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The Cooking Phenomenon - not that new!

I have written previously about Old Cookery Books and my continuing interest in what our forebears cooked with tight budgets, limited ingredients and basic appliances.

Our recent church fete provided a wonderful "book stall" with a section of cook books that I found hard to I didn't.

One of the discovered treasures:

The 1948 edition of "The Australian Women's Weekly Cookery Book" - Prize recipes from our £2,000 Cookery Contest

The Forward.....

THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S WEEKLY £2,000 Cookery Contest, 1948, was a sensational success. It attracted over half a million entries.

In addition, thousands of skilled housewives submitted food budgets and menu plans for a family of husband, wife and two children of school age. These budgets were based on weekly expenditures of £3, £3/10-, £4, and £4/10/-.

We would have liked to publish all the winning recipes and the most outstanding budgets in The Australian Women's Weekly, but because of the newsprint ration this was not possible.

But we feel very strongly that these excellent recipes and skilful food budgets should be made available in permanent form to everyone.

So, in the unique cookery book, we present a special selection.

Every recipe in it has been carefully tested by our cookery experts.

The budgets selected were highly commended by the judges, not only for their economy, but for the appetising variety of the meals and the nutritional balance of the whole menu plans.

They offer a rich source of knowledge and practical guidance in the planning and serving of attractive, balanced and healthful meals.

Prices quoted were those prevailing in the districts mentioned at the time of compiling.

These prices will naturally vary in different districts and at different times of the year, but such variations are easily allowed for, and the budgets provide an invaluable overall guide to home management.

The prize winning £50 Champion Cake


Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter

  • 2 cups of caster sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 3 cups flour (measured after sifting)

  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder

  • 1 cup milk

  • 6 egg whites

Cake method:

  • Heat oven to 375F degrees

  • Grease two 20cm pans and line with baking paper

  • Cream butter and vanilla until very soft

  • Add sugar a little at a time - beat until soft, white and fluffy

  • Sift flour, salt and baking powder another 3 times

  • Add to the creamed mixture alternatively with milk

  • Beat egg whites until very stiff and fold in to the creamed mixture until well combined

  • Divide mixture evenly between two pans and bake for 40 - 45 minutes

  • Remove when cooked and allow to stand for 5 minutes before turning onto wire rack

Egg-nog Ingredients

  • Two egg yolks

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 50 grams butter

  • 3 dessertspoon flour

  • Grated rind of 1/2 lemon

  • 1/2 cup chopped (course) walnuts

  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped citrus peel

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 2 tablespoons brandy

Egg-nog Method:

  • Beat egg yolks until lightly coloured

  • Add sugar, flour and lemon rind, blend smoothly

  • Fold in melted butter

  • Place mixture in a double saucepan and cook over simmering water stirring constantly until thick - up to 1 hour - filling must be very thick

  • Remove from heat, beat until cool

  • Add all other ingredients and stir

Frosting Ingredients:

  • Two teaspoons of gelatine

  • 1/2 cup hot water

  • 1 egg white

  • 1 cup sifted icing sugar

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

  • 1 cup coarse coconut

Frosting Method:

  • Dissolve gelatine in hot water and allow to come back to room temperature

  • Beat egg whites to stiff and gradually add the cooled gelatine mixture - whip for 2-3 minutes

  • Gradually add sifted icing sugar and lemon rind

  • Whip until frosting is firm enough to stand in stiff peaks


  • Place one layer of cake on board

  • Spread liberally with Egg-nog mixture

  • Place top layer of cake on top

  • Spread Frosting over entire cake with broad blade knife

...and remember...have a fabulous retirementLIFE....

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