Thursday 20 August 2015

Afternoon Tea ..... at the Library!

It was time for Tea and Cakes on a summer’s afternoon at Armthorpe Community Library  when Volunteers and staff organised a special celebration of the Great British Tradition of Afternoon Tea.
The volunteers have been running the community library for over a year now with the support of local council staff. They’d prepared a wonderful scene of tables laid with the best china, pretty tablecloths and carefully folded napkins all set for the afternoon tea festivities.
I was delighted to do my talk on  'The History of Afternoon Tea' all about the characters in history who helped to make it popular, the key elements and the ‘rules’ involved with lots of questions to keep me on my toes.
And then fully briefed on the etiquette of this quintessential British ceremony, we started on tea and cakes, including Grandma’s traditional baking recipes. 
Family Fruit Loaf
Feedback from everyone was tremendous with pleas for more events like this one and suggestions to roll out the format in other localities. A huge thank you to DMBC staff Shirley and Helen for making this glorious event possible but, most of all, to the amazingly talented team of Volunteers who are really making this Library so highly valued and playing such a vital role in the community.  
Have you been involved in an Afternoon Tea event? Tell us more about it... what do you like best? 

Monday 3 August 2015

Uncovering the past with Coconut Haystacks

This recipe was a firm favourite with coconut fans at the Life on the Home Front Doncaster 1914-18 at Cusworth Hall Museum and Park where visitors were invited to explore what life was like in Doncaster in 1915. 
Lucy and I baked 6 recipes from the First World War era including this one for 'Cocoanut Haystacks' from The Best Way one of Grandma's old recipe books. Published in 1907, it was a prized book in Grandma’s collection of 850 practical and tried recipes and household hints for 6d.
 Coconut Haystacks
Two cupfuls of desiccated coconut
One cupful of sugar
Half a cupful of flour
2oz (50g) of butter
1 egg
N.B. 1 cup = approx 4oz/110g

Mix the coconut, sugar and flour together and rub in the butter well. Beat the egg and mix in with the other ingredients. Make into cones and bake in a hot oven (400F, Mark6, 200C) till they are slightly browned, which will be in about 10 minutes.
Meryl's tip : You can use an egg cup to make a really smooth cone.

Take a look at the other recipes I baked for the Life on the Home Front event.
and Yorkshire Parkin recipes

Which one is your favourite?