Thursday, February 3, 2011

family favourites

One of my goals for this year was to use some of the vast collection of recipe books that I have tucked away. I say tucked away because to be honest they are, and a bit like the clothes in my wardrobe I use the same ones over and over and forget totally about the other ones.

Part of my collection includes some of those great books that have been compiled by a school or kindergarten or similar group. They are filled with the best family recipes and often have names like "aunty linda's tea cake". Over the last few weeks I've been trying some of the recipes. What I've discovered is most often the recipes haven't been proof read, the instructions often say add this or that and this or that isn't even listed in the ingredients! So with a bit of frustration I've been whipping up all sorts of "family favourites".

One which caught my eye was a custard square recipe that is made out of Huntly and Palmers cream crackers, have you ever heard of it? I had tried them once before, a girl I used to work with bought them in for a shared plate one day. I thought they were delicious but never thought to get the recipe. So it's pretty basic, lay out the crackers in a square cake tin, I discovered that I don't have one and used a sponge roll tin instead. This wasn't totally ideal as the next part is to pour over the custard (made as per packet instructions plus an extra tablespoon of custard powder) and they slid apart a little bit and the custard part wasn't as tall as I'd hoped. Once you have a layer of custard over the crackers, add another layer and pop them in the fridge overnight. The crackers soften and form a pastry. Then you can add an icing, I made a vanilla one but chocolate with some coconut sprinkled on is another option. Cut into squares or fingers to serve. They disappeared pretty quickly here!

The one book that I like the most belonged to my grandma, it's from 1983, called family favourites and was compiled by the N.Z.M.K.S. - or the New Zealand Machine Knitters Society. Many of the recipes say how quick they are so you please your family while you knit. What a great idea.


  1. Sometimes I have to stop myself thrifting that sort of recipe book. The most underused stash of anything in my house is recipe books - way too lazy.
    That recipe is one I would never have considered but those ones can be the best tasting ones.

  2. oh, yum! i've never heard of those custard squares but they look delicious (i love custard.)
    i too have a fondness for those lovely old community cookbooks!

  3. I love custard too, they look delicious. My Nana would make custard squares for pudding on Sunday nights. I have fond memories of their sticky icing and creamy custard. Yum!

    Hey with the pretzels it is 2 Tablespoons of soda, I think use a really big pot as the water doesn't need to be very deep. Mmmm I might need to make some of them again soon.


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