Wednesday, 2 October 2013


Good Morning to you,

I adore old cookery books, the older the better, and today I visited a second hand bookshop and discovered, a 1955 edition of A Good Housekeeping Cookery Compendium. This Good Housekeeping cookery book was given as a gift, to a lady called Monica in 1955. Monica received this cookery book in the same year as it was published and I was thrilled to become it's new owner, 58 years years later, as I have been an avid reader of Good Housekeeping Magazine, for many years.

This cookery book was first published in 1952, the same year as I was born, so I am on the look out for the 1952 version..... you never know, I may find one.... I will keep my fingers crossed.

I love the first line of the Introduction, it reads, "Here, in one handsome volume, is a true Home Cooking Companion". I love the word  used to describe this book, "handsome" as I don't think it is a word we would use to describe a book nowadays.

There are a lot of wonderful, old style recipes, many of which, I remember Ivy and Phyllis making for us as children.  For instance, Rock Cakes.  As children we loved them, I just feel the name is rather an unfortunate one, as the cakes are not hard as rock, as the name suggests. Their name comes from the fact that they are spooned onto a baking tray, in what is described in the book as "rocky heaps",  this makes them look like little rocks, which as children we thought was fabulous.

Today I am baking some Banana and Walnut Muffins, so I was interested to see how many recipes were listed using bananas, in this 1955 cookery book and I was surprised to see there were eight. 

Banana chocolate trifles,
 Banana cream filling, 
Banana Dessert, 
Banana Sandwich Cake
 Banana filling,
 Banana fritters, 
Banana Lemon Cake
 and Banana Split

I was intrigued, I just had  to look up Banana Split in the index, and there it was, on page 297,

"Cut the banana in half lengthways and put on a glass dish. Between the pieces of banana, place one scoop of vanilla ice cream and one of chocolate. Pour some Melba sauce over and decorate with chopped nuts and fresh fruit."

I have to tell you, the reason I listed the ingredients, was for purely selfish reasons.  When George and I were teenagers, we were girlfriend and boyfriend (yes we have been together that long),and one of my most favourite desserts, in the whole wide world, was a Banana Split. On a Saturday night, George would take me to a coffee house, which was across the road from the Central Station, and buy me either, a Banana Split or a Knickerbocker Glory.  I loved them, I would enjoy the banana split whilst George enjoyed something savoury.  Time has moved on and the coffee house isn't there any more, but if I close my eyes, I can remember the feeling of  excitement and  anticipation of  being treated to a Banana Split.

I have to admit I do love bananas, either cooked or just eaten by themselves, but sometimes, I have a couple of bananas left in the fruit bowl, whose skins have turned brown, and they are maybe past  their best, but I never throw them away, I make ,

Banana and Walnut Muffins..... and George loves them.

But before we start making these little lovelies, I have to put on my apron and the music I am listening to today, is certainly a blast from the past,

Donovan.  "If there ever was a person who served as an ambassador of  'flower power' and was worshipped by countless young hippies, it was Donovan.  Although his music can be identified with the 'Make Love - Not War!' generation, it has proved to have a much broader appeal."

                                          An excerpt written by Glenn N. Gretland

I love "Catch the Wind" and "Universal Soldier" and at the time I wanted to be a hippy, but my father would not hear of it.... if I am honest, I don't think I would have enjoyed being a hippy, but I liked the idea of wearing flowers in my hair, painting flowers on my face and wearing long, floating kaftans. My favourite LP by Donovan is "A Gift from a Flower to a Garden" I just love it and I still have the LP Box set, tucked away with my other old LPs.

So while I am singing along to "Catch the Wind" I am organising my ingredients.

You will also need,

1 muffin tin 
9 muffin cases
Oven temperature set at 180C


150g self raising flour
1 tsp of baking powder
1 large egg

150g caster sugar
50g of butter

75ml full fat milk
1tsp vanilla essence
60g chopped walnuts

2 bananas mashed


Cream together the butter and sugar

Add the egg and vanilla essence
and beat together until light and fluffy.

Add the mashed bananas
(I used a food processor to mash my bananas)
or if you prefer
mash one banana and cut the
 other banana into small pieces, to add texture.

Add the walnuts

Sift the flour 

add half  the sifted flour and half the milk
and fold 
then repeat
until all the milk and flour have been added.
Don't overwork the muffin mixture.

Spoon into muffin cases
and sprinkle over some demerara sugar
and a few chopped walnuts

Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are golden

Dust with icing sugar.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee
a cup of tea 
if you prefer.
Sit back

If you do not like walnuts then add pecan nuts to these muffins, they are just as lovely.

The red muffin cases have reminded me, that it is time to make my Christmas cake and my Christmas pudding, so I am going to start collecting my ingredients and I am going to be making my Christmas cake, probably, next Sunday.

So take care and I will see you later in the week.

This week I will be joining,


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Best wishes to you.


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