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Lost Childhood Foods

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Just like Lost Childhood Books but tastier! North By Northwest is here to help you find that lost childhood food. Was there some delicious dish your grandma made that you haven't been able to find again? Did your great aunt make a killer cookie that no one else seems to know about? Maybe Lost Childhood Foods can help you out. Send an e-mail to nxnw@cbc.ca or keep listening to North by Northwest and see if you can help solve a food mystery...and click below to see some Lost Childhood Foods already sent in.

Hello, Dear Friends at NXNW,

Re tracking down forgotten, or unknown recipes:

I recognized the description this morning, Sunday, of a square my mother used to make called Fudge Cake.  Occasionally I make it as a treat for my ex-husband who, like me, was born and raised in New Zealand, in the midst of old British colonial traditions.  It doesn't have much food value, even if you add mini-marshmallows!!

NB The recipe calls for the use of a raw egg so it should be made only if you can guarantee the source of your healthy eggs!

Base (uncooked):

225gm arrowroot cookies (one pack from the two-pack box from the supermarket will do fine)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 large egg

In a bowl, break the cookies up into small pieces, crumbling some of them.  Add walnuts and set aside.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter and sugar but do not get it really hot.  Remove pan from heat.  Stir in the vanilla and the unbeaten egg, stirring vigorously.  The mixture will become thick and smooth.  Pour it over the broken cookies and nuts, mixing well, then press the mix into a greased pan (10" x10") and let it set for a few hours, preferably overnight.  The cookie pieces should become soft as they soak up the chocolate syrup.


1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp soft butter
Lemon juice
Food colouring if desired

Place icing sugar in a small bowl, put butter in a well in the middle, and add a little lemon juice.  Work the butter and lemon juice into the sugar, adding more lemon juice until the frosting is smooth and spreadable, but not too runny.  If you want it coloured, as per the program this morning, add a drop or two of food colouring.

Spread frosting over the chilled base, and let it get firm.  Mark into small squares and cut with a small sharp knife.

As a note I would add that I don't actually measure the ingredients when I make this, because approximations seem to work just as well, and it's quicker!  

I hope this will help your listener revisit a childhood treat!

Elisabeth Caton


Hi - here it is, from a wee 1960s cookbook printed by a United Church (Richards Memorial) which may have been in London, Ontario.
Cooked, not baked, the Arrowroot Cookie Dessert:  1/2 cup butter  4 Tbsp cocoa (e.g. Fry's)  4 Tbsp brown sugar  2 eggs.  Place in double boiler (or in a stainless steel bowl that fits snugly over a sauce-pan full of boiling water) and cook the mixture til it thickens, than add 1 tsp of vanilla.  Meanwhile break up 29 arrowroot cookies and place the pieces in the mixture once it has thickened, mix well and pack into a greased pan (no size mentioned but - probably 8" x 8" - 20cm by 20 cm.  Set the pan in the refrigerator and let it set and then ice.  I made a note - coffee-flavoured butter icing so I imagine I used some butter, icing sugar and a little strong hot coffee instead of plain water.
Carol Andrews, Tlell, BC on Haida Gwaii where there is little wind, yet.


Hi Sheryl

 I was born and raised on the west coast in the 40's and 50's and we always
 had a tin of thick Rogers Golden Syrup in  the  cupboard.  Eventually I
 moved to Toronto and married.  During our many vacations to Vancouver, I
 would pick up the syrup which was now in a bottle and even visited the
 Rogers Museum.  The new syrup still had the great taste but was thinner,
 better for pouring on pancakes but trickier on toast.  We've retired on
 Spring and recently, in an antique store in Ganges, we found a 10 lb.
 (empty) tin of the old syrup.  I cleaned it up and it has been placed
 decoratively in our kitchen.

 Elva Kellington
 Salt Spring Island


You mentioned this morning a listener requested this recipe, which I call Glasgow's answer to Edinburgh Rock- -another toothsome memory of this Sassenach who spent her school years just outside of Glasgow.  Lee's Tablet was actually made in nearby Coatbridge, along with another favourite--their macaroon bar:  a not-too-sweet slab of fondant enclosed in plain chocolate and coated with just the right amount of toasted coconut.  And who can forget Tunnock's snowballs, made in Uddingston, the think chocolate covering cracking as soon as you bit into it to get to that soft, creamy, melt-in-your-marshmallow filling?  Now *there's* a recipe I'd love!

