Family Recipe Day Part 3 – Learn to make English Trifle, Plus Bonus Recipe: Nana’s Mint Sauce.

This is the third and last Post for the Family Recipe day! How to make English Trifle. (Don’t Trifle With Me.) It’s a marvelously simple recipe.

English Trifle Recipe From Simon

I have tried many variations of this, some do use alcohol and some use jelly (jello) crystals. Personally I prefer my version of the classic trifle. You can also make it from scratch (or in the US, substitute angel food cake for sponge).

First, make a sponge cake:

3 Egg Whites                                                                               50 g (2 ozs.) Flour

1/8 teaspoon of Salt                                                             1 teaspoon Baking Powder

125 g (4 ozs.) Sugar                                                        25 g (1 oz.) Cornflour (aka Corn starch)

Beat eggs a little with the salt. Add sugar and beat until thick. Fold in sifted flour, cornflour, and baking powder. Bake 15-20 minutes in greased and floured sandwich tine 203 mm (8 inch) at 190oC (375oF).

(Alternatively buy 1.5 angel cake and use that). After the sponge is cooled cut or break it into pieces and spread jam on each piece as you put it into the serving bowl. Add whatever fruit you desire (fresh or canned sliced peaches work well). Marinate the sponge and fruit with a mix of the syrup from the canned peaches and ginger ale. Let sit.

Custard (I always use Birds Custard powder. Often I have to double this recipe to have enough custard.

35 g (2 tablespoons) Birds Custard Powder

15-35 g(1-2 tablespoons) Sugar

568 ml (1 pint) Milk

Put custard powder and sugar into a pot. Use a little of the milk (e.g., 2 tablespoons) to mix this into a smooth paste. I then gradually add more milk while heating the mixture to near boiling. (It’s really important to stir the bottom constantly to avoid it burning). Remove from heat.

Drain the serving bowl of the liquid used to soak the sponge and fruit. Then pore the custard mixture over the sponge. Make sure the custard entirely covers the sponge and fruit. Place bowl in fridge to cool the mixture. Once cold there should be a “skin” over the entire mixture. Whip 1-2 pints cream to decorate the trifle and serve.


Nana’s Mint Sauce for Leg of Lamb

12 Mint leaves

1 tablespoon SugarP1090313

1 tablespoon Vinegar

1 cup of Hot Water

Chop up mints leaves finely. Put vinegar and sugar into serving pitcher. Pour in the boiling water. Stir. Finally add in the mint leaves. Prepare a meal of Roast Leg of Lamb with the trimmings.


Chris helped Nana/Yvonne with the chopping and she put the mint sauce together for the Leg of Lamb Dinner that Chris learned how to make for Nana’s 9oth Birthday celebration that evening! Thanks to Simon, Nana, our excellent teachers, Chris the very diligent student, and with Bill as the supervisor, it was a fun and wonderfully happy day.


Nana Gets her Trifle 90th Birthday Cake

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Share the love and have a great day where ever you may be.

I am bringing these recipes for English Trifle and Nana’s mint sauce to Fiesta Friday# 185! Today’s cohosts this week are Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes

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In Memory of A Dear Friend = Reunion – Paul Mooney Bennington Vermont


Written Winter 1999

Today I visited Robert Frost’s grave.

You cleaned snow off the stone,

with your bare hands, to uncover his name.

Below that was engraved:

“He had a lovers quarrel with the world”.


I snapped a photo of the siteScan 7

just before you bared him to the sky again.

You were standing at the base of an inconspicuous blanketed slab,

that hardly made an impression in the powdery snow.

Disconcerted by death’s quiet sleep,

You began to sweep, with your hands and then your forearm,

when your hands began to freeze.

Scan 10

“Here’s his wife. Here’s his son.” You said.

Finally, when you reached his name at the top,

you touched your hands to the stone reverently.


We passed by it, at first.

I turned back and called to you.

“It’s back there, at that arrow.”

A hand painted, little yellow arrow on green board,

stood crookedly pointing, like an after thought – a terse indicator for the tourist.

“Here it is.”


I took another picture of you standing at the foot of it,

for our commemoration ceremony and you one of me.


