Vintage favourites revived as new Edmonds Cookery book launched

By Cherie Howie

Soused Trout is out, Elsie's Fingers are back and Gingerbread Men have become Gingerbread People in the latest edition of the Edmonds Cookery Book, due out this week.

The book, a staple of Kiwi kitchens since its launch in 1908, has undergone its first major overhaul since the 1990s.

Of the 69th edition of the book's 400 recipes, just under 300 were retained from the previous edition, but 68 were brand new recipes and 66 altered recipes, with
new trends, such as homemade pasta, gluten-free options and bliss balls, included.

Traditionalists will be pleased to see the return of 24 old recipes, sourced from previous editions of the book.

Marshmallow Shortcake is back from 1976, Arabian Nut Cake from 1952, and Cheese Loaf from 1986. Dad's Cherry Cake and the tartlet Marmalade Cakes are from the 1930s and Elsie's Fingers - simple, shortbread-style biscuits - date from the 1923 edition of the book.

The recipes were compiled by food historian and cook book author Alexa Johnston, who researched and tested them, altered them and chucked in a few of her own.

Johnston told the Herald on Sunday she was approached by Edmonds' owner Goodman Fielder, who planned to re-launch the book's website and publish another edition of the book.

She was adamant the book needed "a complete rewrite".

Recipes needed to be designed for novices, which had always been the book's aim but needed to be even more prescribed to modern audiences who may not even know about simple cooking terms and techniques, Johnston said.

"You will have a success with these recipes and everybody wants to have a success, not waste time, ingredients and money and end up feeling grumpy."

Johnston also weeded out recipes whose time had come. Among them, soused trout.

"It's an old trout preserving recipe. It's not going to be terribly much use today. You can find it on the website, but it's not going to be in the book."

The mis-spelled Crispy Chinese Batter Tempora also got the chop. Somewhere in Edmonds' Cookery Book history the traditional Japanese dish had become Chinese and the correct spelling of tempura had become tempora, Johnston said.

Whatever its spelling, it also didn't meet Johnston's criteria that recipes be simple. It had to go.

Along with adding her own recipes, such as Lemon fried Chicken Drumsticks, and tahini cream and cashew cream dressings, 1980s magazines' favourites such as Impossible Quiche made it into the book.

The 1950s Coconut Bread recipe made the cut in a nod to growing interest in the use of coconut in modern recipes.

Other existing recipes were adapted, some having fallen victim to ingredients such as butter and sugar falling out of fashion. The carrot cake, for example, had too little sugar and too much carrot, Johnston said.

Many favourites remained though - the classic sweetened condensed milk dressing, curried sausages and their egg-based equivalent, and the mock whitebait patties - made of potatoes, eggs and cheese, with black sesame seeds added to resemble the delicacy's eyes - that in times past fooled many Kiwi kids into thinking they were eating the real thing.

The project had at times felt daunting, but she pushed on, buoyed by the delight of re-discovering old favourites and the response of her spoilt sister and brother-in-law, who had the good fortune to be visiting when much of her research was taking place, Johnston said.

She was confident other Kiwis would get as much enjoyment out of the recipes as she had.

"These recipes were not extravagant, but they were economical and delicious ... none of them are there for curiosity value. They're there because they're delicious."

The new edition will be in supermarkets from Tuesday, and booksellers a week later.

Lemon Fried Chicken Drumsticks (reproduced from the Edmonds Cookery Book, 2016 Edition)

Lemon Fried Chicken Drumsticks are among new additions to the latest edition of the Edmonds Cookery Book. Photo / Supplied.
Lemon Fried Chicken Drumsticks are among new additions to the latest edition of the Edmonds Cookery Book. Photo / Supplied.

Tender, golden and flavoursome, these drumsticks are economical and always popular.

The chicken is marinated in lemon juice, then quickly fried and finished off in the oven to ensure that it cooks completely and the outside does not burn. Great for a crowd or a picnic.

8 chicken drumsticks, skin on

¼ cup lemon juice

11/2 teaspoon salt

3 cloves garlic, crushed

½ tsp black pepper

½ cup Edmonds standard flour

1 cup vegetable oil for frying

1. Arrange the chicken drumsticks in a single layer in a shallow dish. Mix together the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the garlic and half the pepper and pour over the chicken.

2. Cover the dish and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Turn the pieces over in the juice a couple of times.

3. When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180C.

4. Drain the chicken legs and discard the lemon juice. Place the flour and the remaining salt and pepper in a large plastic bag and shake the drained chicken in the bag a few pieces at a time, then set aside.

5. Heat the oil in a wok or heavy-based frying pan and brown the chicken pieces, a few at a time, turning once. When the pieces are golden brown, remove from the pan and transfer to a shallow dish.

6. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until cooked. Test by inserting a fine skewer into the thickest part of the drumstick; if clear juice runs out the chicken is ready. Drain on paper towels and serve hot or cold.

- Herald on Sunday

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 22 Oct 2016 07:02:12 Processing Time: 1169ms