Moving out of half of the shop to our eight acres just outside Nundle last year came with the unusual advantage of not having to move everything straight away. We had the luxury of being able to camp out in the new old house and rip up carpet, sand floors, and paint without working around furniture. The downside is that 18 months later we haven’t finished moving. I am promising myself that when our youngest starts school next year I will empty the shop warehouse of all our personal gear.
Most weeks I chip away and bring a few goodies from the shop to “Cudgee”. Recently I brought home my grandmother’s White Wings recipe box. I don’t remember seeing this red box in Grandma’s flat or house, but I am fond of it because it reminds me of Grandma and it is a time capsule of its era (I’m guessing the 1940s, but correct me if I’m wrong). I love the simple typography and layout of the recipe cards, recipes for things like Brawn, Mock Duck, and Curried Rabbit, and housekeeping handy hints for How to Iron Silks!, Damping Down, and Hanging Out!
There are also some recipes in Grandma’s hard-to-read handwriting on little yellowing cards, or on sheets of paper folded to fit the box. I remember her handwriting was always a mystery to my eyes, more like a spider web on paper than letters forming words. I always fancied the slim silver pen she kept in her handbag to write important notes in her small silver covered notepad.
The recipes remind me of Grandma’s sweet tooth, there are handwritten cards for Lemon Butter, Toffee, One Egg Chocolate Cake and Boiled Pineapple Fruit Cake. When I posted a photo of the red recipe box on our Odgers and McClelland Facebook page one of our Friends asked for the Mulberry Crunch recipe (only the title was shown in the photo). Here it is:
Mulberry Crunch (from the White Wings boxed recipe collection, circa 1940s)
Ingredients: 2 cups Mulberries, 1 cup Sugar, 1 1/2 cups White Wings Self Raising Flour, 1 cup Brown Sugar, 2 tblsps. Butter.
Method: Stew mulberries in their own juice with 1 cup sugar. Place in a greased ovenware dish. Into flour and brown sugar, rub the butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Spread over mulberries. Bake in a moderate oven till pale brown. Serve hot or cold with custard or cream.