Two Frost lovers, who read his poems at twilight

and in the middle of a sleepless night to one another,

Meeting at this point in life, for inspiration and meaning,

in an otherwise haunted world,

that we have cause to cling to with our wounded souls,

as grave sweepers,

Stood silently smiling into a camera lens.

Looking for our future.


            ******************   In Memory of Paul Mooney  *******************

                                              a gentle soul, a poet, a father,

                                                 and builder of fine houses

Scan 12

Bennington VT  1999 – CKatt

Scan 13

House Bennington VT  1999 – CKatt

Scan 14

Bennington VT  1999 – CKatt

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Family Recipe Day Part 2 – Learn to make Trifle, Raspberry and Blackberry Jam and Pavlova in one day.

Raspberry and Strawberry Jam Recipes from my New Zealand family friends continued apace on Family Recipe Day. Here is part two of the adventure courtesy of Simon and his Mum, Yvonne as the technical support team and with Chris as chief scientist in jam training. Note the apron!

In the mean time, how excited am I to have my very own “Edmond’s Cookery Book: Inspiring New Zealanders’ Love of Baking and Cooking” and a cloth shopping bag with the Edmonds’ Baking Powder can/logo on it? Very! Thank you Yvonne!

It’s the little things in life that excite me these days.

Raspberry Jam Recipe from Edmonds’ Cook Book

Hints for jam making from Simon the fearless leader:

  1. Always pick your fruit on a fine day. It should not be over ripe.
  2. Wipe fruit with a damp cloth
  3. Fruit should be partly cooked before sugar is added.
  4. Bring fruit to boiling point slowly to avoid burning.
  5. Always use a wooden spoon for stirring
  6. When sugar is added, boil as rapidly as possible. Rapid boiling improves color and flavor of jam.
  7. Instead of skimming jam, stir in a piece of butter the size of a walnut when the jam is cooked
  8. To test jam, put a little on a saucer. When cool, a skin should form on top
  9. Jam jars must be sterilized and thoroughly dry.
  10. Put jam into warm jars and cover while hot.

Raspberry or similar jam: To every 500 g (1 lb.) of raspberries allow 500 g (1 lb.) of sugar. Put fruit into preserving pan, bring slowly to the boil. Add sugar and boil quickly for 5 minutes. Removed from heat and stir for 20 minutes. Put into sterilized jars.

Marzie’s Blackberry Jam Recipe

(Marzie was my [Simon’s] maternal grandmother – Yvonne/Nana’s mother; and a fine cook. She was born in Scotland but used a slight variation of the Edmond’s recipe for raspberry jam). 

Blackberry Jam: You can follow the above. Alternatively, if you like a chunky jam with fruit in it (as I do), then start with 1 lb. blackberries, put .75 lb. in a pot bring them to the boil, add 1 lb. sugar and cook for 15-20 minutes at the boil. At 15 minutes add the remaining .25 lb. blackberries so they are cooked but not dissolved. If you like a smooth jam, then just put all the berries in at the beginning. If you like a tarter jam, then add lemon juice.

Hints for sterilized jars: Some modern dishwashers have a sterilizing cycle. Alternatively, wash jars and cook them at 200-250o in the oven. A trick to ensure the jam is sealed is to upend the jar after filling it so that, as it cools, the seal is assured. Home made jam can typically last for about a year.

Everyone took a turn at stirring the jams. It was great fun to have three generations of family to do this together. Nana, Simon and Chris together were a great team! Passing on family recipes is a good way to have some together time. I certainly enjoyed it!

Part three of Learn to make Trifle, Raspberry and Blackberry Jam and Pavlova in one day will be in the next installment featuring Trifle recipe.

Have a great week and share some food…or a hug.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen.



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Family Recipe Day – Learn to make Trifle, Raspberry and Blackberry Jam and Pavlova in one day. Get your apron on!

Family Recipe Day – or what happens when a physicist and a psychologist bake/cook together. Installment One ~

Yes, you read it right. There was a designated Sunday Cooking Marathon sponsored by the New Zealand team. For many years the framily was delighted by two desserts for a special after Sunday dinner treat! I really wanted to learn these recipes for Pavlova, Trifle and renew my jam making.

This installment is the first part of the event of making Mrs. Boreham’s homemade Pavlova Recipe, which is a confection of sugar and egg whites; that is, a cross between a marshmallow and a meringue! Top with whipped cream and fresh raspberries and voila you are eating ‘confection clouds’.


