When I was in high school I had a friend Mattie who never showed any signs of wanting to cook. Since leaving school we haven’t seen a lot of each other as he moved away from Sydney however, we do keep in touch through facebook.
A few weeks ago he posted a photo of a gingerbread loaf he’d made. This was the second photo he’d posted of something he’d cooked in as many days and so I told him if he posted a third image he’d be at risk of being labelled a food blogger. Mattie assured me he has no ambition of wearing that title and actually no real desire to cook, but I’m sure I haven’t seen the last of his kitchen creations.
What I did like about his gingerbread loaf is that the recipe comes from the Edmonds Cookery Book and my mother, who had the Edmonds cookbook in her collection while I was growing up, also used to make this gingerbread.
Now…for those who are regular readers you will know this is not the first recipe I have posted from the Edmunds Cookery Book. It’s a book I love because I love the history behind the cookbook. The cookbook has been part of almost every New Zealand home for the past four generations. The first edition was published in 1908 by Thomas Edmonds in thanks for the support given to his product, Edmonds Baking Powder. It was a 50 page booklet of economical, everyday recipes and cooking hints.
At one time the cookery book was sent to every newly engaged couple in New Zealand which is such a lovely idea. Today the cookbook has sold over three million copies which is astounding given the population of New Zealand is only a little more than that. My grandmother gave me my copy of the cookbook many years ago.
I’d forgotten all about the gingerbread loaf until Mattie posted a photo of it. For several years Mattie lived in New Zealand and that was where he added the cookbook to his collection. (Actually, it could be possible the Edmunds Cookery Book stands alone in his collection).
When I saw the loaf on facebook, I told Mattie I would make it and share the recipe with you. It’s very easy to make, it’s egg-free for those who don’t eat eggs, it could easily be made vegan by substituting the milk and butter for non-dairy versions, and as it cooks it puts a wonderful aroma through the home that’s quite Christmasy – how timely!
This is a bit like banana bread in that it doesn’t need to be iced and a slice warm from the oven with a slab of butter is all that’s needed.
Thanks Mattie for reminding me of another fabulous recipe from the Edmunds Cookery Book and keep up with the cooking!
- 4 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 175g (6 oz) butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup treacle
- 1 cup milk
- 1½ tsp bicarb soda
- Pre-heat oven to 180C (375F)
- Sift together the flour, ground ginger and mixed spice and place in a large bowl.
- Put butter, sugar, treacle, milk and bicarb soda in a basin and stand basin in a saucepan of hot water until mixture is melted and bubbly. Pour into flour mixture.
- Mix and bake in a grease shallow tin for between 45 minutes and an hour.