Cornies (& Babysitting)

Aunty Pam as a little girl, circa 1934

I didn't think these would be so delicious! I figured they'd be like chocolate crackles (which I also think are pretty great), but they are more like Crunchy Nut Cornflakes-as-a-treat! They are way better than what they sound like. Think Coconut Toast with butter, and you might be getting there.

I made them Tuesday afternoon whilst babysitting (playing with!) my 3-year-old friend. I go look after him every week for a few hours and it is so much fun. Kids remind me to be in the moment, and to have fun with such abandonment - I can't help but be inspired by them. And look at the inspiration today, we made some Cornies! How could anyone resist making them with a kid if you can? (nb. You are allowed to be a grown-up kid and make them for yourself too!).

It was a rainy day here in NY on Tuesday, the best kind for cooking. I really love the rain, and miss having my birthday in the middle of winter in Australia where it unfailingly rained the last year away every time. Rain makes me feel a real sense of calm, so does the beach - or the river (I just moved very close to the Hudson River, which is lovely). When I got home I snuggled up with my cat and book - which I am nearing the end of, after slopping my Converse from Brooklyn to Harlem. What a nice day!

Thanks, little friend, for helping me make and eat these treats. 


1/4 lb butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup sugar
~ creamed
1 egg beaten
1 cup coconut
4 cups Corn Flakes

~ Put in patties (paper)
~ Bake until golden brown 10 - 15 minutes (I can't tell you what temperature I had the oven, because I was at my friend's place and the knob was off...!)

Happy Birthday Sis!

 Grandma outside the Post Office

Happy Birthday to my beautiful sister. If we were together I would bake you a cake from the ledger. But seeing as though we are miles apart I am going to have to ask you what you'd like and we'll eat it here in celebration! - Here's your choices ...
Orange Cake, Sultana Cake, Coffee Cake or Sponge Fingers. Tell me what you would like me to post for your birthday and I will make it. (Maybe a little belatedly!)...

I didn't always get along very well with my sister. Is that always how it is? I feel like some sisters got along ok, and others didn't. We were the latter. Not all the time, but man did we have some ripper fights. Mum used to get so upset, because she always wanted us to be best friends. That always made me wanna puke! Little sisters are sometimes so annoying! But we were friends too, and allies a lot, and in a childhood full of many schools and travels she was my constant companion and now, my bestest friend in the world. I am so lucky to have a sister!

(and a nice snapshot of one of those travel trips - hehe! Actually, I don't know why I am laughing, I look like I am in a foul mood - I remember NOT wanting to wear that stupid rain hood, but preferring it to the shower cap Grandma made my sister wear)!

Pasty Pie

Kyran & Karyn Brennan (Mum at 5 weeks old!) and Roger-the-dog

It's cooking right now, the Pasty Pie. You are getting a post where I am sitting here (im)patiently waiting for my dinner, tummy grumbling as the smells devour me!

Mum & Aunty Pam have been getting so excited over this blog. Well, I am not sure if it is the blog itself, or the memories of food they are enjoying. The Pasty Pie is one of them! Mum told me right back when I started this project that I had to make it, and when she told Aunty Pam about my blogging, she also said, "Tell Nerissa she has to make Pasty Pie". So, here I am. Again, it's a very easy recipe. Very Old Fashioned. Very I'm-not-doing-much-just-shoving-things-in-the-oven... I guess it goes to show you, cooking is sometimes not as hard as it seems. Yay!

I can imagine Grandma making this dish! It smells so her. She used to tell Mum-as-a-kid before school, "I am making Pasty Pie for dinner tonight, Love", and Mum would be beside herself all day thinking about it. I can so imagine getting home from school on a winter's day and this being on the menu. I would die. Does anyone else have those kinds of food memories?

I used to love a good old fashioned Roast. Of course! I mean, they just take SO long that by the time they're nearly ready it's all you can think about. Especially a lamb roast. Or Pork. Beef. I guess it doesn't matter!! Afterwards we would have ice cream and jelly (jello) - red please! Oh, and at Christmas with crackers and all? Love it! (Can you tell I haven't had a traditional Aussie Christmas in a while? We don't do Roast here at Chrissy, and while I've tried to introduce Christmas Crackers, and everyone likes them, wherever I go, whatever the year, they are always popped before we even sit down to eat. I tried to be the Sergent about the fact that you have to crack them AFTER you've eaten the main course, while you're waiting for dessert, but I felt kinda mean, so just let everyone enjoy themselves).

Oh oh oh t-minus 2 minutes!
I am off!

Later: Don't you love it? It's like a cooking show - "I have one finished here!" ...I took the Pasty Pie out of the oven right as my husband walked in from work. The apartment smelt awesome!! We sat as long as we could to let it cool and then dug in. Very easy, very delicious - I ate two slices and the rest was for my man! What's that saying??!!


Pasty Pie
(courtesy of Mum & Aunty Pam)

500g (4 cups) plain flour
250g (16 Tbs) butter, margarine or lard (ok, my pastry, while delicious was a *little* too buttery for my taste. Next time I am not going to add quite so much).


~ Sift flour & salt (are you kidding? I just mixed them together!)

~ Rub in butter until it resembles breadcrumbs
~ Make a well & add water. Mix with hands until it becomes pliable

~ Rest for 1/2 hr (the pastry, not you)


1/2 kg (1 lb) good steak (not stewing) cut into cubes. Grandma used rump (I used Skirt)
3 -4 large potatoes
3 -4 large carrots
1 turnip
1 leek
salt & pepper to taste

~ Roll pastry out to about 5cm & line a square/oval 2" deep pastry tin  (I didn't understand this step very well. But I couldn't call Mum as it was the wrong time in Australia. I just lined my pastry tin, which was more of a cake tin - it was fine, but I think the dish is meant to be bigger - we had left over ingredients and pastry, so I made individual pies as well)
~ Combine ingredients & fill tin -(Grandma used to cube vegies & mix together, but some people slice & build up layers)

~ Make a pastry lid for tin, and pierce a small hole in centre to allow steam to escape.
~ Brush with milk or a little beaten egg.

~ Bake in hot oven 220c (425f) for 20 minutes, then reduce to 160c (325f) for 40 minutes