Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Health Food Pudding

Elizabeth Craig (1883-1980) was an early "celebrity chef" in Britain, who wrote dozens of books and articles, mainly about traditional British food. She was born in Dundee, Scotland and spent more than 50 years as a food writer, chef and home economist whose first cookery article was published in 1920.

She endorsed a lot of different products, including Borwick's Baking Powder, for whom she wrote a rather nice recipe booklet, published in 1930. There are a lot of good recipes in here. She tends to stick to well-known English and Scottish dishes, with the odd "Canadian" dish thrown in (she married an American war correspondent, Arthur Mann, but I don;t know where the Canadian connection comes from).

Here is an amusing recipe from the Borwick's book entitled "Health Food Pudding," which is a rare attempt on Craig's part to marry the old-fashioned steamed pudding to the concept of "health food" -

Health Food Pudding

4 oz. breadcrumbs
4 oz. flour
2 eggs
Little nutmeg
2 oz currants
2 Tbs treacle
1 tsp Borwick's Baking Powder
2 oz brown sugar
3 oz shredded suet
Rind and juice one lemon

Mix all well together and steam two hours in a basin covered with a buttered paper. Turn out on a hot dish. Spike if liked with blanched, peeled and browned almonds. Serve with custard sauce.

All that suet and treacle are not healthy, never mind the almonds and the custard sauce. I don't know what the figure of the girl next to the Health Food Pudding is up to. It looks like she has a big bunch of celery sticks under her arm and has turned away from the stodgy dessert which has reached a size - relative to her - of a compact car. In her basket she has got, apparently, hard boiled eggs. She is about to go on the diet that a lot of my friends did in high school in the late 1970s. A figurine ahead of her time!

Steamed Apple Pudding

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