Simon’s Family Recipes

Mrs. Boreham’s Proven Pavlova Recipe

From Simon:

Mrs. Boreham was the mother of a girl I knew growing up, who actually had a home business making Pavlovas. She used this recipe to make a Pavlova that was about 18 inches round and about 6-8 inches high. She was willing to share her secret recipe with me.

10 Egg Whites

2 cups (ordinary) Sugar (= 450 g sugar)

2 teaspoons Malt Vinegar

2 dessertspoons Cornflour (= 4 teaspoons; aka cornstarch in the USA)

  1. Beat eggs really stiff
  2. Add one cup of sugar and beat in well

Add second cup of sugar and beat in well

  1. Then add 2 teaspoons vinegar
  2. Fold in cornflour

Pile mixture high (i.e., do NOT flatten) onto the tray with sides as straight as possible (i.e., do let it look like a hill). Tray needs to be buttered and/or use parchment so it does not stick to it.

Preheat oven to 250 degree F for two hours. (Mrs. Boreham notes she only cooks it for 1.5 hours, or if using gas for 2.5 hours.   Turn off and leave to cool for approximately 2 hours.

Hints for Pavlova making:

1. The secret to a good ‘Pav’ is stiff eggs whites. Try freezing the bowl first and using room temp egg whites.

2. Prepare all ingredients before so you can be efficient between beating the egg whites and getting it in the oven.

3. Once in the oven, never open the door until the oven is cold. This prevents the ‘Pav’ from collapsing.

4. For grand effects, Mrs. Borham used to pipe the sides of the ‘Pav’ with the mixture so it looked elegant.

5. For variations she would also make chocolate or coffee flavored ‘Pav’.

6. You can make a ‘Pav’ the day or even a few days before as long as you can store it in a dry place.

7. Traditionally, the top of a ‘Pav’ is covered with whipped cream and then berries or whatever is handy (e.g., sliced bananas).

#2 Recipe for Pavlova

Standard Pavlova Recipe (from Edmonds Cookery Book)

3 Egg Whites                                                                               1 teaspoon Vinegar

3 tablespoons Cold Water                                                        1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 cup Castor Sugar (aka super fine sugar)                            3 teaspoons Cornflour*

*Aka (Cornstarch)

Beat egg whites until stiff, add cold water and beat again. Add castor sugar very gradually while beating. Slow beater and add vinegar, vanilla and cornflour. Place on greased paper on greased tray and bake at 150oC (300 oF) for 45 min and then leave to cool in the oven.

Note: Edmonds Cook Book is/was the Brides Standard beginner’s cookbook in New Zealand. It’s a spiral bound book that I hope I’ll get a copy of in the near future! There are many new and interesting recipes for me to try…love those spiral bound cookbook gems.

Simon and Chris making Pavlova. Simon’s Mum, Yvonne aka Nana, visiting from New Zealand, is a longtime pavlova recipe maker and was the nominative supervisor for the event, while I documented.


Many thanks to all the participants and silent partner – Bill who let everyone take over his kitchen – Lots of good humor and fun.

C: It’s always a good day, when we have to make whip cream.

S: Never disagree with the Edmunds cookbook and never disagree with the Edmunds cookbook. Right Mum? She’s used the Edmunds cookbook all her life and lived to be ninety!

Stay tuned: Next Installment – jam making next!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen.

Have a great day. Hug someone or a family friend, dog, cat, iguana…stuffed toy.

Postscript: Since this event a couple of weeks ago in July, Chris has made Pavlova. Chris and his wife Crissy ate the whole thing! Or was it two pavlovas?

Bringing this Pavlova Recipe to Fiesta Friday #183 hosted by  Sarah @ Sarah’s Little Kitchen and Shinta @ Caramel Tinted Life. Thanks to our host this week and Angie of Fiesta Friday where we meet such fun people from all over the world and share great recipes!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Textures = Patterns of Life


Nature has an endless array of textures for photography. Texture or patterns in nature seems magical.  Some travel photos and garden photos for your enjoyment.

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There is order in chaos

Although the patterns are not always apparent

Stop to see the nature of our lives


Have a grateful day where ever you might be.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen


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