Signature dishes

No. 10 Bistro's take on Mrs Nisbett's ginger cake. Photo © Jacqui Newling for Sydney Living Museums

No. 10 Bistro's take on Mrs Nisbett's ginger cake. Photo © Jacqui Newling for Sydney Living Museums

The recipes in our archives and collections remind us just how much personality and good will is shared in culinary exchanges, and the importance of memory in recipes that have been passed on by friends and neighbours, and down through generations.

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Curry stuff

Edward Abbott's curry powder. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums.

Edward Abbott's curry powder. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums.

Although being immensely popular, Australia’s first published cookbook, Edward Abbott’s The English and Australian cookery book for the many and the upper ten thousand (1864), featured only one recipe for a ‘curry’. Continue reading

Mock the turtle

The Gryphon and the Mock Turtle illustration (detail) by John Tenniel in Lewis Carroll, Alice's adventures in Wonderland, Macmillan, London, 1872. State Library of NSW DM/827.8/D645.1/4A1

The Gryphon and the Mock Turtle illustration (detail) by John Tenniel in Lewis Carroll, Alice's adventures in Wonderland, Macmillan, London, 1872. State Library of NSW DM/827.8/D645.1/4A1

When the Prince of Wales visited Sydney in 1920 (not Charles, but Queen Elizabeth’s uncle, who would later abdicate for Wallis Simpson), a grand ball was held at Government House. Continue reading

Australian tastes

'Pavlova' (detail) 1930s style. The new Goulburn cookery book, Edwards, Dunlop & coy, Sydney, 1937. © Sydney Living Museums.

'Pavlova' (detail) 1930s style. The new Goulburn cookery book, Edwards, Dunlop & coy, Sydney, 1937. © Sydney Living Museums.

Yes folks, it’s a pavlova – or at least we are told it is, in 1930s cook book such as The new Goulburn cookery book and The Presbyterian cookery book of good and tried recipes.
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Sharing the joy – with pudding.

Mrs. Macpherson's cookery class: the Christmas pudding [detail]. Alfred May and Alfred Martin Ebsworth. Australasian Sketcher, December 20, 1879. State Library of Victoria. A/S20/12/79/145

Mrs. Macpherson's cookery class: the Christmas pudding [detail]. Alfred May and Alfred Martin Ebsworth. Australasian Sketcher, December 20, 1879. State Library of Victoria. A/S20/12/79/145

Judging by the fashionable dress of the women in Mrs Macpherson’s plum pudding class shown above, the traditional plum pudding was a standard requirement, if not the centrepiece, on all the best tables. But in the true spirit of Christmas, our archives tell us that the less fortunate were also tucking in to the classic plum pud!

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