This blog is dedicated to our ‘Heavenly Mum’s’. Mother’s Day is normally a busy day at The French Rooms restaurant in Bushmills but this year we are limited to hampers and platters ‘to go’. Across the North Coast the Taste Causeway family are offering lots of delicious options to choose from. As we celebrate all the amazing women out there, we want to share a couple of comforting recipes which have been past down to us.
Roy was recently re-united with an old diary of his Mum’s which was filled with cuttings and hand written recipes. It is a very interesting read as it has catalogued the recipes in chronological order. With post war rationing featured at the start of the diary , recipes featured alternatives such as dried egg and potato for pastry recipes, moving onto more exotic ingredients such as bananas and stuffed peppers. Many of the recipes were titled with the name of the friend who shared such as ‘Eileen’s soda bread’ and ‘Dorothy’s teabread’.
We looked through hundreds of recipes, we shortlisted on the basis that if the page looked messy she definitely cooked it! We chose a recipe which is, in our minds, the epitome of comfort food – Supper potatoes, a recipe by Philip Harben (Tv’s first celebrity chef) in the ‘Women’s Own School of Cookery’, we have dated it mid nineteen fifties. The article is entertaining and celebrates the invention of aluminium foil and states ‘now the potato is not only our most important accompanying vegetable, it can form the basis of a main dish in its own right’ Our kind of dish!
- 2 large potatoes
- 2 slices of streaky bacon – Corndale Farm doorstep delivery
- 50g grated cheese
- 2 slices of black pudding – Corndale Farm
- Butter to grease foil
Grease the tin foil. Cut each potato with 3-5 slices depending on size, slip your preferred filing between the slices, slice of bacon, grated cheese, black pudding or as the recipe suggests a thin slice of kidney (of course it does!). Wrap the potato very tightly and bake in a hot oven for 1.5 to 2 hours.
Then we move on to my Mum, I went straight to my lovely sister for guidance on this and she preceded to list all the signature dishes, too many to cover in this blog. It’s all about the story for me, I was taken with her memory of our Mum making Crème Caramel when a VIP was coming for dinner. My Mum had a much loved Aunt from Dublin who was a Home economics teacher. A visit from Aunt Rose sounds on a par with Nigella popping by for supper, great company but you must impress! The crème caramel recipe would be pulled out , the popular apple tart would simply not do and everyone had to play along with the fact it was effortless to make, despite being barred from the kitchen all day!
- 140g caster sugar
- 500ml milk
- 3 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks (Glenballyeamon)
- 100g caster sugar
- a few drops vanilla essence
Put the sugar in a small frying pan, preferably non-stick, and add 3 tbsp water. Heat slowly, stirring gently with a metal tablespoon until the sugar has dissolved. The base of the pan will no longer feel gritty when you run the spoon over it.
Increase the heat under the pan and allow the syrup to bubble. As the water is driven off, the syrup will become thicker and the bubbles on the surface will get bigger. Do not stir the syrup during this time. Watch the syrup carefully and when it starts to turn golden at the edges, swirl the pan to ensure even colouring. Do not stir it. When the syrup has turned a rich golden caramel colour, remove from heat.
Heat oven to 160C.Pour the caramel into ramekins. Bring the milk to simmering point.
Put the eggs and yolks in a bowl with the sugar and whisk lightly together. Gradually whisk in the hot milk. Strain into a clean jug and add the vanilla.
Pour carefully into the prepared ramekins. Pour boiling water from the kettle into a roasting tin to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 15-20 mins until the custards are just set. Leave to cool, then chill for at least 4 hrs, or even overnight. The caramels can be made up to 3 days in advance. To turn out each caramel, run the point of a sharp knife around the top edge of each ramekin, place a dessert plate on top and invert. Give the ramekin and plate a sharp shake and carefully remove the ramekin.
Share you Mum’s recipes with us
Everyone has a recipe from their mum or grandmother that brings the memories flooding back. We would love you to share your favourite recipes, the one’s that give you that warm fuzzy feeling. Lets face it, nothing taste as good!