Sorrel – The Comeback Kid

Last year, I planted a broad leaf sorrel clipping in my herb and vegetable garden. I will be honest, I had never eaten sorrel before neither did I know much about its culinary history. I had seen it as an ingredient in numerous historical recipes so I thought it would be a good addition to my heritage herb garden. This spring,…

Make Your Own Crystallised & Candied Angelica

Garden angelica or wild celery, Angelica archangelica. Handcoloured copperplate engraving after a drawing by James Sowerby for James Smith’s English Botany, 1813. (Photo by Florilegius/SSPL/Getty Images) Has anyone noticed that it is almost impossible to find candied or crystallised angelica in British supermarkets these days? Even health food shops seem to no longer stock it. Yet another…

Bread & Butter Pudding

1959, husband about to taste his wife’s home-made hot bread and butter pudding (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images) Bread and butter pudding is as British as, well, rain on a Summer’s day. Definitely not a pudding for those on low-calorie/carb/dairy-free diets but perfect if you are on a low-budgets. It is comfort food at its very best and goodness knows…

Fanny Cradock’s Bavarois A La Zizi

I should really rename this post, ‘Pimp My Blancmange’. Once I made this dessert, I went on to add lots of glitter and floral embellishments. I couldn’t resist. Not really sure Mrs Cradock would have approved of such vulgar gilding. Anyway, retro food should be fun and I certainly had a lot of fun with this…

Vintage Crafting – Make Do & Mending.

I craft, a lot. A majority of these projects are inspired by my collection of vintage magazines, books and ephemera. I also have a vast collection of post-war dress and knitting patterns. I am certainly no expert but give me a collection of fabric scraps, trimmings and a few buttons, I will hand you back something pretty and gift-worthy that…

Sugar R.I.P

Apparently, sugar is slowly poisoning us and its end is nigh. Introduction of new taxes and recent discoveries of natural alternatives may mean cheap sugar becoming a thing of the past, supply outstripping demand. The price of sugar could be pushed-up and we may see a return to a time when only the wealthy can afford to buy it….

Vintage Household Hacks & Retro Thrifting Tips

For just over a year now, I have been a regular live studio guest on That’s Solent News discussing all manner of heritage-themed topics. One of the most popular aspects with viewers has been my household tips and crafting solutions from a bygone era. Topics covered have included: upcycling old hot water battles, rubber gloves and cardigans; crafting using buttons, old…

Elizabeth David’s Greek Siphniac Honey Pie (1950s)

Last week, Elizabeth David (1913-1992) became the first professional food writer to be honoured with an official English Heritage Blue Plaque in London at 24 Halsey Street, Chelsea, London, SW3 2PT (Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea). The plaque inscription reads: ‘Elizabeth David 1913-1992 Cookery Writer lived and worked here 1947-1992’ Born Elizabeth Gwynne to a…

1920s Strawberry Shortcake, Baking Powder & Household Tips & Hints

I was absolutely thrilled to receive a copy of Any One Can Bake, published by Royal Baking Powder Co. in 1929, from my friend, broadcaster Shan Robins. Shan had been clearing-out some papers from her family home and came across this book which she thought I would like. I don’t just like it, I love it! I own…

Camera-Ready Baked Alaska

  I make the iconic 1960s dessert, baked Alaska, a lot during the Spring and Summer months. I did feature a baked Alaska recipe on here a while back but haven’t, as yet, photographed my efforts. If you have ever made a baked Alaska, you will know that it is really quite easy to assemble…