The National Mark Calendar of Cooking was published in 1936, but I still use it – and maybe many other people do too! I came across it in a second-hand book shop, it was only about £5 but worth every penny.
I have shared his introduction to September recipes before, but her it is again:
September brings cooler and more autumnal weather. Darker and damper evenings impel the production of the soup index once more, and we can look a roast joint in the face again with equanimity, if not definite approval. The happy housewife’s list of vegetables grows. Brussels sprouts are now included and endive – a pleasant and unusual salad.
Chickens are much larger, almost monsters now; and with Michaelmas day, the goose comes into his prime. Grapes hang luscious in the greenhouses, tomatoes on their vines. Long evenings and idle dinner-time propel us towards dessert, and before the cobnuts we shall sample an apple or perhaps one of the first pears; for apples, say a Worcester Pearmain, with its crisp sweet flesh; for pears, that loveliest of all, Doyenne do Comice – names to conjure with. Hungrier and less difficult to please, the mere man relapses into his autumnal habits, and the housewife knows her task will be less exacting for the next six months!
A couple of years ago, inspired by the reference to pears, and loving ginger, I had a go at making a pear and ginger cake… and this is what happened
It was a very funny mixture; first of all there was only a very small amount of plain flour (plus baking powder) and a large amount of ground almonds, secondly, although I had followed the recipe precisely and with the correct sized tin, there was hardly enough mixture to cover the halves of pear. I cooked it for the correct amount of time (50-70 minutes – and then I cooked it for an extra 15) but when I turned it out and turned it over, there was an actual puddle of wet, yes wet mixture in the middle, which you may just be able to see in the picture. I put it back in the oven upside down so the pears were on top for another 15 minutes and it was just about cooked – yes I know ginger cake should be gooey – but not runny!
However… once we came to eat it, yes it was very nice… but I still am not sure the recipe is quite correct! I’ll investigate and try again because it does look lovely with the halves of pear showing, golden and yummy!