I love it when a blogging friend recommends a recipe they have enjoyed, and I often give it a go myself.
These are Hagrid's (Not Horrible) Rock Cakes from the vegan blog Nom!Nom!Nom! And if I fancy making a particular thing, I'll often end up looking for a recipe online if I can't find one in my cookery books on the shelf. I've discovered some really delicious things like this, not least the Chocolate Chunk Cookies that I make all the time. Here I've converted them to ounces, but being adapted from an American recipe (thank you Martha Stewart) they were originally in cups.
I do like the idea of measuring things in cups, it always seems quite simple and old-fashioned, and the kind of thing you could do if you happened to find yourself in a shack in the woods with no fancy equipment. And I always like using my measuring cups.
They don't look like much, a little battered and dented, a bit tarnished and as if they have seen better days. But to me they are treasured. Back when I was a child, we had family friends who were from Bermuda. My "auntie" had grown up there and moved to this country when she was a young adult. And she still made occasional trips there and brought back wonderful pictures. I remember doing a project on the island (for guides maybe?) and poring over her beautiful photos of this dazzling paradise of pink and white sand beaches and brightly coloured birds and palm trees.
To me, she was such an exotic person. Slim, beautiful, classy, with enormous sunglasses and sometimes a scarf in her blonde hair. She played tennis and had lots of friends whom she invited to supper parties where the food was complicated and different (taramasalata!) and everyone was so grown-up and witty and well dressed. To a quiet suburban girl in glasses who didn't get around much it was all desperately exciting. I loved visiting her house, and I remember sitting in the sun in her garden under her apple tree one evening and thinking that I wanted to be exactly like her when I grew up.
On one of her trips home to Bermuda she brought back these measuring cups for my mother. They'd been doing a macrobiotic cooking course together, and often the ingredients were measured in the American way, and back then measuring cups weren't so widely available here. So her gift was a really useful one. And for the rest of my childhood they sat in the drawer in the kitchen, ready to be used any time the recipe called for measurement in cups.
When I left home at eighteen, somehow they ended up coming with me. My mother died when I was a teenager, and I have one or two things of hers, including the cups. And every time I use them it makes me think of my exotic auntie and Bermuda and how beautiful and sunlit her life seemed to me. I love older things with a little history behind them. So the fact that they're a little dented and tarnished is fine. They're used every week, and every week they bring a little bit of Bermudian glamour into my small everyday kitchen.
How lovely to day dream of Bermuda when you are baking.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful story behind such treasured and well used items. I love my measuring cups too but they don't have such a lovely history to go with them.ReplyDelete
The rock cakes look divine :)
My heart sinks when I find the perfect recipe and it's in cups. A really useful set to have.. the more dinks and memories the better!ReplyDelete
What a lovely insight into little part of you. I have things around the house that I cherish. And they often transport me back, as your measuring cups do. My Mum had a fiend who I thought was effortlessly glamorous too. Very slim and elegant. From London, which meant sophisticated in my book. I adore posts such as these, so thank you for sharing. And the cookies look lush xx
ha ha! Friend, not fiend. xDelete
Your measuring cups remind me of my mothers measuring cups. They are the same but copper coloured and I always liked them a lot. I have a few things that used to belong to my gran and grandfather and every time I use them, I remember them. It is nice to hold onto items that bring back cherished people. Have a lovely Sunday. CxReplyDelete
How lovely to have little things used each day that hold so many lovely memories.ReplyDelete
A lovely post. I like these cups for their simple elegance, and with the memories associated with them can see why you treasure them. Flighty xxReplyDelete
I enjoyed this so much. I see those are made in the USA, you can still buy a lot of EKCO baking ware here. I have a few pans and they're decent. I love old cooking gear. I have old metal measuring spoons that are the best ones I've ever tried. I think it's wonderful that you have such good memories and thoughts when you're using your cups. It must make every cooking task a little more pleasurable.ReplyDelete
What a fun post full of memories, family love and adventure! My mom was one of 12 kids, so I have lots of fun aunties and uncle stories. I love your "family" cups! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)ReplyDelete
It is so lovely to have old things with such treasured memories and to be able to use them isn't it. I love old things with history to them! xxReplyDelete
Such a lovely post, and I am so glad you have these wonderful measuring cups as a reminder of wonderful memories.ReplyDelete
Isn't it amazing how the simple things can bring back such wonderful memories.ReplyDelete
Those were the exact cups we used in my jr. high school home economics class. They sure can take a lot of use (and sometimes in our class ABUSE).
Lovely story. And lovely cups!ReplyDelete
I love the cups! It's so wonderful that you have them. Also I'll have to check out these cookies because uhh HAGRID! So awesomeReplyDelete
Now that is the most awesome story ever! I love the cups for all of the reasons you mentioned...they have that feeling about them! And how beautiful that not only do they tell a story...they warm your heart too! Those treats look delicious by the way! So good that you have a piece of your mom and auntie in your kitchen! A wonderful week to you friend! Nicole xoxoReplyDelete
Love the story behind the cups, mine are new from years ago but I use them constantly. I will be making the rock buns, it will make a change from my usual recipe with walnuts and apricots, we like them warm from the oven and warmed through with custard for pudding the next day. I had to look up the cookie recipe, that looks delicious too, I am supposed to be watching what i eat. I will certainly watch out so I get my share. PamReplyDelete
I love everyday objects which have a story behind them. I've got some cups to use when following an American recipe, but they're nowhere near a beautiful as yours.ReplyDelete
Oh ... your cups are so lovely, I love old fashion things too. I use old enamel plates and shriner that their age are much older than mine. I use them almost everyday. My mother was a wise person, so she saved the kitchen wares very carefully.ReplyDelete
This is a beautiful post CJ. I loved hearing about your aunt and her exotic life. I could see her in my mind perfectly. I can tell she was very special to you and an inspiration. I actually never really thought about the fact that recipes from America really become American simply because of the measurements. It never crossed my mind (funny). I happy you have those cups and those stories.ReplyDelete
What an interesting view on measuring cups! Things that I use every day and don't in the last bit feel glamorous! :) I never stopped to think that they are an American thing.ReplyDelete
My step grandmother made wonderful rock cakes but I have never come across chocolates ones before. I will have to try them. Your measuring cups look so good despite their age and usage., I bought some a few years ago - plastic ones and most of them have broken. It must be wonderful to think of Bermuda each time you use them. Sarah xReplyDelete
Such a wonderful history to your measuring cupsReplyDelete
What a beautiful post, CJ. Ah, to be glamorous! I'm more like the measuring cups myself--a bit banged up and round in the middle, not to mention getting more "vintage" by the day...it does sound like your auntie was fun to be around ;) Wonderful memories of childhood...thank you for sharing!ReplyDelete
These cups have a lovely story behind them. I treasure everyday items in the house that have a family history too.ReplyDelete
cherished memories xReplyDelete
What a fantastic post. I love the way you describe your measuring cups. It's so good to have such memories and be able to recall them regularly as you use your cups.ReplyDelete
Oh, wonderful! Yes, things like this, full of history and memory, it doesn't matter how battered they are.ReplyDelete
My Grandad used to travel to Bermuda for work quite regularly and brought back all sort of things, in particular two simple, elegant cedarwood storm lantern/candle holders. They sit on my mantel and I love them - I was thrilled when he said I could have them. He would tell us all about his Bermuda friends and colleagues, and it all sounded impossibly glamorous to me.