Zucchini Slice

 My Mum, Karyn

Wow - things are hectic for me once again! I have been trying to slow down, and chillax so that I can fit everything that I like to do into my life - but it has been challenging the last few weeks!! 

It seems we are all trying to find a balance. Whether we work too hard and have no time for ourselves, or have a family and have no time for ourselves, or both and variations thereof - it seems to me a lot of people are juggling. I am trying really hard to get out of this cycle, and get into leading a more balanced life. I have done it before, but it gets harder as I get older. I am not sure why?

Ah, but I am looking very forward to my summer out of the cycle. I will be in Bali, and doing the things I love the most... hanging out with my sister, learning things - batik and how to surf, writing and working on my next album (already half-done for about 4 years!) and hopefully getting some gamelan practice in, yoga every day and eating well. In the lead-up I can only BE more crazy, right? I am going to try not to be, promise... 

How do you make time for yourself, and slow down?

You could always make some yummy zucchini slice courtesy of Grandma Campbell.. that'll do it! (Or today you could check out my ANZAC biscuit recipe..)

Zucchini Slice
375g zucchini
1 large onion
3 rashers bacon
1 cup grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar and some smoked mozarella)
1 cup s.r. flour
1/2 oil or milk
6 eggs
salt & pepper & herbs

~ grate unpeeled zucchini, finely chop onion and bacon
~ mix all ingredients together
~ put into well greased container and bake in moderate oven for 30 or 40 mins

Cookies (make it all better)

A young Kyran Brennan, my Grandfather circa 1915

I think the thing I love the most about BPL is these old photos. They are so awesome! I love looking at any old photos - imagining the life that people have lead, and were leading at that moment. What was their joy? What were their pains? What would they tell me now if they could - what advice would they give me?

Hopefully they would tell me not to sweat the tax bill we just got!

Ok, I will not worry. Instead, I baked some cookies and took heart in the fact that one day someone might look at an old photo of me and wonder what advice I might give them. I would tell them live, laugh & love. (We don't have long, - enjoy it!).

I hope you all have a great week, - full of good food, good company & some music that makes you wanna dance! You know, the important stuff! The cookies, if you wanna give them a go, are really simple, and quite delicious - rather caky and with a bit of a zing! They were gobbled up pretty quick!


Cream 2 Tbs Butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs condensed milk
Then add egg well beaten &
1 1/5 cups self-raising flour

~ Drop in small lumps on warm over slide
~ Bake about 10 minutes (I baked at 375f)
~ When cold, jam together jam and sprinkle icing sugar on top

Pikelets, (Photography & the best cooks)

l to r: My great Grandma, Bessie Pearl, unknown woman, my Grandma, Phyllis & my Mum, Karyn - Scarborough 1957

Tea Buns

clockwise from top left: ??, Grandma, Kyron Brennan Snr (her father-in-law), Roger-the-dog & Dianna McGushin

Mrs Shield's Pills

"The Four Generations"
top l to r: My Grandma, Phyllis and her mother B. Pearl, bottom l to r: My Aunty Pam and her great-Grandma, my great-great Grandma, Maryanne

Good Sultana Cake

My Grandma Phyllis, (this is how I remember her), in 1984 - age 73

There are a couple of newer photos in the collection that I have, but I always feel like they aren't 'old' enough. There is something so romantic about old black & white photos, that I am just fascinated by. Probably because they go beyond 'me' and my 'youth'. ..... I thought I was young, but I guess I am not that young anymore. People are calling me ma'am! And, the other day I was at Urban Outfitters, singing along to a cover of some 80's song when it dawned upon me that this music was being marketed to people who didn't hear it the first time around. Like when Mum thought it was funny when I showed an interest in the Beatles, and The Doors. I also knew it when I saw an 80's looking outfit marked as 'vintage'. Hmph. Anyway, so I thought we would remember Grandma from the 'vintage' 80's today.

Grandma was awesome at helping me with my homework back in the 80's. She was super patient and would especially encourage me in Maths, which I wasn't so great at as a kid, and reading, which I was. I liked doing my homework, and I loved doing it with her. We'd sit at the dining room table and she would help me do the lot. Then we'd eat some total comfort-food dinner, like beef stew or rissoles (with peas and mashed potato, of course!) Later, when I was in high school I would go and stay over at her place once or twice a week to keep her company, eat her dinners and be a little closer to my school (and erm, my boyfriend! The truth comes out!)... I remember telling her that old age was the reason that she couldn't taste her food as well anymore, that I had just learnt that in Human Biology, funny, the same day she complained to me about it! The things we say without thinking when we're young!
So, eat your food. Taste it! Enjoy it! Savour it while you can!

