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Ginger Gems July 9, 2010

Posted by Sarah in baking, butter, cosy, dining in, food, Gem Irons, Ginger Gems, home made, recipe, Thrifting.
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Wont you come in from the cold?  Can I tempt you with a just-baked Ginger Gem?

Actually, we baked these last night.  They were lovely with tea after dinner, and even better for breakfast this morning.

This old Gem Iron belonged to my Grandmother.  I packed it with other essential belongings and it moved countries with me.  I am so very fond of it.

I haven’t seen a new Gem Iron for sale in a store ever.  I wonder if they’ve stopped making them?  I wonder if The Delta Metal Co Ltd, of Christchurch, New Zealand are still in business?

The circular Gem Iron is a recent acquisition.  I found it at the Surry Hills Markets last Saturday.  $5 and it came home with me.

Pre-loved.  Worn from countless morning tea’s over the years.  Sturdy and dependable.  I like imagining the old lady who owned this before me.  I wonder if she used the same recipe that I do?

Two recipe for Ginger Gems

Taken from the Edmonds Cookery Book, 1980.  Written in the matter-of-fact way that Edmonds recipes are synonymous with.  At least in my mind.

Ginger Gems

1 cup of Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Milk
25g (1oz) Butter
25g (1oz) Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Golden Syrup
Sift dry ingredients.  Beat egg and add with milk.  Melt butter, sugar and golden syrup together and mix in last of all.  Put in twelve hot greased gem irons and bake 12 minutes at 215 C.

Taken from At Home At Play, by Pennie Oliver

Ginger Gems

60g Butter
150g Caster Sugar
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Golden Syrup
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
175ml Milk
250g Plain Flour
2 teaspoons Ground Ginger (we doubled this)
extra Butter for gem irons and for serving.

Preaheat the oven to 230C.  Place the gem irons in the oven to heat.  Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl  Beat in the egg.  Stir in the golden syrup.  Mis the baking soda into the milk.  Add the dry ingredients and milk and baking soda to the bowl.  Mix to combine the ingredients.  Remove the gem irons from the oven.  Drop about 1/4 teaspoon butter into the bottom of each of the hollows.  Spoon the mixture into each hollow to two-thirds full.  Bake for 10 minutes, until the gems are cooked and golden.  Serve plain or with butter.
Makes 20 – 22

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The Caterer July 1, 2010

Posted by Sarah in baking, bread, business, butter, cake, catering, chocolate, custom order, food, fruit, green, home made, homemade jam, jam.
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I had a catering job yesterday.  12 people for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.  Of course, although I took my camera with me, I managed to forget to take photos of most of the food I provided.  Here’s what I did manage to capture:

The olive oil dough resting before being cut into Panini buns.

The cooked Panini buns.

You’ll just have to imagine them filled with Free Range Roast Pork, my home made Harissa, crisp Lettuce and fresh Tomato.  Or Free Range Roast Chicken, Avocado, home made Basil Aioli and crisp Lettuce.  Or Rare Roast Beef, Horseradish Cream and Rocket.

This fruit platter looked so pretty I had to take a photograph of it, even though it was all secured in plastic wrap.  This platter accompanied a platter of freshly baked scones, home made jams and whipped cream.  A very lavish start to the day.

Double chocolate and toasted walnut brownie.

A close up of the decadent brownie.

The afternoon fruit platter to accompany said decadent chocolate brownie.

If you’re in Sydney, and are interested in having me cater your next function send me a message or comment on this post.

Baking up a storm June 29, 2010

Posted by Sarah in baking, business, butter, cookies, custom order, food, home made, kings cross, oats.
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Some shots of the baking I’ve been doing this week to prepare for tomorrow’s Catering job:

Spiced Orange and Cardamon Cookies

Chocolate and Oat Cookies

Double chocolate brownies

Hot Cross Bun day April 3, 2010

Posted by Sarah in apron, baking, bread, butter, dining in, Easter, food, friends, fruit, holiday, home made.
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My Hot Cross Bun making efforts yesterday…

I got up early, popped on a festive frock and my Nana’s apron, and made 4 batches of buns.

