Keith’s theme for the week, across at the Recipe Shed, is Hand-Me-Down recipes. Those recipes that have been in the family for generations and generations, handed down in dog-eared recipe books, fought over in the will, smuggled out by taking photographs of grandma’s cook book while the other children distract her, that sort of thing.
I got nothing. I don’t remember anything of my mum’s mum’s cooking – I assume some of what my mum cooked for me and my brothers over the years must’ve come from there – and the less said about my dad’s mum’s cooking, the better! (“No, grandma. It’s the knives. They’re just very blunt.” It’s not that your steak would double as shoe leather or something to mend a puncture with at all.)
Well, that’s not quite true. Mum’s recipe for hash is a good one – perfect for those of you with slow cookers or an AGA/Raeburn/insert equivalent make here. Chuck everything in a big Le Creuset pan, bang on the lid, stick it in the slow oven when you head out for work, get it out when you get home. Feeds a very large hungry family. Corned beef works well, so does heart. That reminds me. Once defrosted a pair of hearts in the microwave of the house I was sharing in Kent. Our resident vegetarian almost died! Not quite as bad as finding the brace of pheasants hung on the back of the kitchen door, but almost.
Anyway, long story short. I have this. Aunty Molly’s Ginger Biscuits. Aunty Molly was one of those not-relatives-but-still-an-aunt types. Used to live next door to us in Ripon. These are fast, simple, cheap and the kids love making them. They’re a great rainy-day recipe. They don’t hold shapes very well, so they’re not good to use with complicated cutters (no Gruffalo biscuits here, I’m afraid).
You will need…
- 8oz self raising flour
- 4 oz sugar
- 4 oz butter or marge
- 1 tbs golden syrup
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tbs hot water
Now for the complicated bit – and the reason why the kids like making them.
- Mix everything together in a bowl
- Grab chunks about the size of a wallnut and shape into balls
- Space out on a baking tray
- Flatten slightly (make a fist and push down gently)
- Bake at 160C for about 20 minutes
Ta and might I add da. Now the really tricky part is getting everything from step 1 through to step 3. This is one of those recipes where the dough tastes as good raw as it does cooked. We usually lose about 1/5th of the mix during step 2 to “quality control”. You can make it more complicated, adding chunks of crystallized ginger or the preserved-in-sugar stuff but the basic mix is pretty hard to beat.
Now. Given that it’s raining out there and I happen to know I’ve got plenty of ginger in the cupboard I might just go and whip up a batch.
And while your biscuits are cooking, head over to the Recipe Shed for more ideas. There’s a rather fine boiled cake from The Kitchen Mechanic that I’m keen to try.