And this week, for you all, homework!!! 


Yes, you heard me. 

I have had quite a busy week - I had my first concert as part of the Gamelan Orchestra I am in, fun!, and on top of that a bit of extra work-work, and I haven't had time to bake at all. I wanted to make the Good Sultana Cake, but haven' been able to yet, - so your homework, if you feel like doing it (Grandma won't mind if you don't, and I won't bug you either!) is to sort out this week's recipe. I will write it as it is in the ledger, and if you want to to try it out, that'd be great! And let me know how you get on, - post me a picture, tell me the cooking temperature - you know, all of that!! You can do it here, or Bessie Pearl's Ledger now also has a Facebook Page here.

Good Sultana Cake
3 lb's flour
1 1/2 lbs sultanas 
2 lbs of butter
2 lbs of sugar
20 eggs  (ok, really???? I would probably research that a lot!)
little lemon peel
That's all I got! Ready, get set,,, go!! (And good luck!)

German Nut Cake

My Grandma (Phyllis) in her cute suit

This cake was so yummy! Even though there are no nuts IN the cake, and putting them in the icing is optional, German Nut Cake is a winner.

Guys, seriously. I am making something full of butter, eggs, flour and sugar at least once every week. (And eating it!). That, on top of Ben & Jerry's limited edition Flourless Chocolate Cake icecream, - I am turning my little family into fatties.

(On another very serious note, if you like chocolate you must find this icecream. We like our icecream over here, but it isn't often that we'll buy the same flavour more than twice in a row. It's limited edition, so I might have to go stock up. Yes. Yes, I am very serious!).

Sorry I didn't talk about the cake very much. It is very good. But sometimes, something else is just that bit better. 

Oh, and PS - I FOUND MILO AT THE CORNER STORE!!! Oh you can imagine the chocolate hyperness going on over here....

German Nut Cake
(transcribed as is, sans the calligraphy pen)

Not quite 1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 lbs butter, 
beat butter & sugar is a cream
add 3 egg well beaten
1 cup self raising flour
3 Tbs Fry's cocoa (do they still have that?)
1 of ground cinnamon
1/2 of mixed spice
bake in sandwich tins for 10 or 15 minutes

For filling

~ Melt 1/4 butter in a saucepan
~Add 1/2 lbs icing sugar
~ let stand till almost cool then spread between cake and on top and sprinkle with ground cocoanut or ground nut (we used both desiccated coconut and crushed walnuts)

(Mrs T. Bowley's) Irresistible Biscuits

 Mum in the 60's

Mrs T. Bowley's Irresistible biscuits are suspiciously like the Nellie Biscuits I made a few weeks ago... Hmmm, has it finally happened that the consistency of the appearance of flour, butter & sugar has manifested itself in the same thing called something else?.... I knew it! What will be next? I hope it won't be soon, that wouldn't be much fun, would it?

Sorry I missed a few episodes of BP'sL. I have actually been away on holidays! We had the loveliest week in the Outer Banks, NC. And, like most vacations my husband and I have, we ate some really delicious food. I, as usual, made sure there were some photos of the food as well! I was looking back over all my photos recently, and realised that I have so many food pics from all over the world. (And quite a few of me scoffing myself!). There is quite a collection!! I am thinking of adding to the blog a day of 'food photos' from different places. Then I will have an excuse to go out (or not, staying in pics are good too!), take photos of yummy food and yes, eat that yummy food! What do you think?

I love going out to eat. If something becomes a favourite dish, then we do our best in this household to learn how to make it. So, we eat pretty well around here!

But, back to the holiday. The Outer Banks are best known for their seafood, - crab in particular. Man, did we eat a bit of crab. We started on the way down with lump crab cake sandwiches, moved onto Crab Grenades (with Wasabi sauce, hello yum!) and ended with Alaskan King Crab legs. Those suckers were huge! I am glad when we used to go crabbing when I was a kid that we weren't pulling those guys up. I think I would still be having crab nightmares.

Anyway, now I am fairly (not totally!) beachified again. Nothing like some salt air and beach walks to put me back on the ground. Thanks, North Carolina, I needed that!

