As a child I loved to visit or stay-over at my grandmother's house at every available opportunity. Like the grandmother most of us remember, (or are blessed to have around us still), my own was a kind and loving woman who was thoughtful, highly skilled the old-world arts of craft, sewing and knitting, and I recall that she was a great pleasure to be around.
In her youth, my grandmother was an accomplished pianist who shared her musical talents with audiences during the silent movie era at local movie houses. She continued to play her most prized possession - her piano, every day to keep her fingers limber, even into her later years. Her music was beautiful and it's impossible for me to think of this amazing woman without the memory of her being surrounded by music. To this day, if I hear a solo piano tune of the 1920's era, I still think of her with great happiness and longing.
The memory of my grandmother is something I like to fondly recall each May as Mother's Day rolls around. As far as wonderful childhood memories go, most of my own settle comfortably around her. She was always ready with a warm and welcoming hug. She would always champion everything I did. Enviably, she could sew anything, knit anything and to top it all off, she was an amazing baker too.
Boy could she bake!
A trip to my grandmother's house was a culinary adventure at any time. There were her regular delicious homemade roasts on a Sunday to enjoy and her chunky stews, puddings, desserts, cakes, biscuits and slices were something to look forward to. Her old-fashioned home seemed to radiate a permanent warmth from the oven, complete with tantalising foodie scents that wafted even further around the neighbourhood.
As children, we were never hungry for anything at her place or in her presence, and I count myself blessed for having had 13 younger years of my life spent in the company of this wonderful woman before she passed away. x
On fine days, visits to my grandmother's house would be made an even more pleasurable occasion with an outdoor tea. On these days, my grandma would set up a table in her garden and bring out her precious linen, her 1950's crockery, (it was her everyday-ware but to a child its antiquity was enticing), a pack of playing cards and some needlework, plus a few of her delicious treats she had whipped up magically in her ancient Sunbeam Mixmaster.
There we would sit for the afternoon, sipping drinks of tea and cordial, nibbling at cucumber sandwiches and demolishing her delicious biscuits and slices in the suburban sunshine.
It's no wonder I grew up to adore baking sweets. Baking biscuits, slices and cakes for me, holds precious memories which I cherish from my own childhood, and in replicating these simple pleasures for my own children, I hope to pass along some of this same, quiet happiness. I think there's a core yearning within every foodie, that harks back to this passion derived from the desire to recreate a childhood where food and love converged. It's certainly true for me.
|Ciroa Footed Mug 450ml Big Pink RRP $14.95.|
When prompted by Kitchen Warehouse to share a precious family recipe in time for Mother's Day, (#passdownthelove), I just knew straight away that it were these garden tea memories where I could draw my inspiration for the challenge. Cherry thumbprint biscuits are a simple and old-fashioned bake that distinctly remind me of my grandmother, and so I have chosen these delicious little gems to share. These biscuits require no special skill and take little time to prepare. The taste is so good!
|Ciroa Footed Mug 450ml Orange Bloom RRP $14.95.|
Makes: 28. Preparation time: Approximately 30 minutes.
170gm of unsalted softened butter
1/2 cup of soft icing sugar
1-2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
2 cups of plain flour
1/4 cup of cornflour
1/3 cup of cherry jam. (I use Bonne Maman Cherry Conserve.)
Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
Add softened butter, icing sugar, vanilla essence, plain flour and cornflour to the bowl of a food processor or Thermo. Pulse or blend until a smooth dough forms.
If using a Thermo, whip this dough together on speed 5 for around 30 seconds, stopping midway to scape down the sides, then, pulse until all ingredients come together.
Empty the dough into a mixing bowl and knead slightly with your hands until the dough becomes smooth.
Roll teaspoon-sized balls of dough in your hands and place on a pre-lined baking tray. Gently flatten each biscuit then press your thumb into the centre of each to leave a small well.
Place a small dollop of cherry jam into each biscuit's centre. (Be careful not to overload the wells as the hot jam can overflow during baking.)
Place the prepared biscuits into the oven and bake for around 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden.
Store the biscuits in an airtight biscuit tin or container. The biscuits are best consumed within 24 hours but these will remain delicious for around 3 days.
You can of course use any conserve or jam as the filling for these biscuits. I chose cherry jam, as again, this is a flavour that reminds me of my childhood. My grandmother grew lots of fruit trees in her yard and made her own conserves regularly. She would have possibly had a filling such as plum jam in her own biscuits, owing to her productive plum trees.
Consider an afternoon tea such as this as a special treat for yourself or your mum this Mother's Day. A special thanks to Kitchen Warehouse who supplied the beautiful items featured here which helped to inspire this recipe. You too can find a selection of stunning items to help you re-create your favourite childhood-inspired recipes at Kitchen Warehouse.
|Tara Dennis Calais Dome with Tray two piece set RRP $99.|
|Ciroa Footed Mug 450ml Blue and Green Rose RRP $14.95.|
|Tara Dennis Calais Round Plate 13cm antique zinc RRP $6.95.|
This recipe proudly featured on the Appetite blog by Kitchen Warehouse.
What precious bakes have been passed along to you from your own mother or grandmother?
*Disclosure: The collection of beautiful items featured in this post were gifted.
All opinions expressed are my own and genuine.