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Friday, 6 July 2012

Words...and a recipe!

What use words?

Well, let me tell you words were an enormous help to me last week.

There I sat, watching ‘River Cottage’ on TV’s Prime Channel as Hugh and his friend showed us how easy it is to bake your own bread. Then a whole gang of bods joined in the bread sport and made their own amateur loaves - while I sat drooling. Bread! The staff of life! I love it! I hate it! It makes me fat!

I watch ‘River Cottage’ because I admire home- gardeners and home-bakers. Their industry and enthusiasm takes me back to what my memories tell me were better times; when my father gardened and my mother baked – PASTRY – yes! I remembered the old coverless cookbook at the back of my pantry (the one that falls apart a little more every year). And Hey Presto! On page 95 of that ‘NZ TRUTH COOKERY BOOK’ was a ‘NEVER-FAIL SHORT PASTRY’ recipe.

I made it. My husband (I tell you true) even grated the butter for me. We watched. We waited. While under the shin-bone steak (cooked long and slow) that simple pastry cooked its bed and browned its edges. It adorned my pies like royalty. The smell tantalized. The taste? Ambrosia! That pastry blessed our tummies and our hearts and topped an apple pie the next night as well.  

What use words?

Well! Words don’t always have to be highfalutin. Practical, everyday directions need words. Recipes need words and that recipe was printed in 1946. Yum!

This is Jean ‘Angel’ Allen hoping you like the words you are reading today.

Recipe for NZ Truth Cookery Book came out just after World War Two


SIFT 1 lb of flour with 1 dessertspoon baking powder and pinch of salt. Grate in 8 ounces of butter and mix to a soft consistency with milk. Suitable for pie shells, sausage rolls, meat pies and small tarts.


  1. Nice one, Jean! I look forward to trying a failsafe pastry recipe, though I'm sure I'll find a way to make it fail! (Doesn't help when it has to be gluten-free flour.)

    1. I shall now foray into the gluten free flour, Sir! Got a daughter has to chomp through that. I'm working on the right words to ask my corner gluten free bakery what their secret is and I shall get back to you.