(Mrs T. Bowley's) Irresistible Biscuits

1 1/2 lb flour
1/2 lb butter
3/4 lb sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

Mode (yes! there was a mode this time!)

~ Beat butter & sugar to a cream
~ Then add milk & eggs well beaten
~ Rub soda & cream tartar into flour
~ Mix altogether to a paste and roll thin
~ Bake in a moderate oven until they are brown & crisp

Ginger Pudding (& Sticky Date Pudding)

My Granddad, Keeny Brennan, with Chris(tmas) the cocky

I LOVE this photo. It is one of my favourites! I never knew my grandfather, but I knew Chris the cocky! He was a Christmas present to my Mum when she was about five. Chris was a talking cocky who used to live in the laundry. Laundries in the olden days in Australia (and I guess some places still today) had toilets in them (or a w/c - which I had to inform someone what that was the other day. I felt old, or maybe just Aussie, you don't see them so much over here), and whenever someone went into use the bathroom he would say, "What you doing in there?"! He also used to say Mum's name, and a slew of other things. He would dance like cockies do. I know, it seems weird to have a pet cocky, and kind of cruel, but a lot of people had them back then I suppose. I love pink and grey galahs - which is what Chris was, they are kooky and fun and they make me smile! Apparently, Chris died young at about 50. Is that why there are so many in Australia?

Besides birds, I also love pudding. To be precise I love Sticky Date Pudding. Whenever I am in Melbourne I have to go to Segovia's especially. I was kinda bummed that the ledger seemed to have date-everything-else-but-pudding, but about 10 million other types of pudding. So, I thought Ginger Pudding sounded good instead. I've never made pudding before - I didn't know how the heck to do it, and BP's ledger really didn't help much. In fact, I think it was a wonky recipe, as there weren't any eggs in it!! So, I did a bit of research and did what I could. It worked! But my pudding was a hard lump of ginger rock bread, dry as anything. It sat in the fridge for a while before it was sadly tossed. Sorry BP, this one was a total dud!

I had a dream where Grandma told me that the secret was the you put treacle in the bottom of the bowl before steaming it. Does anyone know if that is true? Wouldn't that be awesome if it was!! I would totally try it again if that were true!!

Anyway, so then I decided I needed Sticky Date Pudding to commiserate. So, here it is! We have been eating it all week, and haven't invited one single person over to enjoy it with us! Little piggies over here!! (But it was sooooo good!). So, we have been gorging ourselves on SDP and Mad Men. Can't get enough of either of those this week.!! Next time we'll have people over to share, I promise.

See you next week. Cook this if you can. It's easy! You don't even have to steam it, it's an oven jobby.

And PS. I got the recipe here.

Oh, and PPS. Pudding in Australia is sometimes not the same as pudding in America!! (And sometimes, it is).

Sticky Date Pudding

1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1 1/4 cup chopped pitted dates
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 tsp baking powder

~ Preheat 350 f
~ Place dates in saucepan & cover with water (approx. 1 1/2 cups). Bring to boil & simmer 3 minutes
~ Add baking soda to date mixture (it will bubble)
~ Cream butter, sugar & eggs (1 at a time)
~ Gently mix flour, salt, vanilla. Slowly stir in baking powder & 1/4 cup of the liquid from the dates, until thick like pancake batter
~ Drain the rest of date liquid and discard. Stir dates into mixture
~ Bake 30 - 40 minutes in a buttered 9" round baking pan (I used small pie tins for individual servings)

Caramel Sauce

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cream
1/2 + 1 Tbsn brown packed sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

~ Combine. Bring to boil. Reduce and simmer for 3 minutes

~ Serve with cream or vanilla icecream

Ginger Pudding

take 2 cups of flour
2 Tbs sugar
1 dessertspoon ginger
a piece of butter the size of a walnut rubbed into the flour
2 dessertspoon treacle
1 tsp bicarb soda, dissolved in a little milk

~ Mix to the consistency of batter
~ Pour into battered mould
~ Steam 3 hours
~ Serve with sweet sauce or custard

I added egg, as obviously with just these ingredients it isn't very wet... I am still in the dark about how it should be...! Anyone?
But oh well, here's the sticky date version...

