3 OF THE BEST WI BOOKS FOR WI LADIES…

When my WI Country Woman’s Year 1960 by Shirley Paget book popped through my door I was so excited to open it and even more thrilled when I saw that the cover was a special retro cloth one.

I love anything WI (although not a member) and this book covers it all. From cider-making and hedgerow basketry to public speaking and committee-meeting protocol and of course, not forgetting the jam making.

If you can’t get inspired to have a go at smocking, upholstery repairs, bread making, lampshade, Christmas wreaths, wallpapering, corn dollies, Welsh quilting or crystallized flowers then I will eat my hat. It’s right up my street and I can’t wait to give one of the crafts a go.

Inside the book it says that a great deal has happened to change the lives of women living in the countryside since 1960 when this book was last published, and it is fascinating to note these changes. But we have since lost or forgotten so many rural skills and pleasures. Following the four seasons, here are dozens of different tasks and hobbies re-discovered in this WI Country Woman’s Year: Six decades on, modern readers may no longer wish to live like their countryside sisters of two generations ago, but they will be struck by the happy gusto with which the then-450,000 members of the WI went about enjoying their busy country lives throughout the year.

The WI Country Woman’s Year 1960 by Shirley Paget is available from Amazon and other good book stores at £15.99

The WI Cookbook : The First 100 Years Hardcover by Mary Gwynn, available from Amazon and other good bookshops from £11.22

This beautifully packaged book, curated by food journalist Mary Gwynn, brings together the 100 best loved members’ recipes nationwide. Organised decade by decade, and setting each recipe in its historical and social context, it spans everything from jams and preserves to main courses, puddings and bakes. Nostalgic favourites like Toad in the Hole and Kedgeree feature alongside contemporary hits such as Lamb Pot Roast with Nettle Champ and Italian Lamb with Roasted Sweet Peppers.

Here are recipes created during the war to make the most of limited supplies (like Stuffed Cod Steak and Apple and Fig Roll) and ideas to overcome the challenges of food rationing (like Elderberry and Apple Jelly and Corned Beef Hash) to current day recipes such as Venison Steaks with Quick Bearnaise Sauce and finally the WI’s own signature cake: The Centenary Fruit Cake from North Yorkshire. Fully illustrated from the archives of the WI, alongside beautiful food photography, this gorgeous cookbook will prove a firm favourite with keen cooks of all ages.

The WI Big Book of Baking Hardcover by Liz Herbert available from Amazon and other good book shops.

With over 200 recipes, the Big Book of Baking will guide you effortlessly through all the stages of bread-making as well as giving advice on how to bake the perfect cake. Suitable for beginners and experienced bakers alike, there is something here for everyone: all types of loaves, pastries, rolls and buns; sweet and savoury breads plus yeast, gluten and wheat free options; muffins and cup cakes, sponges and chocolate cakes; suggestions for cake toppings and finishes Tempting treats for every day and delicious ideas for a festive flourish – all the inspiration you need to hone your baking skills and produce impressive results every time.

THE WI COUNTRY WOMAN’S YEAR 1960 BOOK REVIEW…

When my WI Country Woman’s Year 1960 by Shirley Paget book popped through my door I was so excited to open it and even more thrilled when I saw that the cover was a special retro cloth one.

I love anything WI (although not a member) and this book covers it all. From cider-making and hedgerow basketry to public speaking and committee-meeting protocol and of course, not forgetting the jam making.

If you can’t get inspired to have a go at smocking, upholstery repairs, bread making, lampshade, Christmas wreaths, wallpapering, corn dollies, Welsh quilting or crystallized flowers then I will eat my hat. It’s right up my street and I can’t wait to give one of the crafts a go.

Inside the book it says that a great deal has happened to change the lives of women living in the countryside since 1960 when this book was last published, and it is fascinating to note these changes. But we have since lost or forgotten so many rural skills and pleasures. Following the four seasons, here are dozens of different tasks and hobbies re-discovered in this WI Country Woman’s Year: Six decades on, modern readers may no longer wish to live like their countryside sisters of two generations ago, but they will be struck by the happy gusto with which the then-450,000 members of the WI went about enjoying their busy country lives throughout the year.

The WI Country Woman’s Year 1960 by Shirley Paget is available from Amazon and other good book stores at £15.99

Baking in the past — LEANNE COLE

Initially, I was going to do this as part of another post, but then I decided that looking at baking in the past deserved a post on its own. I hope you agree.

Baking in the past — LEANNE COLE

THE VINTAGE TEA PARTY…

The Vintage Tea Party is a baking cookbook, but much more than just your average baking book by  Angel Strawbridge (Author).

Its a trip down memory lane, it’s a discovery fo the five things in life and it’s a book that will just as happily look good sitting on your coffee table.

It will definitely look good propped up in your kitchen being used again and again.

A talented book by a talented woman.

Product Description –
Vintage Patisserie is a vintage hosting company offering bespoke tea parties from a bygone era, delivering everything from music, makeovers and – of course – a customised menu of tea party treats that elevate any function into a swanky soiree. The Vintage Tea Party Book embraces the style and class of the trendy London Vintage scene and illustrates how to beautifully recreate the tasty treats and classic styles at home. With a unique mixture of recipes and feature spreads with accessible tips on hairstyling, makeup methods and where to collect vintage china — The Vintage Tea Party Book has it all.

“The Vintage Tea Party helps you plan not only stunning recipes for all sorts of delicious treats but also gives you countless styling tips for the perfect occasion.” – Glamour Magazine (SA)

ONE OF MY FAVOURITE CAKE RECIPES PASSED DOWN FROM MY MUM…

One of my favourite cake recipes passed down from my Mum is Spiced Fruit Cake. 

Spiced Fruit Cake

Ingredients

150 g Marg or Butter

6 level tbsp golden syrup

250g raisins

250g currants

120g sultanas

120g mixed peel

120g chopped stone dates

1/2 pint plus 2 tables milk

Ingredients

1/2 teasp bicarbonate of soda

2 beaten eggs

250g plain flour

1 rounded teasp mixed spice

1 level teasp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp Apricot Jam, melted

 

Method

Preheat oven to Gas 3, 165C, 325F

Line a 7″ deep cake tin

Place all of the first list of ingredients in a saucepan and heat slowly until the butter is melted, then simmer gently for 5 mins. Cool

Stir in the bicarbonate of soda.

Add the 2 beaten eggs into the flour with the mixed spice, cinnamon, and salt but do not stir.

Beat both mixtures together thoroughly.

Place in the cake tin and bake for 13/4 – 2 hrs.

Brush edge with the heated apricot jam and arrange nuts and cherries around.