My own homemade candied peel was studded throughout

I soaked the currants, sultanas and candied peel overnight in a couple of good slugs of Brandy

I even made the butter that accompanied them

They were devoured with gusto by everyone that came by, a most successful day indeed!

8 of the buns are on a flight to Adelaide with my friend Emma, I hope our friends in South Australia like them  :)

More photos on my Flickr page:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahmcmanus/sets/72157623756983546/

Cut-out cookies January 28, 2010

Posted by Sarah in baking, butter, cookies, food, home made.
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Today was definitely a cookie making day.  J was home sick, it was dark and stormy outside, and I was busy working away on some upcoming projects.

I bought some great new cookie cutters when I was on holiday in San Francisco in May last year.  Until today I still hadn’t used them, so this afternoon I pulled them out and happily stamped away at the dough.

The copper Chicken and Rabbit are part of a set of Easter cutters that were on a great special.  The copper is just lovely, quite strong and solid.  The Bear, Hummingbird and Squirrel were all bought from the same store, as momentos from my holiday.

I used Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Butter Cut Out Cookies, from her cookbook How to be a Domestic Goddess.  I added a touch of mixed spice to the recipe for added flavour.  I’m not much of an icing fan, so they’re going to remain unadorned.  I think they’re perfect just the way they are.

I popped tiny pieces of foil over the Hummingbird beaks to stop them from browning too quickly – it worked a treat!

Chewy oatmeal and date cookies October 7, 2009

Posted by Sarah in baking, butter, dining in, food, fruit, home made, recipe.
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The weather here in Sydney has taken a sudden dive.  All of a sudden our picture perfect not-winter has turned on us, reminding me that this city does indeed have seasons.  Albeit slightly irrational, fleeting ones.

I’ve been so cold this afternoon at home that I made a batch of these delicious cookies to warm the house, and our bellies.

I used Deb’s recipe for thick, chewy oatmeal raisin cookies.  I didn’t have any raisins in the house so I subbed them for chopped dates, and subbed the walnuts for a mixture of pecans and macadamia nuts.

They’re so delicious, I hope there’s some left for Joh when he gets home….

Pancakes for breakfast September 27, 2009

Posted by Sarah in butter, dining in, food, fruit, home made, organic.
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Delicious!

Book goodness September 4, 2009

Posted by Sarah in baking, book, bread, butter, cake, chocolate, Craft, gift, sewing, soap.
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Thanks to a very generous birthday voucher to Kinokuniya bookstore, i’m now the owner of three very cool books!  I can’t wait to get baking and bread making this weekend.

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Thank you Brian and Helen!!!

Homemade Strawberry jam September 1, 2009

Posted by Sarah in bread, butter, food, fruit, home made, jam, preserving, strawberries, thrifty.
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I snapped up some bargain strawberries at the supermarket yesterday.  They were perfectly ripe, so i decided to make them into jam.

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I checked out my trusty old copy of the Edmonds Cookbook to see what they said about the ratio of sugar to fruit.  Usually I work on a 1:1 ratio, but this time I used 1.140 kgs of strawberries to 1kg of sugar.  The instructions on how to actually make the jam cracked me up – such matter of fact language.  I especially like the sentence “The juice of 1 or 2 lemons added just before taking jam off element is an improvement.”  It sounds like this particular author didn’t really care for strawberry jam very much at all!

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When I took  my jam jars out of the cupboard and the very first one that I took out of the box just happened to be an old Strawberry Jam jar from last year.  It was meant to be.

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I love this old preserving pan!  It’s almost identical to the one that Mum uses, I have so many childhood memories of a pot of marmalade bubbling away on the stovetop.  My sister actually found this one for me through her work – and I brought it to Australia with me.

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And these are the lovely jars of ruby coloured jam.  I can’t wait to pop open one of these to go with some homemade bread and butter later in the year.  Yum!

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nom nom nom March 24, 2008

Posted by Sarah in baking, bread, butter, dining in, food.
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Recipe for the best hot cross buns:

4 batches of dough (48 buns)

300g homemade butter

16 hungry people

Countless cups of tea and coffee

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