My much-loved and treasured Be-Ro cookbook collection that got me thinking; I use any one of them almost weekly, and even though I suspect I know many of the recipes of by heart, I still take immense pleasure from opening their old, worn covers and choosing what I will bake or cook……the memories flood back of happy carefree days in the kitchen with my grandmother and mum – flour on our chins and a table groaning under the weight of freshly baked cakes, scones, biscuits and bread. Just one look at some of the older copies, makes me go all misty eyed, with a longing for a slice of “milk fadge” or a couple of “girdle scones“, or maybe a slice of “Granny Loaf” or even a “sponge Drop”.
I LOVE the very non-pc snippets in the books, housewives are extolled for their baking prowess, whilst little girls want to play house and cook with their mummy. My favourite quote comes from the oldest of my Be-Ro cookbooks, and quite simply states that……” The woman who can cook well and bake well has every reason and every right to be proud of her cooking…….In ninety nine cases out of a hundred she has a happy home, because good cooking means good food, and good food means good health…….There’s no more pleasing sight than that of a happy family around a well-stocked tea-table, all enjoying their food; and the mother who is responsible for the good cooking, and who has prepared it with her own hands, have every right to survey the results of her culinary skill with pride and satisfaction”…..now, I am NOT suggesting we all turn back the clock and lose the emancipation that we have fought to hard to achieve, as women, but sometimes there’s a niggling little thought at the back of my mind that tells me that for all we have gained, we have lost so much too…..and the delight of eating together as a family is just one of our losses.
Another quote from my 1930 edition (my oldest Be-Ro cookbook) informs us that we should…..“Teach your daughters to bake at home”…….well we could add sons to that statement as well, but I see NOTHING wrong with teaching our children to cook and bake at home, and indeed my daughter was brought up with a wooden spoon in one hand and Tala measuring cup of flour in the other! In fact, visit any Italian or French home, and the children will be found helping out in the kitchen from an early age and it’s not so much a privilege, but the foundation of life skills for the future.
This is an all time favourite of mine, it’s the rather humble and yet TOTALLY delectable Melting Moments! This recipe is not in my oldest 1930 Be-Ro cookbook, but appears in the next one I have in my collection, the 18th edition – which I guesstimate to be about 1942, although I believe there was war-time edition, so it may even be pre-war 1939 or post-war 1945……if anyone has the exact date or formula for working the dates out, I would love to hear from you! I have amended the recipe slightly, they suggest lard, but I don’t “do” lard, although I could have used “trex” I suppose.
Melting Moments are wonderful little “light as a feather” and meltingly crisp biscuits (cookies), and they ALWAYS made an appearance on my grandmother and mum’s afternoon tea-table, and we also had them popped into our lunch boxes for school. The recipe is SO easy to rustle up and they stay crisp and fresh for up to 5 days in an airtight tin. You can roll them in coconut or oats, I prefer coconut – but I am sure they would be just as nice with oats, which is a suggested alternative. Children and “big children” love these, and they really are melting moments, great with a cuppa English tea.
The recipe is SO easy to rustle up and they stay crisp and fresh for up to 5 days in an airtight tin. You can roll them in coconut or oats, I prefer coconut – but I am sure they would be just as nice with oats, which is a suggested alternative. Children and “big children” love these, and they really are melting moments, great with a cuppa English tea.
I hope you will enjoy my weekly Sepia Saturday and Bake with Be-Ro, if you fancy making any of the recipes I have shared, I will post a linky at the end of my post, and then we can all come to visit your blog for a Be-Ro tea too! One last word, I am on a diet, actually I am always on a diet, but one thing that will become apparent as I bake my way through eighty years of Be-Ro books, is just how “frugal” some of the recipes were – the ingredient weights were less than we are used to today, and a cake or a batch of biscuits were supposed to last a FULL week, maybe we can learn from that rather thrifty attitude! I plan to share what I bake, but, there will be many recipes that are surprisingly LOW on calories, so no need to worry too much if you DO join in! I DID work out the calories if these little treats, and they came in at only 70 calories a biscuit, so NOT bad! That’s it for now, I am off to put the kettle on and have a Melting Moment!