Australia Day is only a couple of weeks away and how better to celebrate it than with lamb, pavlova and lamingtons.  The lamingtons take a bit of patience to make yourself, but are much better than the bought variety.  The conversion for this old recipe of Mum’s is: 8oz = 250ml, 4oz = 125g and the 9in square cake tin = 23cm.


Back in the 60s, which is around the time this recipe was published, the choice of pork cuts was a lot more limited than it is now.  You could buy roast pork and pork chops and not much else.  So although this recipe calls for shoulder pork shops you could really use any pork cut you wanted.  As it’s pre-metrics you need to convert the 10oz can of soup to 300ml and bake the casserole at 180o.

Pork Chop Casserole


I realize that this handwritten recipe is very hard to read so I’ve typed it out down below.  It’s a classic case of Mum writing two recipes on the one piece of paper and the ink blurring through making both recipes really hard to decipher.  The recipe itself sounds quite good, if you like apricots that is.

Apricot Rice Pudding


  • ½ cup short grain rice
  • ½ coconut
  • 1½ cups apricot nectar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup apricot jam
  • ¾ cup castor sugar

Cook rice, then mix with coconut.  Place in buttered pie dish.  Mix nectar, water, sugar and boil, remove from heat.  Beat egg yolks with vanilla, stir into nectar mixture with rind, pour over rice & coconut.  Place dish in tray of water.  Bake in mod oven 180o for 45 mins.  Cool.  Then spread with apricot jam, beat egg whites with castor sugar till stiff, spread on top.  Bake further 10-15 mins.



It’s winter and what could be better for a family meal than an old style lamb casserole.  This one needs very little preparation, just trim the chops, coat them in flour, chop up an onion put the lot in a casserole dish and cover with the combined flavorings. Put the dish in the oven and forget it for 2 hours while you get on with all the other things you need to do after a long day at work.

Casseroled Lamb Chops


The first Christmas cake I made was a total disaster.  When I cut into it I discovered that it was still raw in the middle and totally inedible.  I’d only been married a few months so of course the first thing I did was ring my Mum to find out what could be salvaged.  Mum calmly told me not to panic, to put the cake in a mixing bowl, squash it all up and then pour in a cup of cold tea.  Once it was all mixed through to then put it in a pudding bowl and cook it like a Christmas pudding and lo and behold it worked.

When I found this old recipe in Mum’s collection it reminded me so much of that cake/pudding disaster.  I’ve always thought it was a marvellous trick that Mum knew and I think this old Fruit Loaf recipe gives a hint of where she got the idea from.

Fruit Loaf crop


This homemade take on a Cherry Ripe comes from Mum’s friend Thel, who was a great cook and gave Mum some terrific recipes.

Ripe Cherry Slice cropped


  • 250g dark chocolate
  • 30g copha
  • 1½ cups coconut
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 125g glace cherries

Melt chopped chocolate and copha in double saucepan.  Line 2 – 25x8cm bar tins with foil, pour half chocolate mixture over base of each tin (reserve the other half for top).  Refrigerate until set.  In bowl combine coconut, ground almonds and sifted icing sugar.  Add unbeaten egg whites and rum, mix well.  Chop cherries roughly, add to coconut mixture and mix well.  Spread over chocolate in tins, pour remaining chocolate over.  Refrigerate until set.  Allow to stand at room temperature 30 minutes before cutting.  Remove from tins, remove foil before cutting.



A curry to my Mum was always made using curry powder bought from the supermarket. There were no jars of curry mix in all the levels of heat that you can buy now and no one made it from scratch using individual spices.  You either put in one tablespoon of curry powder or more depending on the heat you wanted. So this recipe is in no way a modern curry, but Mum and Dad didn’t like their curry hot and they did like smoked cod so this worked for them.  When I make it I always put in some peeled potatoes that soak up the sauce and taste great.

Fish Curry


  • 375g filleted or smoked cod
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • ½ clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 dessertspoon tomato puree
  • 150ml cold water
  • Potatoes, peeled and quartered

Wash fish cut into bite size pieces.  Saute onion and garlic in oil for 10 mins and stir in the curry powder.  Stir well and cook for a few mins.  Add water gradually stirring all the time and bring to the boil. Stir in the tomato puree.  Put in fish and potatoes, cook very gently, low heat 30mins.