An essential trip to Perry Bridge for tomatoes

Tomato sauce is an essential for my younger daughter’s family.  I make the sauce which has become the firm favourite for the family.  We had been hoping to get sauce tomatoes from the local greengrocer but the price was a bit expensive.  We have been fortunate in previous years to get our tomatoes from a farmer at Perry Bridge but last year he didn’t have a crop.  We were lucky this year as he had an advertisement in the local paper saying that he had tomatoes for sale this year so we made the 150 km round trip to get the tomatoes. $15 for a ten kilo box.

We also bought some capsicum from him and I already had the garlic and onions.

The box had ten kilos so I cooked the sauce in 2 kilo lots.

I prepared each of the spice lots and chopped the tomatoes and onions in 5 batches.

Here you can see I have completed two batches and there are three waiting for the next lot of cooking.I chop the onion in the food processor but do the tomatoes by hand.

This lets you see if the sauce is ready for bottling.  This wasn’t ready as you can see that the liquid has separated.  The mixture needed to be cooked for longer.

It took two days to complete the ten kilos but it was well worth it.

The Hopetoun Tea Rooms

We have visited the Block Arcade in Melbourne many times over the years but we have never been into the Hopetoun Tea Rooms.  Usually there is a long queue outside the tea rooms when we go past.  As I went past this time there was no queue as it was fairly late in the day, so I ventured inside.

Before going inside I was asked to make a selection of cake from the window display.

I chose apple and rhubarb crumble.

I selected cha cha chai for my tea and I had a delightful afternoon tea.

The Hopetoun Tea Rooms have been in existence since 1891 but in its present location since 1907.

I fondly remember an afternoon tea with my sister-in-law when we were visiting York.  The tea room there was Betty’s.


Recreating childhood memories

This is a ginger fluff.  An unusual name for a cake but it is the cake that my mother-in-law used to bake.  Her cakes were delicious.

Our elder daughter was recently visiting us and she asked me if I had Granma’s recipe.  Unfortunately I didn’t but that didn’t prevent her from finding a recipe on the internet and then she proceeded to whip it up for us.

You can see how high the cake is by using the matchbox for comparative size.  The cake was delicious and brought back many memories for us.

I am not sure which recipe she used but here is one of the many on the internet.


4 eggs

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/3 cup cornflour

2 tbs plain flour

2 tsp ginger

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp cocoa

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp golden syrup

Method: Grease 2x20cm sandwich tins (deep). Separate eggs, beat whites firmly, gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition to dissolve sugar thoroughly. Add yolks all at once. Sift dry ingredients at least four times to combine thoroughly.

Sift on to egg mixture, fold through gently until colour is even and dry ingredients are mixed in. Pour in warmed golden syrup, fold through gently. Pour into prepared tins. Bake at 180C for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until elastic to touch and shrinking slightly from sides of tin.

Turn on cake cooler when cool. Join with whipped cream.

There is a beautifully illustrated version of the Ginger Fluff here.

Tuesday Travels. . . Inverness

I was reliving memories of my childhood visits to Inverness when we came across Inverness station.  My elder sister was in charge of me when we both traveled by train to our uncle’s croft at Boultach in Caithness.  Dad would drop us at Perth where we caught the train to Inverness.  We had to change trains at Inverness and a vivid memory of mine is that we couldn’t find our tickets for the ongoing journey.  A bit of a panic but we did find them thank goodness.

You can see from the announcement boards that there are four pages for the 17.54 journey from Inverness to Wick.  We would get off the train at Helmsdale and then on the bus to Latheronwheel.  Our uncle would be waiting with the tractor at the End of the Smerral Road and my sister and I would sit on the tractor wheel guards for the trip up the road to the croft at Boultach.

You can stay in the station building at Helmsdale as the property was completely refurbished after being out of use for 20 years.

Inverness is a beautiful city and my husband and I spent a couple of nights there before we were to continue on our journey south.  We spent some time exploring the city centre and visited the castle where there were some beautiful views of the river Ness.

We stopped at the Castle Tavern for lunch and the meal we had was absolutely delicious.

Neeps, potato, haggis and Drambuie cream sauce accompanied by oatcakes.  Yum!

An Australian icon leaves us.

One of Australia’s icons, the beloved Margaret Fulton, food writer and cook, passed away yesterday at the age of 94.

I think I probably came across her recipes for the first time in either of the magazines, Womans Weekly or New Idea.  She was the first female Australian cook to introduce us to the flavours of other nations.

I used many of her recipes when our children were young as the recipes were simple and easy for a working mother to follow.  Both of our daughters cooked from the Margaret Fulton Encyclopaedia of Food and Cookery when they were still school students.  Vegetable pie, first cooked in 1992 by my elder daughter, and  cinnamon teacake by my younger daughter, were both family favourites.

Back in 2017 I read her memoir, I Sang for my Supper – memories of a food writer, and I felt I knew her after reading it.  If you get the opportunity borrow the book from your library to learn more about this amazing Australian treasure, who incidentally was born in Scotland.

I have also reposted a post I wrote a few years ago when I was using one of the recipes from the encyclopaedia.