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Sherry Trifle

I don't normally approve of mentioning the C-word before the end of November, but someone posted asking for Christmas recipes so...
This is a recipe that seems to have been in my family for at least a few generations. It seems to lead back to my great-grandmother, apparently she was a maid in a rich house in Dublin in the earlier part of the 20th century.
I can't remember a Christmas without it.
There's no jelly in it, by the way, which probably means it's suitable for vegetarians.

By jelly I mean this
... and by Swiss roll I mean this.


One plain jam Swiss roll (raspberry jam).
One tin of pears (in water is better)
Custard powder (you could use real custard, but honestly I've never tried it)
A few litres/pints of milk, however much the back of the custard packet says it takes to make one portion
500ml of cream (roughly one pint)
A "capful" of sherry (see below)

One large deep bowl
Jug for measuring


- Open the Swiss roll, cut it into thick slices, and cover the bottom of the bowl with them. Squash them in so you can't see the bottom.
- Open the sherry. There is no real measurement for how much sherry to use; the traditional amount of "a capful" all depends on what way the bottle opens; if it's corked just use an eggcup. It's hard to explain, but the closest thing to a measurement is when each slice of Swiss roll has been sprinkled. If you really like your sherry, just slog half the bottle on there and let the Swiss roll soak it up.
Temperance Trifle refers to what you get when you forget the sherry (that did happen once).
- Open the pears and chop them very small. If some are hard, you can try boiling the hell out of them but that doesn't really work; best thing is just to chop the hard ones up even smaller. Throw them over the Swiss roll, making sure you cover it evenly.
- Make the custard according to the instructions on the packet. I still manage to mess this up every year so I won't go into detail.
- Pour the custard over the Swiss roll and pears, and leave somewhere cool to set (don't cover it until the custard is completely cold).
- After a few hours, or preferably overnight (just before dinner to be precise) whip the cream and put it on top of the custard.
This can be decorated with sprinkles, chocolates, or whatever you want, but it's just as good without.

To serve, bung a few spoonfuls into smaller bowls and you're away.
It keeps about 4 or 5 days in the fridge, although it's extremely rare for it to last that long. It's actually better the second or third day, because the juices mingle.

WANTED: Your favorite recipes

I am putting togeter a little cook book for my friends and family for Christmas that is merely a collection of my most used and loved recipes credited to wherever I retreived them from. If you have any favorite or good-ole-standby recipes I'd love to try them out!

Thanks in advance!

Thanksgiving recipes

With my favorite holiday coming up I thought I would share a few of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

These are all my own original recipesCollapse )

I hope you like them. :)

Cross posted a bit.

Rolled sandwich slices

For our wedding reception we are DIYing 2 separate buffets.

One geared toward grownupsCollapse )

And one geared toward the kidsCollapse )

We decided to do a test run of the rolled sandwiches, and I thought I would post it in case anyone else would like to make them. For the sake of bandwith, I'll be concentrating on the pepperoni and mozzarella in this post.

Chock full of pictures!Collapse )

After making these we've decided that they are a bit too small to be worth the effort of making them as is for the reception, so if anyone has a good basic bread recipe that can be doubled may we please have it? Thank you! :)

Crossposted everywhere.

Cáca Cairéad

Carrot Cake, as developed by my granny and tweaked by myself.


Amounts are all imperial because my granny never bothered to learn metric... I can use both but not in the same recipie. So imperial it is.
9oz carrot
5oz margarine
2 large eggs
7oz brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp ground cinnamon (I usually put even more in because I love cinnamon)
2 tsp baking powder
3oz walnut, chopped (or just crushed)
2 tbsp milk
7oz self-raising flower


1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 Farenheit), or 170 C for fan ovens (338 F).
2) Sieve the flour into a bowl, then add the cinnamon, walnuts and salt.
3) Grate the carrot(s). Hand-grating is tedious and will probably result in a stream of double-entendres if you're doing it in the same room as a teenage boy, but it's the only way.
4) Melt the margarine.
5) Mix the margarine, eggs and sugar with the carrots.
6) Mix the two separate mixtures to make a soft dough and add the milk. If it seems too stiff add some more milk, but don't make it too runny.
7) Grease a cake tin and slop the mixture in. Bake for 35-45 mins until risen and well browned.
Check by piercing with a fork - it should come out moist but clean.

