Friday, 2 January 2009

No Shiftless Mennonites Round Here!

I spent some time sorting out the kitchen, and put all the remaining veg with some mince into a huge pot of pasta sauce, which will serve us for a few days, I hope! Liz is much better today, thankfully. She produced a wonderfully gooey chocolatey pudding this evening. From the book "Cooking from Quilt Country" - recipes from Amish and Mennonite kitchens - via Martyn Lewis' Money Saving Expert Website. Liz spends a lot of time on the MSE site, aiming to become as thrifty as her mother.


Here is Bob pouring cream on the pudding, and here is a close-up of his portion!


It is one of those bizarre recipes which comes out as sponge on top with a thick sauce underneath.

Liz Almond's Mennonite Pudding

First find a cup that holds 8 fl oz of liquid(a US cup measure)
Grease a shallow baking dish - about 9'' by 13''
Sift together
1 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
⅔ cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
½ cup milk
2 tbsp melted butter or marge
1 tsp vanilla extract(optional)
Mix until just smooth,then spoon into the baking dish.
Mix together
4 tbsp cocoa
1 cup soft brown sugar(light or dark)
Sprinkle over batter in dish.
Pour over all 1 ½ cups of just-boiled water - DO NOT STIR
Bake for 40 mins at 180c
Serve warm with whipped cream......yummmy
When it's cooked there will be a thick fudgy sauce a the bottom of the pudding and a cakey bit on top. [It's nice with some instant coffee - about a dessert spoon - added to the cocoa and sugar bit]

Marge Simpson once remarked "Ooh, the Amish are so industrious, not like those shiftless Mennonites…" but I believe she was just teasing! [Matt Groening's Grandma was a Mennonite]

Back to the thriftiness - once of my Christmas gifts [thank you Adrian, Marion and Lucy] was this book


"Make Do and Mend- Keeping the Family Afloat on War Rations"

it is a collection of Wartime leaflets produced by the Ministry of Information and is the companion to the book Bob gave me last Christmas, "Eating for Victory"

Like the cookbook, this one is full of fascinating facts and useful tips.

There are wonderful instructions for darning, and advice on patching garments. "NEVER put a new patch on an oldvictory garment!" it warns, very solemnly [didn't I read that in the Gospels first?]

The chief exponent of all the useful mending advice is a lady called Mrs Sew-And-Sew - and she dispenses her wisdom to all and sundry. I am not sure I shall be following all the ideas- for instance, I have no need to turn a full slip into camiknickers! But turning a man's shirt into a woman's blouse is another thing altogether.

There's lots of ideas about saving energy too - only have one bath a  week and then keep the water very shallow. You and your neighbour should spend alternate evenings together so you only need to light one fire per day. Can't see those two tips catching on in 2009!

I am going downstairs to watch Miss Marple, which I recorded last night. I have read the book, so I know Whodunnit already!!


  1. Hmmm, had trouble with my 'tabbing' then, not sure if that posted...

    but I genuinely laughed out loud at the 'shiftless mennonites' quote. Good ol' Marge.

    I would love that book!

  2. I have a recipe similar to this, but is made in the crockpot. I've been looking for one to bake in the oven, because I think it would come out better. Thank you for sharing yours. It looks very yummy!

    My husband and I love Miss Marple. We were watching some episodes on Saturday nights on one of our local stations, but they aren't on anymore. Maybe I can find some dvd's at the library.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Haven't read any further down than the recipe for that lovely looking chocolate pudding. Will go back and read the rest in a min. but just had to say I shall be making that when we get back from church tomorrow, to have after our roast chicken. Looks really yummy, and my Bob will enjoy it just as much as yours looks as if he was just about to!

  4. I do like a bit of Marge Simpson. The pudding looks great. I have the "Eating for Victory" book and what amazes me is how little meat they had during the war. The sweet ration/jam ration seemed enormous, but meat and butter positively miserly (you know how I love my saturated fats!)

    Anyway, I know what you mean about the "new" frugality...I feel like I'm the granny and they're teaching me to suck eggs!


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