Sunday, June 12, 2011

Duck Hash for Dinner anyone?

We took a little detour back from town the other day, via the local council's recycling centre - a favourite haunt of Handy Husband's. One of the good things about living in this area is that when people take their old junk to the rubbish tip, it doesn't automatically get chucked into landfill. Anything that is worth selling onwards goes into the 'tip shop' as we call it. (I've also heard it called 'Rusty K-Mart').

A large part of my childhood was spent sitting under my mother's Portobello market stall in London, so I have no problem with pre-loved stuff. I love it. Lots of things in the B&B have come from the tip shop (it can be amazing what people discard) and they are easily cleaned up with a coat of paint and HH's skills.

I also love going along to look for old books...

Yesterday I found a stash of old cookbooks and although I  got the whole lot for a dollar, this one -'The Australian Guide to Homestead Fare' - is priceless. With more than 300 classic recipes like jellied tongue, stuffed heart, liver croquettes, soused fish(?), melton mowbray pie, half way pudding, parisian tea cake and cashmere chutney (to name a few), I can't help wondering who owned it, who threw it out and why?

This whole hoard of books obviously came from an avid home cook, chocolate fanatic (there are three specialist chocolate books) and I suspect a local dairy farmer's kitchen (or maybe I'm just influenced by the picture of the gorgeous homestead on the cover). All grist for the imagination.

So, even though I might not be cooking 'duck hash' or 'piquant sausages' for dinner tonight, I'm certainly brewing up a story of some kind. Then again, maybe I should try and tackle the golden syrup roly poly or steamed marmalade pudding at least...


  1. I imagine that spending a large part of your childhood under a stall on the Portobello Road was really rather amazing! It must have honed your skills for finding treasures because a cookbook like this is not just a cookbook, but a little piece of history. Perfect for your B&B! x

  2. Oh Kate, please make the steamed marmalade pudding and share the recipe on the blog. Would make a lovely breakfast on a chilly winter's day.

  3. Hi Katie, I'm coming over for liver croquettes and half way pudding!

  4. Thanks for your lovely comments - @Maxabella, yes it was an interesting time at Portobello market. Between the age of 7-9 my job was to sit under her antiquarian book stall and watch for thieves. I'm sure it was just to keep me amused and quiet. @Seana - I'll put the recipe for marmalade pudding up soon & @Catherine, I'd rather meet in a cafe for coffee and cake!


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