FERNLEA’S GUESTS WILL BE treated to tasty, hearty meals, that is the plan. Fresh produce will be grown in the pink greenhouse and what the Hobbit and I don’t grow we will source locally. We have got amazing producers right on our doorstop like Millars Vineyard, Kaiwaka Cheese Shop and Echo Valley Olives to mention just a few. We know however, growing and sourcing the produce is just the start, we will have to cook and bake food with love, care and skill to make sure it is tasty and nourishing.
I was fortunate to have the most amazing granny growing up, she was born on a farm in Africa in 1910 and lived for 102 years, passing in 2012. Granny lived through two world wars, the great depression, witnessed a man walking on the moon, the coming of age of the internet and the development of most of the household conveniences we take for granted, like having an internal flushing toilet.
When granny passed I inherited her opal ring and cookbook. I love the cookbook, it is not very big, and it has a serviceable and inconspicuous brown paper cover, which I am pretty sure she put on. It is called ‘The Household Science Cookery Book’, is a fifth edition, produced in 1929 and was written by Jeanette C Van Duyn. What is especially great is that Granny wrote notes on some of the pages and when I see and read her handwriting I feel as if she is sitting right next to me.
I find it fascinating that there are no drawings or photographs of the recipes, but there are pages of advertisements which are interesting and amusing and they have drawings or photos. Below shows one of the advertisements, it is selling coppers spray for a pest free garden, there are more appropriate adverts in the book, such as for baking powder and food colouring. When I look at the book I can appreciate how far we have come with respect to the production of cook books.
So new will meet old at Fernlea.
We are going to prepare the produce we grow using Granny’s cookbook. The book has so many recipes in the 568 pages, it will be an adventure and challenge. There is a recipe for prune souffle, one for jellied tomato salad, noodle balls and there are three different foamy sauce recipes… oh the choices are endless.
From now on we will be testing, trying and refining the recipes to see which ones we want to have on Fernlea’s menu. We will be asking friends and family to be the tasters and give us their thoughts. Future blogs will include reports on our efforts and the honest feedback from brave and sometimes not so willing guinea pigs.
Our first efforts are going to be focused on what we can make for continental breakfast, so a good start will be on the bread making section and then we can move on to page 79 to try the recipes on cooking cereals.
Thank you granny for your wonderful book, love your granddaughter.