Sausage Rolls

 Brennan (My Grandpa, Keeny Brennan's, parents) residence in Kalgoorlie

I started making sausage rolls about a-year-and-a-half ago. I had been wanting to make them in forever, but I never knew how. And every time I would ask my Grandma Campbell (my Dad's Mum) how to make them, she would say, "Everyone knows how to make sausage rolls", to which I would reply, "I don't" and she would say, "They're so easy Nerissa"....  And that is about as far as the conversation would go. I would get frustrated and feel like I was 4 again, asking her "But, WHY Grandma?" to which she always would say, "Because Y is a crooked letter" (she always stumped me, I never knew what to say to that. The point, I do believe! I also shut up quick smart when I would ask what was for dinner and she would say "a wigwam for a gooses bridle". Huh?! Total brilliance! I'd love to hear what old sayings your Grandparents gave you! They're always so awesome, especially across countries..).

- Anyway, it was like she was holding back some secret information that she didn't want to share with me, with that ever present twinkle in her eye! I felt like this because her sausage rolls are the best. AND she also used to own a pie shop (nb. Australian pies mean meat, not sweet!) where she made both pies and sausage rolls, (among other sweet deliciousness), so I knew she was an expert. Finally, I got a little bit of info from her. Like, that she used to roll out her dough through a hand-wringer but that that got too much work, so she jimmied up a motor to the wringer and let it do all the work. And how much butter you should use in puff pastry, and why you may as well just buy the pastry because who wants to do all that anymore? And how she used to buy 'pie seasoning' to make her pies taste so good, but then they stopped making it, and pies were never the same. THEN she started telling me all about vanilla slices... although I may have to have another consultation on that because I can't remember a thing - there was too much drool going on to actually take it all in.

Anyway, I didn't really get any sausage roll info that was particularly useful, so I just researched them for myself. I bought the pastry and tried out a few things. I am very popular when I make these. And let me insist that they taste awesome with the home made tomato sauce

So, for anyone who loves Sausage Rolls, but doesn't know how to make them, here you go... My secret ingredient for both pies and sausage rolls? I don't mind sharing it. Vegemite.

Next try? Jamie Oliver's Sausage Rolls.. Bet they're awesome (and he uses bought puff pastry too!)

Sausage Rolls

1 lb sausage meat (ground pork, or you can use actual sausages and cut them out of the casing. The more seasoned the meat, the better. If it isn't seasoned, season to your taste - salt, pepper and whatever you like!)
1 small onion (if you want!)
2 eggs (one for pastry, one for mix)
1/3 cup milk (milk & breadcrumbs aren't mandatory, they just beef out the mixture)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 sheets frozen puff pastry

~ basically all you really need is the meat and the puff pastry. Everything else is to taste, so experiment!
~ chop onion finely, mix with meat & 1 beaten egg
~ mix milk and breadcrumbs until milk is absorbed, add to meat mixture
~ divide pastry sheet into 3 along folds (the sheets that I get are folded into thirds, if yours aren't, just make long strips)
~ put meat mixture along middle and roll up like a log (I spread vegemite on the pastry first)
~ seal with brushed egg
~ cut to the size you like - they can be fairly long, or bite size (party sausage rolls we call them!), and pierce a steam hole in each
~ brush with egg or milk
~ bake in a pre-heated oven (350 f) for 20 - 30 minutes, - until puffed and golden brown
~ serve with tomato sauce (ketchup) - there's a great recipe here from the ledger!

Lemon Jam

mum at school

I am always surprised when I go to buy lemons in New York. They're kinda expensive.. Well, ok, not in the scheme of things, but comparatively they are. When you come from a place where there are so many lemon trees that kids have lemon fights over backyard fences, or instead of throwing balls you throw your dog a lemon (that one's really great - when they can't help but bite into it!! haha! Endless amusement) and people would leave buckets, and I mean buckets, of lemons out on the curb for anyone to take, it is weird to pay $2 for 3 lemons. No wonder there are so many lemon-y recipes in the ledger. (And tomato-y. But that's another story!).

Last year when we went home to Australia for a visit, we were picking limes like it was going outta fashion. And serving ourselves up great cocktails with fresh limes. Oh summer in Oz!

I miss the smell of citrus trees, and I didn't even realise it until the lime adventures last year. So fresh and clean mixed with all that fresh salty sea air and eucalyptus. I can't wait to get some fish and chips with some squeezes of free lemons and go down to the beach to watch the sun set.

In the meantime, lemon jam!! (If life serves you up a bunch of lemons, you could also make this - it has just as much sugar!! Oh, and life hasn't served me any lemons lately, so don't worry,  - I just found out I got into the Gamelan orchestra here in NY, which means added inspiration for a music project I have up my sleeve!! Yay! Not to mention some more sentimentality for me after a childhood spent running around sandy laneways and gorging myself on nasi bunkus and banana juices, gamelan always in my subconscious). Very excited.

