Did you used to drool over all the descriptions of cakes,teatimes and picnics in all those classic children's books? I can remember wondering what on earth the turkish delight that so tempted Edmund in The Lion,Witch and the Wardrobe could possibly taste like.. Or what this mysterious food of bread and dripping could be and what magical ingredients went into the fabulously named marchpane, possets,junkets,jumbles or sugarplums.
The adventures of the Famous Five or the Railway Children were never complete without a picnic basket stuffed full of paper wrapped cake and bottles of cold lemonade or a high tea to come home to with toasted crumpets in front of the fire
Adventures galore were made much more enticing with the promise of goodies and cakes to look forward to. So it was with such excited glee that I finally got my sticky fingers on Jane Brocket's whimsical cookbook Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer.
And it really is Truly Scrumptious,she takes the food that made tummies rumble from favourite books of our childhood and creates recipes so you too can make Paddington Bear's sticky marmalade buns or Pippi Longstocking's Swedish pancakes and wash it all down with lemonade or even Marilla's zero alcohol raspberry cordial which poor Anne (of Green Gables,of course!) should have served to her kindred spirit Diana and not the currant wine that got her so sozzled.
Divided into sections- proper elevenses,picnic treat,school food,kind and thoughtful treats;each recipe is preceded by the excerpt from which it comes, so reading the book is doubly pleasurable. It's like having all your favourite books in one!
They are so many wonderful recipes from the Wind in the Willows, Mary Poppins,Ballet Shoes,Swallows and Amazons and many Enid Blyton tales from the Famous five and Secret Seven to The Magical Faraway Tree and all illustrated with the distinctive pen and ink drawings from each story.
And mixed in there is very practical advice on getting off to a good start with a recipe for hunger as she stresses the importance of working up an appetite!
Ingredients include- beach,park,hills,secret island,outdoor shoes and clothes,map and compass,trees for climbing,binoculars,wild flower and bird spotting books. Jolly- whizz!
Two recipes in particular made me very very happy- Bad Harry's trifle from My Naughty Little Sister,so expressively illustrated by Shirley Hughes where the two little imps set about devouring the special birthday trifle silver ball by silver ball.
Check out the lovely cornishware jar!
And Milly Molly Mandy and Little friend Susan toasting muffins bought from the muffin man.
It makes for wonderful bed time reading! Tripping down memory lane and sending you to sleep with sweet dreams of jam tarts and treacle puddings.
There's even recipes for possets and jumbles so at last their secret is revealed.
Plenty of inspiration for picnics and teas and fun filled times.
I baked this strawberries and cream cake a couple of weekends ago for a birthday party,I bought the silicone heart shaped trays at a boot fair the same morning.Lucky eh?
It's a cake I remember from all the summer birthday parties of my childhood, always stuffed with cream,jam and juicy strawberries.Very messy but most delish!
(top pic from flickr,other pictures from my own books)