Shepherd’s Pie (Pam Sorohan’s)

Irish Stew (Australian variation)

Source & History.

What does a fishing family need when they come in from the changing tides and pulling in nets.

A hearty meal simmering on the stove whether night or day winter or summer (the only 2 real seasons in Australia).

This is what my family historically always had there.

If it was getting a little light on and more people to come in you just tossed in a few more vegies, water,and more thickening.

Women and men all worked during “the season”

Orange Wholemeal Biscuits

Guava Jelly

Source & History

This is from Rhoda’s collection of recipes as well, so I assume is the one her mother used.


  • To check whether the jam has boiled long enough and is ready to set, perform the following test:



  • If the jam doesn’t set after you have boiled it according to the instructions, you may need to pour all the jelly back into the pot, add some pectin (called Jamsetta at the supermarket) and reboil it. You’ll also need to clean & re-sterilise your jars.
  • for how to sterilise your jars go to Sterlising Jars (The Easy Way)

How to peel tomatoes

Source & History

This is another of those blogs with no actual recipe. Rhoda insists that whenever she uses tomatoes, particularly if they are for pickles or relishes, they must be peeled. So here is how to peel tomatoes, the easy way.

  1. put some water in a pot and heat it until it is just boiling
  2. cut a small cross into one end of the tomato.
  3. drop your tomatoes (1 or 2 at time)  into the pot and leave them there for about 10 seconds.
  4. remove the tomatoes from the water and either drop them into some ice water to stop the cooking process, then peel them or just peel them without the ice water. Start where you cut the cross & the peel should just come right off.

See below for a visual demonstration:


  • this method will not work for green tomatoes, just peel them with a peeler or small knife like you would potatoes or carrots. 

Gram’s Dill Pickles

Source & History

This is based on Mum’s dill pickle recipe, which I have courtesy of my brother Doug, and which would also be, I suspect, the one that her mother used. I spoke to Doug & he says that he has another recipe which he thinks tastes better – so I combined them. Mum’s didn’t have the pickling spice & the sugar.


  • the idea of the soaking overnight in cold water is to firm up the cucumbers before pickling them. 
  • Doug said that Mum said to leave the pickles at least 3-6 weeks to cure before eating them. He also said that he prefers to use them after only 2 weeks.
  • For how to sterilise your jars go to Sterilising Jars (The Easy Way).


Christmas Turkey


Source & History

  • This is Pam’s method and as she is the only person in her immediate family who eats turkey there is no one to contradict her.
  • Fancy none of them eating such a lovely and traditional food.

Puftaloons (Uncle Lindsay’s Recipe)



Source & History.

  • This recipe reminds my family of  Uncle Lindsay Witt who regularly made these when we came to call. Our kids loved these. 
  • His wife Laurene hated the mess he left behind. We remember him (and the kitchen) coated in flour.
  • There is a skill in pushing your knife into the center and inserting the butter and syrup.
  • We all have fond memories of syrup and butter running down our arms.

Cornflake Biscuits

Source & History

Rhoda used to make these all the time – not so often now. Frank says that he hasn’t had them for years but he did used to eat them.

Three Fruit Marmalade

Source & History

Here we are again – the last one for now! This weekend has been a marathon. This is Great-Grandma Honeywell’s marmalade recipe. Made using lemon, orange & grapefruit.

3 fruit marmalade




  • if you’re not sure how to tell whether the marmalade has cooked long enough go to Guava Jelly to see a video on how to test whether your jam will set.
  • If you want instructions on sterilising jars go to Sterilising Jars (The Easy Way)
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