery and desserts, celebrated pastry chef Aaron Maree writes that scones come in many flavours and varieties. In America, scones are known as biscuits or soda biscuits and they can be served with both savoury dishes and sweet toppings. The scone is a cousin of the Scottish bannock, a flat disk baked on a hot griddle plate, which is then marked into triangles.

“A good scone should be of uniform colour and size, lightly golden brown on the base and top, but with white sides. The interior should be light, soft and white.” He stresses that in order to ensure that your scones are soft and well risen, you must always rub the butter into the dry ingredients lightly. Never overwork the dough and do not knead it at all.”

Next door to the Library is our cherished cafe Bake and Brew, who bake delicious scones daily. And! We have secured the recipe from Sue the pastry chef.

Scones

Oh sweet scones, how graceful you sit. Your fluffy, subtly sweet texture melts in our mouths on these days we toil. We honour and give thanks to you, heavenly light beings.

 

Here it is:

World’s Best Scone Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 50g butter
  • 500mL milk
  • 1 dessertspoon cream

Method:

Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the baking powder.

In a microwaveable jug add butter, milk and cream and microwave for three minutes on low.

Add this liquid mix to the bowl.

Mix gently and then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently and pat like a baby’s bottom.

Use a scone cutter or glass to make round scone shapes and put them onto a greased oven tray. Ensure the scones are placed close together, as they give each other support as they cook.

Cook in a 180° oven for 15 minutes.

You can also borrow Patisserie : an encyclopedia of cakes, pastries, cookies, biscuits, chocolates, confectionery and desserts from the Tea Tree Gully Library.