ACHTUNG: Allow the cake to cool for 5-10 mins before taking it out of the tin!
If you don't it will just crumble, believe me.
I don't eat it with icing, I don't think it needs it, but my granny does;

Topping (optional):
2oz Philadelphia (cream cheese)
4oz icing sugar
Orange essence

1) Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add the cream cheese. Beat until smooth.
2) Add essence to taste and spread across the cake. Sprinkle some walnuts over the top.

Best eaten hot and within 24 hours, but it keeps well for about 5 days (it rarely lasts that long though).

And another question. Ice cream; How the hell do you make it at home and stop it crystalising? I know it's something to do with the basic ingredients, I heard of someone making it without cream.
Any recipies for basic ice cream would be very much appriciated.


Hello, I'm Mice and I really really like food...

I'll type out some recipies soon, but I'd like some advice first; how do you make a good risotto? Whenever I make it myself it's too stodgy.

Andalusian Suup Salad

I'm about to share my biggest food secret.  It's a set of cookbooks from the 30s/40s that I grew up with in my house.  Part travelogue, part recipe book, these tattered volumes have been part of my food-upbringing as much as the solid Danish fare that filled many dinners.

"Long before Town and Country became an excuse for perfume ads, the magazine sent its distinguished writer, Charles H. Baker, on assignment around the world to find the very best food and drink. The result was an eclectic compilation called The Gentleman's Companion, a legendary and extremely rare literary work, worthy of Jules Verne's Phileas Fogg.

The two volume set, including both an "Exotic Cookery Book" as well as an "Exotic Drink Book," provides a provocative and insightful snapshot of the civilized 1940s. In The Gentleman's Companion, Baker outlines a grand cocktail tour that takes the reader on imaginative flights fueled by drinks like the Vladivostok Virgin, "being a risky little heart-warmer from out Frozen Siberia," or "the unpredictable Balloon Cocktail from Calcutta's smartest restaurant, Firpo's." American readers whose idea of exotic travel goes no farther than the Grand Canyon can prepare an Aguacate Cubano, a spine-stiffening matter of Bahama Conchs, or Queen Elizabeth's Roasting Marinade for Saddle of Venison.

Few books, before or since, have even approached this urbanely masculine treatise on gastronomy."

Our home had both  The Gentleman's Companion and The South American Gentleman's Companion, both 2 volume sets.  From the frontspiece of the Gentleman's Companion Vol One: 

Being an exotic cookery book or, around the world with knife, fork and spoon.  Including: A Company of Hand-Picked Receipts, each one Beloved & Notable in its Place, collected faithfully on Three Voyages & a Quarter Million Miles around the World, & other Journeys.  Not Forgetting: Certain Valuable Words to the Wise, Gleaned from Divers Chefs in Man & Strange Places; & the Home Formulae for Construction of such Intriguing Exotics as Hell-Fire Bitters, Key West Old Lime Sour, Herb Vinegars; to Say Nothing of Various Strange and Delicious Sauces & Bastings for Fish, Flesh, Fowl and the Wilder Games.

From the frontspiece of the Gentleman's Companion Vol Two: Being an exotic drinking book or, around the world with Jigger, Beaker and Flask.  Including: A personally collected Regiment of World-Famous Lively Liquid Masterpieces from Greater & Lesser Ports of Orient & Occident & the South Seas.  Not Forgetting:  The Proper & Civilized Service of Beverages with Foods, togther with Proven Formulae for Home Construction of Certain Bitters, Wines, Meads & Cordials; a Meaty Kernel of Advice for Those Departing for the Bars, & in the Last a Sextet of Temperance Delights, & a Platoon of Picker-Uppers of Proven Worth & Discretion.