Oh, and a word of caution back on the lemon jam. Don't put this onto boil and not watch it. This lovely photo ended with me cleaning caramelised sugar off the stove top. It still turned out ok, I haven't tasted it yet as it is setting - hopefully with still enough sugar to actually turn to jam!.. We'll see. I'll report back soon.

Until next week!

Lemon Jam

12 lemons
4 oranges
12 lb sugar

~ slice the lemons & oranges into thin slices and put into bowl
~ add 8 pints water
~ let it soak all night
~ put on boil with sugar
~ boil 3/4 of an hour

Nellie Biscuits

My Mum, Karyn, as a little girl in Esperance, WA

I love this photo of my Mum, it looks so much like my little sister I think! This blog has been so lovely for thinking about family, remembering fun times, and remembering my Grandma, imagining my Great-Grandma and generally feeling very reminiscent, sometimes too much so, for my home and family and the past. I have always loved the past. But, there are so many things I love about my life now, some of which I wanted to share today.

I love the Rollerskaters at Central Park! They come out during the summer and disco-skate the day away every weekend. I love watching them, it is terribly fascinating and infectious. Sometimes I think I should join in, but I don't want to, I think I get more enjoyment out of watching, and I would probably have a crash if I were watching & skating. 

I love the guy who sings Beatles tunes in the subway tunnel between 6th & 7th ave. He is always there, and always so happy singing his Beatles songs. Sometimes I don't know if it is the acoustics, or if there are songs he ain't so great at, but he always makes me smile and think of the Balinese cover bands, if you've seen one you'll know what I mean. 
I love seeing the Statue of Liberty (aka The Green Lady) and Brooklyn Bridge as I am on the train going over the Manhattan Bridge. 

I love eating Couscous at Cafe Gitane, and breaking my 'no coffee' rule when I go there. (One of the best places for a good coffee in the city! OK, coffee is getting better all over, but theirs has been great for the 9 years I've been here, so I send them the love!). On food, I also love Mamoun's. Hello, awesome cheap falafel sandwich that I can take to Washington Square Park to see the little kid busking on a piano (yes, a real one. They wheel it out from somewhere!). Oh, and, I also love Bonnie's Buffalo Chicken Wings, and even though it now takes me an hour to get to them, we still like going to Brooklyn for them! (Open up in Harlem guys!)

I love the bike path that runs along the Hudson. Even though my bike is crap. (OK, it is really the user! I can't even say my bike is crap anymore because I got a new one for my birthday. From my Dad. Same colour as my first bike and all. He said he thought it was funny to buy his grown up daughter a bike!). It is so nice to ride along the river and see the city on one side, the Hudson on the other!
I love Yoga Today. They teach the best yoga classes online, and make me happy that I can practice every day if I want to without worrying about not being able to afford yoga classes.

And I love writing this blog. It really makes me smile to cook and eat and talk. I made these Nellie Biscuits Tuesday night. We had some friends over to our place, and got cooked for!! Having no dessert to serve, I whipped these up. There were quite a few! When I got home from work the next afternoon there was this little one waiting for me. And it made me happy that everyone liked my biscuits and ate them up. Yum Yum!

Nellie Biscuits

2 cups of flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp bicarb soda
2 oz butter or lard (4 TBS)
1 cup sugar
1 eggs and a little milk

there was absolutely nothing else on this recipe, so I looked up other cookies and saw they were a very simple cookie dough, that you really could add anything too. So, I was able to garner the rest from there..
~ cream butter & sugar
~ add flour, cream of tartar and bicarb soda
~ beat egg and add a little milk
~ rounded teaspoon of dough makes a good size
~ cook for 10 minutes in 375 f oven
~ add icing, or whatever you would like, or leave them plain

German Biscuits

My Aunty Pam, BP's Granddaughter

Oh god! Can someone can help me next time I have to make biscuits (cookies)? I am SO bad with dough. We've already discussed how crap I am at pastry, well, buttery biscuit dough is also something I fight with. It is one area where I simply have no patience. I just want to throw the rolling pin at the wall. Show that dough!! If it wants to stick to everything, then it can stick to the wall!! haha!

