Spinach and Beet - Part 4

This month’s extract from the diary of a Centre Organiser comes from the WVS Bulletin, October 1951:


It was the Godmother's turn to be invited to a party at the local Orphanage today - and at first it was quite the most solemn and “sticky” occasion I have ever attended! Cups of tea and cakes were handed round by grave-faced young people, and it was almost impossible to get a smile out of them in response to our well-meant attempts at humour.

Presently, however, we noticed a lightening of the grim atmosphere when a small boy, Ernie, started to conduct groups of Godmothers and orphans out into the garden—from which they returned with an “I-know-something-you-don’t-know” air of barely-concealed triumph. At last Ernie approached me and asked, in a hoarse Cockney whisper, whether I would like to come and see “my water-otter.” I gladly agreed, and several of us accompanied him (somewhat incredulously) to the small stream which runs through a corner of the grounds. There, nearly hidden amongst the weeds, was an old tin kettle. “It’s a water ’otter,” Ernie explained delightedly, “ it ’ots water! ” Bless him!

His joke started us off on a lighter note and we returned to the Home to exchange others about ‘cherry coloured cats with rose-coloured paws,’ to the joy of the Orphans who had not heard these hoary jests before.

Recipe – From the WVS Bulletin, May 1950

Meringue Cake.

  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder 2 egg yolks, unbeaten 1/2 teaspoon salt 7 tablespoons milk
  • 4 tablesp. butter or margarine 1/2 teaspoon vanilla For Meringue top—2 whites of eggs ; 1/2 cup sugar.

Sift flour once, then measure, add baking powder and salt, sift together three times. Cream butter thoroughly, add sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Add flavouring. Put into greased baking tin. Beat egg whites until foamy throughout, add sugar, 2 tablesp. at a time, beating after each addition until sugar is thoroughly blended. Continue beating until mixture stands in peaks. Spread over the cake batter. Bake in a moderate oven for about 50 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes to cool, then remove carefully from cake tin.

To decorate for a party : Trim 3 half egg shells neatly with scissors, vandyking edges. Fix to top of cake with a little icing, and fill with fragments of spring blossoms—one primroses, one violets and one prunus.

Posted by Matthew McMurray at 00:00 Monday, 18 August 2014.

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