You can only imagine what the South American Companion is like :)  These books have a very special meaning to me -- though my mother was queen of the kitchen, my dad would occasionally take a turn, creating fabulous exotic meals based on his journeys to exotic locations as a sailor/boat bum in the 50s and 60s, primarily the Mediterranean and North Africa, and of course the Caribbean, where I grew up.  (though with the parties that were thrown at my home as I grew up, I guessing the exotic drink books got more of a work out). I hunt for these books on eBay pretty regularly, as I would love to have my own set, but they have been known to go for as much as $395.  But I keep looking  :)

And finally, the point of this post -- I'm putting down, for posterity, their version of gazpacho, known as Andalusian Soup Salad.  It's the best Gazpacho recipe I've ever found, and since it's getting toward the hottest part of the summer, I thought I would share this gem with you.  I scrawled it down with some modern notes into my recipe book, so it's not verbatim, but the recipe is solid.  It can freeze, but my recommendation is to freeze it as a chunky version, and then run it through a food processor once you defrost it, to help with that rough texture that frozen vegetables sometimes get.   I've also added additional things like fresh tomatoes, if I have a lot of them on hand.  It's simple, fairly quick, and awesome when it's hot outside.

Andalusian Soup Salad
from The Gentleman's Companion, Volume One, by Charles H Baker, Jr
Published by the Derrydale Press, Inc (1939)/Crown Publishers (1946)

1 quart tomato juice (vegetable juice or V8 juice works just as well)
2-3 hard boiled eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 small cucumber, minced
1 mild onion, minced
1 sweet green pepper, minced
1 1/2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
juice of one lemon
1 clove crushed garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
dash hot sauce
salt & pepper to taste.

Work yolks and oil into a paste in a large salad bowl.  Add garlic, onion, seasonings, and lemon juice.  Add vegetables and tomato juice.  Stir briskly.  Dice egg white and use for garnish.  Serve with a nice fresh focaccia...yum!

Recipes that don't make sense


I am crossposting this from my journal because I wonder if the recipe as it's written makes sense to anyone else. Am I just missing something or what?

[EDIT] The part that bugs me the most is when it says to add the *rest* of the lavender in the batter. It onlly called for a teaspoon- all that is supposed to go on top!
I complained about this last year when I made this cake. The recipe makes no sense! It is posted all over the net just like thisI got it off of a commercial website too!...The Napa Valley Lavender Co.
It was a good thing that I decided to make a "practice cake" a few days before the party. I had to tweak the recipe & then experiment, just so it would make sense.

I get to go celebrate my birthday again at my grangma's house, because she had to be out of state on my birthday- family emergency. I heard that my grandma tried to make a Lavender cake but it didn't turn out. I can only assume she attempted to use this recipe- because it's the only one I've found. It's written the same way too, everywhere except in this journal. So she is going to make a Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Again... not that I don't like Pineapple Upside Down Cake or anything. Just....Again.

People who go around posting recipes, should make sure that they at least make sene before blindly copying & pasting it to a million other sites. For crying out loud, it's even on CDKitchen that way! I thought they checked their recipes.

Recipe request

I'm looking for a recipe for samsas filled with meat and onion. They're pretty much like samosas from Inda, except samsas are from basically Uzbekhistan (pardon the spelling), the dough tends to be less leavened than the ones used for samosas, and the fillings & spices are different.

The closest thing I've found is this (scroll down to "Uzbek Samsa"):
The problems are I don't understand the measurements or how to convert them, I can't find mutton anywhere on Oahu right now, and I'd like a recipe with more regional spices.

I made haupia recently- it's basically a coconut gelatin. Delicious. I always think it tastes a bit like almonds...
is my favorite recipe so far (I've made quite a few). I always increase the cornstarch so it holds together well. My family likes it with shaved coconut stirred in, although it's never made that way here in Hawai'i. Either way, it's a unique recipe for Easter.
Do any of my cooking friends know any secrets for keeping onions from rotting and potatoes from growing eyes faster than I can cook them. I am storing them seperately--taters in a dry cabinet and onions in the drawer in the fridge. I have the worst luck with root vegetables staying nice. The whole point of root veggies is that they can be kept through the winter--right?