Grandma's cookbook: Recipes to spark taste buds, memory

LAMBS fry and bacon, crumbed brains, apple pies and lemon sago.

Those were just some of the 400 recipes we received when we posed the question below on our Facebook site:

Some of the recipes prompted our own memories (oxtail stew, pasties with the best buttery pastry and rock cakes), others were a surprise (mock fish and eccles cakes) while others were downright ingenious (fried corn fritter hush puppy thing, eggy cheese tatty, mattie and cow yard biscuit).

Roast dinners with home grown vegetables were a favourite and so were pies, both sweet - lemon meringue, orange and rhubard, grandma Smith, orange and lemon - and savoury (cheese and onion pie).

Puddings were remembered in all shapes and sizes - chocolate and caramel puddings, upside down pudding, golden syrup, lemon delicious and bread and butter puddings.

There are plenty more surprise recipes that we plan to bring to you, but first let's prepare ourselves with the recipes behind just a couple.

How about starting with lambs fry, bacon and onion followed up with bread and butter puddings.

Lambs fry, bacon and onion

Ingredients - serves four 

1 large onion

8 large sage leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 slices lamb's fry, about 100 -125g each

2 tablespoons plain flour

salt and black pepper, to taste

300ml lamb or beef stock

4 lean, rindless bacon rashers, about 150g in total

150ml sour cream

small sage leaves, to garnish


Preheat the oven to low to keep the bacon warm later. Halve, peel and slice the onion. Finely chop the large sage leaves.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan, add the onion and fry over moderate heat for 4-5 minutes, until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, rinse the liver and pat dry with paper towels. Put the flour onto a plate, season well with pepper, then coat each slice of liver with the flour.

Tip the leftover flour and the chopped sage into the onions and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat; leave to simmer.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and fry the bacon for 1-2 minutes on each side, then remove from the frying pan and keep warm in the oven. Add the liver to the frying pan and fry over moderate-to-high heat for 2 minutes each side, or until lightly browned.

Return the bacon to the frying pan. Add the sauce and stir, scraping up any residue from the bottom of the frying pan. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until the liver is cooked but still slightly pink in the centre.

Stir the sour cream into the frying pan and season to taste with pepper (because of the bacon, no salt should be needed). Simmer for 1-2 minutes to heat the cream.

Transfer to a warmed serving dish, garnish with the small sage leaves, if using, and serve.


Bread and butter pudding: A particular favourite among our readers.
Bread and butter pudding: A particular favourite among our readers.

Bread and butter pudding

Ingredients - serves 12

6 slices old bread (or let it dry out for an hour) with crusts cut off

butter (enough to butter bread slices)

5 eggs

1 litre milk

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

sprinkle of nutmeg

1/3 cup sultanas (optional)


Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.

Lightly grease a large baking dish.

Cut the crustless slices of bread into triangles and lay in dish for the best fit (you can be decorative but make sure the whole base is evenly covered).

In a large mixing bowl beat 5 eggs on a medium speed and add milk gradually.

Add vanilla essence and sugar and continue to mix for 1-2 minutes or until thoroughly mixed.

Pour mixture over the bread.

Sprinkle nutmeg on top.

Place in oven and cook for 60 - 90 minutes (check every now and again).

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving with vanilla ice-cream.

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