Recipes fit for a queen

Ococo Food Emporium of Edwinstowe are appealling for 1950's cake recipes to celebrate the Queen's diamond jubilee, pictured from left are Sylvia Peace, Helen Kite and Julie Jackson-Lorenz (w120223-2a)
Ococo Food Emporium of Edwinstowe are appealling for 1950's cake recipes to celebrate the Queen's diamond jubilee, pictured from left are Sylvia Peace, Helen Kite and Julie Jackson-Lorenz (w120223-2a)

The Queen must feel like she’s come full circle.

In 1952 when she came to the throne Britain was in an age of austerity.

There was still rationing and everyone was having to make do, especially in the kitchen where cooks had to find ever more inventive ways to serve up the same plain ingredients.

Sixty years on and here we are again, tightening our belts and finding ways to make the most of what we’ve got.

So it’s fitting that an appeal for early 1950s cake recipes is helping to revive the cooking creativity of our mothers and grandmothers - for let’s face it, you were unlikely to find a man in the kitchen back then.

The call for diamond jubilee recipes has come from Julie Jackson Lorenz, owner of Ococo Food Emporium in Edwinstowe, where all the cakes are homemade.

She said: “Customers seem to like to bring us their recipes and tell us about their favourite cakes from the past, so we thought we’d do something on a jubilee theme.”

“We’ve had a few 1950s recipes in already and we’re going to be making them all up and trying them out on customers.”

“We’ll have the most popular ones on sale for the jubilee celebration weekend at the beginning of June.”

She said quite a few of the recipes donated so far have been biscuit-based and Be-Ro flour has been mentioned a lot, possibly because it produced recipe booklets at the time.

Julie, 49, who has two grown-up children, said: “Like the early 1950s, we find ourselves in a time of austerity, so we’re looking for recipes that use basic ingredients.”

“They didn’t have the choice we have, or the exotic foods we have now, so we want inventive recipes using store cupboard staples.”

“We’re asking people to dig out their old recipe books, ask their grandparents or share with us their own creations.”

Among the recipes already submitted were a mandarin cake, using tinned fruit, and almond slices.

“They wouldn’t have had the choice of fruit we have all year round, it was much more seasonal, so tinned fruit was used.”

Julie is thinking about producing a booklet of all the recipes, but will keep private any family recipes which people don’t want to be made public.

Julie opened the High Street cafe 18 months ago and has already built up a good rapport with local customers, and those from further afield who visit Edwinstowe because of its proximity to Sherwood Forest.

“We have great local support but we’ve also had people from other countries like Brazil, Israel and America, as well as from nearer to home like Worksop and Nottingham.”

Julie is joined by staff Helen Kite and Sylvia Peace who both bake as well.

“We use quality ingredients and try to source them all locally. We get our bread from the Welbeck bakery, our eggs are local and so are our veg and meat. The milk and cream comes from a farm at Tuxford,” said Julie, who lives above the cafe.

She also supports the Totally Locally campaign to encourage shoppers to buy locally from independent businesses.

*Call in to Ococo Food Emporium with your recipe or call Julie on 01623 825444.