School dinners: Recipes which bring back memories.
As a young girl, I always looked forward to my school dinners. When I am feeling nostalgic and fancy some good old fashioned food, I prepare some of my childhood favourites. I was very fortunate because I had a Mother who worked as a school dinner lady, so she would make them for us at home. The dishes I remember always tend to be the desserts or puddings. My recipes are all in pounds and ounces so I have converted them to metric.
5ozs (150gms) self raising flour
5ozs (150 gms) plain flour
8ozs (225gms) margarine
8 ozs (225 gms) sugar
1 oz (30 gms) cocoa or drinking chocolate powder
Few drops vanilla essence
Mix all the dry ingredients then add melted margarine eggs and essence.
Press into a greased tin
Sprinkle with a little sugar. Bake for 20 minutes in a medium heat. This recipe will make 8 good slices.
Toffee Cream Tart
Unlike my Mum, I buy ready-made shortcrust pastry which I use to make a pastry case in an 8” tin. Bake blind.
2 ozs (60) gms plain flour
3 ozs (90gms) margarine
1 ozs (30 gms) sugar
5 ozs (150 gms) golden syrup
8 fl ozs (250 mls) hot milk
A little coconut or chocolate flakes for sprinkling over the top
Heat the margarine in a saucepan and add the flour. Mix into a roux and gradually add the hot milk stirring all the time. Add the sugar and syrup. Take off heat and stir until it cools. Pour into pastry case and sprinkle coconut or chocolate over the top. Serve when cold.
A lovely recipe which is best made in the traditional way:
4ozs (12 gms) plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (170ml) milk
2 Tablespoons of golden Syrup
1 ozs (30 gms) brown Sugar
8 ozs 240g shredded Suet
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Warm milk in a saucepan and add the golden syrup and beaten egg. Stir well then add to the dry ingredients. Put mixture into a greased basin. Cover with greaseproof paper and tie tightly with string. Put into a large saucepan with boiling water and steam for two hours. Check that the water does not boil dry.
Serve with custard.
Nowadays ‘healthy eating’ are the watchwords for preparing school dinners. But I cannot help feeling that the meals we had in decades past were tasty, satisfying and fuelled our bodies for education.