Mum checking the wine list at Ragdale Hall this weekend :)

With Mother’s Day at the weekend it seemed it was the right time to publish this post that mum wrote for me back in January.

I wanted to explain where I got my passion for cooking seeing as I have started focusing more on food over the past few months but the sheer amount of reviews kept pushing this post back further and further.

I grew up with food, my mum was forever trying out new recipes on us, entertaining friends with elaborate meals and I can’t think of a time when she wasn’t in the kitchen stirring, mixing, laughing and asking me to help with the washing up! Boy was I glad when they invented dishwashers!

It was no surprise I went to catering college where I studied Hotel Management which also meant three/four sessions in the kitchen every week. Mum was my first inspiration and writing the Food Column for Brit Mums has made me more curious as to why people fall in love with cookery books, why their hearts sing loudest in the kitchen and why they are constantly on the lookout for a good recipe?

So I asked my mum and she wrote a guest post for me, read on for a fascinating Part 1 – she wrote quite a bit so I have to publish in parts… I get my chatter from her too!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my mother

It all began in my childhood.  I was born in 1945 when post war rationing was in force and many food products were either scarce or unavailable.  However, I was blessed with three wonderful cooks in the family, my mum and two grandmothers who were able to turn a few meagre ingredients into a feast.  Everything was simple and fresh but always tasty. 

My paternal grandmother was Hungarian and, despite her numerous complaints about not being able to obtain proper Hungarian ingredients (sour cream, paprika, peppers etc), she always produced gourmet meals and even made her own wine to accompany them. 

My maternal grandmother was a superb plain English cook and her desserts were memorable even though she never used weighing scales (just by guess and judgement) and ingredients such as powdered egg and margarine.  Her Cottage pudding with syrup and custard was a favourite and I have never been able to reproduce it like she did – she took the recipe to her grave with her!   

My mum was my biggest influence and her cooking was, and still is, fabulous; at 91 she is still baking and often produces cakes and pastries for charity events.

During my school years I always had school dinners followed by a high tea at home.  I was one of the few who loved school dinners and remember such treats as Roly Poly with custard and Gypsy Tart.  Two of my favourite teas at home were Roes on Toast, and Macaroni Cheese followed by junket, blancmange or homemade cakes.  I loathed sprouts in my childhood but can now eat copious amounts of them.

The fragment of Girl magazine Scone recipe from 1958

My passion for cookery started in my early teens.  I used to get a weekly comic called ‘Girl’ which I avidly read from cover to cover but the main attraction was the weekly recipe which I always cut out and kept in a scrapbook.  To this day I still have one which is my all time favourite for Scones.  The ingredients are simple (no expensive buttermilk or butter) and I have referred to this recipe for over 50 years and it never fails me.


I hope you enjoyed mum’s part 1 I will follow up shortly with the next installment and another of her fabulous recipes, Chocolate Tipsy Ring that is one I remember from years ago, just as good as the Chocolate Custard Cookies

Best scone recipe

No bake book would be complete without the best recipe for scones, one of Britain’s most cherished tea time treats and the easy recipe I am going to reproduce is my mother’s first recipe she ever tried. She found it in GIRL magazine in 1958 and has used the same recipe for over 50 years. Now that’s got to be saying something!



225g SR Flour
1/4 level tsp salt
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g stork margarine
150 ml sour milk/buttermilk*

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