I know it is probably my fault, perhaps I never listened to any cooking tutorials my Grandma, or Mum tried to give me (I mean, I know I never listened to the knitting, crocheting and sewing talks!). But how come I don't know all the little tricks by now? I think if I were a woman back in the day the other ladies would have talked about me behind my back. Sure, we would have been friends, but they would laugh at my baking (not my cooking, I am an ok cook!). They would come over for afternoon tea and wonder what the heck I was serving them. It would probably taste ok, but it would look terrible. They might politely spit it into their hankies when I wasn't looking. 

But, I am an optimist. I do think that by the time I am of Grandmother age (whether I am someone's real Grandma or not) I will be good. There will be people who, after I die, will remember my cooking. That will make me happy!! I always think of my life in its current state and see if it will be something that I will enjoy looking back on when I am in my rocking chair, knitting (??!!) and chatting with my husband, sister or girlfriends while an apple pie cools on the window sill. I know, when I am older I should be still out there and enjoying my life, and I hope I will be. But I do hope I get to rock on that chair and think back to when I couldn't roll out those damn German Biscuits (or Empire Biscuits, as they were re-named during the war - which I think is pretty funny!) and enjoy remembering Bessie Pearls' Ledger and how much fun it was.

Later - I re-made these biscuits today! They were so yummy, and I knew that I hadn't done them right the first time. I think they were probably a little too small this time, but I think they're much closer to what they are supposed to be - little buttery shortbread-esque biscuits that you sort of want to pop into your mouth all at once. Go on! Do it!

German Biscuits

4 oz flour (1/2 cup)
2 oz butter (4 TBS)
1 oz sugar (2 TBS)
1 tsp water

~ Mix together & roll into thin paste (it was so sticky!! I couldn't roll it. I had to roll it into little balls and flatten them. On the second take, I rolled the dough into a long 'snake' and then cut small pieces off. I then rolled them into balls again, but they were much smaller - I think more suited to this biscuit.)
~ I learned what I think is the method from a Swedish Sweets book. So these worked waaaay better the second time I tried them.  Cream the butter & sugar, then add the flour a little at a time. Some recipes said to rest the dough in the fridge for half an hour, others didn't. I didn't. Why? Because I am impatient!!
~ Cut size required (I think they should be small, there's not much dough)
~ Bake in moderate oven (350 f for 8 - 10 mins)
~ Put raspberry jam between two layers
~ Add icing on top if you like

these are the second batch - small and cute, sans icing which we found too sweet!

Indigestion Cure

My Grandfather, Kyran 'Keeny' Brennan, in his stylish car

I am so lucky! I really scoff things down sometimes, but I don't ever seem to get indigestion. If I do, it is something that just goes along with eating, that I have no clue about. 

Grandma taught us to eat fast. It is really quite terrible. She would pit my sister and I against each other, - telling us whoever ate their food the fastest would be the winner (no prize necessary, it's sibling rivalry remember!). I think it was more a ploy to get my sister, a picky eater, to finish her food. But all it really did was instill a habit in me, a veritable garbage disposal, of eating quickly, - I would competitively devour my meal, hungering for the recognition of being the 'winner' while my sister would pout and scowl, barely touching a thing. So, yes, I always 'won'. But, I don't think anyone really won in the end. Grandma's plan never worked (even when it did move into actual prizes), my sister would still end up with dessert (always unfair in my mind!), I would be an unfulfilled winner (c'mon, I am not that bad - absolutely no competition is not that fun. It's like busting your balls in a running race, only to look back and see that the competition fell down due to exhaustion, and meanwhile you are only running against yourself, (you were thinking you were doing a great job), when in reality, you don't know if you really deserve to win....! And how come the exhausted fellow gets a medal when he didn't even breathe near the finish line?), and Grandma was frustrated at not getting my sister to eat, again. 

So, now, I still eat fast. After years of working in the hospitality, retail and entertainment industries, where you get a quick break, always ready to rush out and greet & help people if they need you, the habit is hard to shake. The only way to make me slow down is to get me to start talking. That'll always do it!

I don't know if my sister is still a picky eater. She'll have to tell you that. I know there are way more things she doesn't like than me, (hmm, well, I can only think of pizza because it is always surprising to me!!). I do know that she is looking forward to being in a place that has a bigger kitchen, so she can cook more. Her kitchen right now is awful. I mean, really awful. I wouldn't cook in there either. So, I look forward to her cooking too. Maybe, even though we're oceans apart, once she's set up she can join me on this journey. Nothing would make me happier!

