The other day I was rummaging around in a kitchen drawer and found a recipe from my grandmother, Narnie, as we grandkids called her. This recipe was passed on to me over 15 years ago by my Aunty Mary, Narnie’s youngest daughter and my mum’s sister. Aunty Mary said that Narnie made it for her and her siblings when they were kids. Narnie, Aunty Mary and Mum aren’t around now, and the recipe must be approximately 100 years old.
I had never tried the recipe, so I thought I’d give it a go. This is how Aunty Mary had given it to me:
Narnie’s Overnight Biscuits
8 oz flour
2 oz chopped walnuts or almonds
6 oz butter
6 oz sugar
¼ teasp B. Pwd
Grated rind ½ lemon
Mixture to be shaped like a bar of soap, left covered for 8-12 hrs: Cut into ¼ inch slices next day and cook about 15 minutes.
(This was the time before refrigerators, so you wouldn’t have to leave overnight these days. They were just easy to make, haven’t tried them myself in the last 20 years. – Mary)
Even though as a child I had used ounces at home in the kitchen with mum and in Forms 1 and 2 cooking classes, I couldn’t remember what they were in metric. Good old internet helped me here. 4 oz flour = 1 cup, 2 oz walnuts =1/3 cup, 6 oz butter = 150 grams, 6 oz sugar = 3/4 cup.
I did the usual things – whisking the egg and sugar, sifting the flour and baking powder and then mixing all the ingredients together (I used chopped walnuts). I formed the rather moist dough into a long soap bar shape (it looked more like a sausage), wrapped it in baking paper and popped it into the fridge. Next day, I cut the dough into ¼ inch slices, put them onto a baking tray and into my pre-heated oven (350 degrees) and baked them for 17 minutes.
They weren’t too bad! I took them on a pretty plate to an afternoon function, and everyone loved them. People started talking about their own old family recipes, evoking laughter and lovely memories.
Maybe you have an old family recipe that you’d like to share. Please do!