This year I have once again decided I am going to make a concerted effort to lose weight and get fit. My main weakness has become eating sweet biscuits with my morning coffee or tea (who am I trying to kid, I will eat anything sweet, anytime, anywhere e.g. chocolate, cake, muffins, toast with lashings of jam etc). In fact if I keep going this way I could rival the infamous Blue Whale in time!
My main focus is to try to cut back my sugar intake. I have read so many convincing articles lately on the evil effect of sugar on the body and recently saw “That Sugar Film” (which I heartily recommend) made by an Aussie actor Damon Gameau, who consumed 40 teaspoons of sugar in various concoctions (as well as just eating the sugar neat) which scared the Bejesus out of me. He was inspired by Morgan Spurlock’s documentary “Supersize Me” when he ate nothing but McDonalds meals for 30 days. Apparently the average person consumes approximately 40 teaspoons of sugar a day by eating various processed food and drinks as well as so called “healthy” foods, apart from having it in tea or coffee. Some people dispute this assertion, but when amounts of sugar are added up from labels, it is staggering how much one can eat in a day without realising it. The introduction of processed food including low fat items has increased the amount of sugar we have in our diets massively.
Anyway, I have started trying to kick my addiction by throwing out an opened packet of chocolate chip cookies, although I did go to a friend’s house on Monday with some of my walking buddies, and she had made the most delicious Christmas cake and shortbread, and it seemed rude not to have a slice of each. On the bright side though she did have 4 beautiful Tawny Frogmouth Owls sitting on a couple of branches of a turpentine tree (3 together, and one loner by himself). It was a beautiful sight in the rain, and I wished I had my camera with me.
Well, wish me luck with my attempt to control my unhealthy habits. I walk the dog every day (except for the last 2 when we have been having a torrential downpoour – 185mm in 2 days!), and walk with friends twice a week, but my calorie/kilojoule intake is clearly more than the energy I am exerting.
Happy New Year to you all, and may 2016 be a year full of hope, joy, friends and family and great adventures!
It’s really hot and sticky today, so here is a perfect finish to lunch which will cool you down. What’s not to like about mangoes, especially when served with raspberries and icecream, and another excuse to give the barbie (BBQ) another workout! Serves 4. I’m sure Dame Nellie would approve.
delicious. – February 2012 , Page 62
Recipe by Valli Little
Photography by Brett Stevens
4 ripe mangoes
100g unsalted butter, melted
1/4 firmly packed cup (60g) brown sugar
125g punnet raspberries, plus extra raspberries to serve
It really was pretty delicious, and only used 5 ingredients. I added some chopped walnuts which made it extra delicious and melted the sugar and butter rather than cream them. Certainly lives up to it’s name. Enjoy!
5. Serve warm with cream and/or ice cream, or ice with chocolate icing.
Apart from adding a handful of chopped walnuts, I didn’t bother with the cream or ice cream or icing, but I think it would be nice for a dessert to add some raspberries or strawberries as well and in the winter maybe some custard. I usually just have them with coffee as a snack or give them to family members. Children love them and they make great birthday cakes.
Here are two recipes from the Cooma Cookery Book, first published in October 1930. I have included the names of the original cooks and authors of the recipes. I think we can learn a lot today from the cooking skills of the older generation and enjoy recreating some of the recipes of the day. This was a time long before you could go to a supermarket (they didn’t exist) and buy virtually any cake mix you fancied, or else go to any one of hundreds of outlets selling ready made cakes of every variety possible.
Women of this era were good and inventive cooks, and sweet and cake making skills were passed down from mother to daughter. I still remember the lovely smell of warm cake cooking in the oven at home, and enjoying the age-old tradition of helping to mix the sugar and butter, adding an egg, milk and flour, and later being allowed to lick the spoon (or later the beaters) and eat any leftover scraps in the bowl. It was a lovely time for mother and children to spend together and part of a cherished memory of childhood.
MOCHA CAKE ( Mrs. O.C. Litchfield)
6 oz. butter; 6 oz. sugar; 8 oz self raising flour; 3 tablespoons coffee essence; 3 tablespoons boiling water; 3 eggs.
Beat butter and sugar to a cream; add eggs well beaten, then essence dissolved in water, lastly flour and pinch of salt. Beat well together; bake in large sandwich tins in medium oven, about 10 minutes. Fill with a layer of jam (not too sweet) and layer of coffee icing. Ice and decorate with burnt nuts and sprinkles of coffee.
SPANISH WALNUT CAKE (Mrs. John Mack)
1/2 cup of butter; 3/4 cup sugar; 2 eggs, whites and yolks beaten separately; 2 cups of self raising flour; 1/2 cup milk; 2 teaspoons cinnamon; 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.
Beat butter and sugar to cream; add yolk of eggs well beaten, then walnuts, then milk. Sift flour and cinnamon and add to mixture, lastly add stiffly beaten egg whites. Bake in deep tin about 3/4 hour in moderate oven.
Here a couple more recipes from the Normanhurst Boys’ High School Ladies’ Auxiliary. My partner is a Normanhurst Old Boy, and went there in the 1960s.
Monte Carlo biscuits have always been my downfall!
Monte Carlo Biscuits
4oz. shortening 1 dessertspoon honey
1 egg 1 dessertspoon coconut
few drops vanilla 8 ozs. flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar 1/2 teaspoons bicarb. soda
4 oz. sugar
Cream shortening and sugar, add egg and continue to beat, add honey, vanilla and coconut. Sift flour, cream of tartar and bicarb. soda and add. Place mixture in teaspoons on greased slide. Bake in moderate oven until golden brown, approximately 12 minutes. When cool join together with raspberry jam and filling of 1 oz. butter, 4 oz. icing sugar and vanilla creamed together.
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup self raising flour
4 ozs. margarine
1 cup dates
1 beaten egg
Melt together brown sugar and margarine then beat in egg. Add 1 1/2 cups S.R. flour and dates. Spread into tray about 7″ x 10″. Bake in moderate oven until golden brown (about 1/2 hour). Cool a little and cut into fingers.