Indigestion Cure

1 TBS pure honey dissolved in about half a glass of cold water & 1 tsp of tincture of myrrh. 

~ or ~

1 tsp of honey dissolved in a tumbler of cold water, taken with dinner. 


My Grandma, BP's daughter, Phyllis - circa late 1960's?

I procrastinated this morning. Instead of doing the laundry, which has been on my to-do list for a few days now, I decided to make pancakes for breakfast. I was chopping some fruit for my regular quick brekkie and the sun was shining in the window,  and the mango I was cutting looked so luscious and I was reminded of a holiday in Mexico where we picked mangoes from the trees in the garden to eat with the pancakes that came free for breakfast. We would sit in the lovely garden and feel like we were having the time of our lives, free from everything for the time being, eating fresh mangoes & pancakes. Why not today? (Laundry.... it can wait!). 

But, I decided that I wasn't allowed to make my regular pancakes, and that I had to try the ones from the ledger, - feeling that that was being somewhat productive. After all, there must be SO many of you out there reading this, right? I am not just talking to myself. This ledger is important!!! Well, sometimes just doing a project for the projects sake is a good thing, and I must admit, I am doing this as much for me as for you all! It makes me really happy!

So, I set about making the pancakes from BP's Ledger. It called for 3 eggs!! What? My usual recipe has only 1 egg amongst quite a few other ingredients. But, I kept going. The flour part was disconcerting... what kind of batter? Thin? Thick? I started with 1 1/2 cups of flour, which made a sort of thin batter and dropped some in the frying pan. While two little pancakes were cooking I referenced a few pancake recipes, and thought I would add a little more flour to test the difference. Bad Idea!

The first two little pancakes were awesome! They are totally the pancakes I have been striving to make for a long time. They aren't fluffy pancakes like you get in the States. They are thinner, and crisp, and are the perfect style of pancake for lemon & honey, my choice of topping as a kid. 
The rest of the batch, with the extra flour, were ok, but a little rubbery. So, I may even try a little less flour next time to see how that turns out. 

And now, laundry still sitting in the corner of mind, I am telling you about my delicious breakfast! I am thoroughly recommending you treat yourself to a nice breakfast, as if you were on vacation, - pancakes, strawberries and mangoes, oj, earl grey tea and the back issues of your favourite new magazine, Uppercase, which arrived right as I was enjoying my cuppa! (Oh, yeah, husbands are welcome at the table, too!). (Or wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, kids, friends, any sort of person really!) ...


3 eggs
1/2 pint of milk (1 cup)
sufficient flour to make batter (I thought 1 1/2 cups was best)
pinch of salt

~ beat eggs and stir into milk
~ add a pinch of salt & sufficient flour to make smooth batter
~ great with lemon & sugar, or lemon & honey

Tomato Sauce

Herb Truscott (BP's brother), my Mum, Karyn, BP and Keeny Brennan at the Kalgoorlie races circa 1960

Some people really hate condiments , I know. But why? Is it because of all the preservatives? Or just because it changes the taste of something too much? I am not sure, and would love to know people's reasons. I also know people who drown their food in tomato sauce (nb., I am mostly speaking Australian throughout this ledger, to me Tomato Sauce is Ketchup and Pasta Sauce is Tomato Sauce! Just to avoid the cross-country-language confusion that I have often laughed through in the States, this recipe is for tomato sauce / ketchup!). Anyway, drowning things in sauce, yes! I know those people too. I am somewhere in the middle. But, I cannot eat a pie or sausage roll without sauce. It is wrong. They go together like bacon & eggs, coffee & sugar, tea & scones, strawberries & cream. OK, now I have to go make some pies.... YUM!

So, for everyone who likes a bit of sauce, and for those who don't like preservatives (that'd be me, too!), here's some dead 'orse for ya dog's eye!

Tomato Sauce
6 lb ripe tomatoes
1 lb onions
2 oz salt
1 oz garlic
1/2 oz bruised ginger
1/2 oz cloves

~ boil for 2 hours
~ strain through colander

Then add:
1/2 pint vinegar
1/4 lb sugar (I halved the sugar because everything has been tasting a bit too sugary for me!)
cayenne to taste

(I blended the mixture before boiling it again!)

~ then boil again
~ Makes 2  14 oz jars.

I think next time I may leave out the cloves. It tastes good, but it is very similar to the chutney (except smooth!), and I think it would be nice to try a taste that's a little different!