Lee's Tablet
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
200 ml can sweetened condensed milk
1 pound white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In heavy saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add milks and
sugar, stirring constantly. Bring to boil to 224 degrees.
Remove from heat, add vanilla and beat for 5 minutes. Pour into
greased tins. Mark into squares while warm, refrigerate until
About 48 pieces, each 68 cals, carbos 12g.

For another wee taste of Scotland, let me tell you about Glasgow, the overnight stop for tour buses on their way to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. They never linger, because there's nothing to do or see in Glasgow, right? The commercial capital of Scotland has been forsaken in favour of Edinburgh, the rival, comely city to the east and Scotland's cultural capital. (Oh yeah? Which city houses the National Orchestra, the Scottish Opera, the BBC...?).
The city fell into disrepute in immediate post-war Britain; social experiments to combat unemployment and lack of housing were implemented on a sweeping scale and failed drastically. From a glorious past, when great fortunes from international commerce, mining and shipbuilding endowed the city with magnificent architecture, parks and culture, Glasgow declined and choked on its own grime and its reputation for toughness.

Well, the grime has gone. Glasgow has awakened to its past, and an extensive renovation program has restored much of the architectural magnificence of the city. The dirt has been scraped away to reveal beautifully preserved Victorian homes and public buildings, ranging from red sandstone to sparkling marble.

The city's name means "dear green place" and Glasgow has an extensive park system. The Glasgow Fair, held each summer in Glasgow Green for hundreds of years, is a time when many business shut down for two weeks and hundreds of thousands of Glaswegians spill noisily into holiday resorts all over Britain.
That Glasgow toughness, coming out as a swagger in the step and an aggressiveness of voice, simply manifests the enduring self- confidence which lies in many a Glaswegian's soul. And that soul has a always had a social conscience. Glasgow is the place where, many years ago, in an in-your-face gesture to the then-all-white South African government, the city renamed the embassy's square Nelson Mandela Place.

That self-confidence has bestowed upon the world television (John Baird), the steam engine (James Watt), antiseptic surgery (Joseph Lister), tea-time (Thomas Lipton), the transatlantic cable (Lord Kelvin), the monorail (George Bennie), the Mackintosh coat, Stan Laurel (Laurel and Hardy), Alan Pinkerton (detective agency). Glasgow swagger gave Canada its first prime minister (John Alexander Macdonald), James McGill (McGill University) and built every one of those famous ships, including the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary, for the maritime-owned Cunard Steamship Company.

Culture has never been synonymous with snobbery in Glasgow, probably because its treasures are so accessible. Many of its art galleries, museums and other cultural showplaces are publicly owned and admission is usually free. Where else can you run your hands over a copy of Rodin's "The Thinker", touch a Matisse or a van Gogh, put your nose up close to smell the oil in a Constable painting, view not one, not two, but three Rembrandts? Even Dali's "Christ on the Cross", once a controversial acquisition and badly mutilated by a fanatic, remains surprisingly accessible at the St. Mungo museum of religion.

Glasgow offers Scotland's largest shopping centres, St. Enoch Square and Buchanan, and its toniest, Princes Square. The Argyle Arcade is home to countless jewellers. If you're looking for a tartan souvenir, go to Edinburgh. A real Glasgow souvenir is a crystal glass or vase engraved with the stylistic Glasgow rose, a reminder of Glasgow world-class architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh's promotion and development art deco.

Oh, my, I haven't even mentioned Glasgow University, founded in 1450, home of Britain's largest medical school and the world's oldest engineering faculty; nor St. Mungo's cathedral, established in 543, nor the Mitchell Library, with the world's second largest (after Moscow) scientific book collection. Then there's George Square, City Chambers, the great public transportation system networking bus, train and underground, the great eating spots, the trendy pubs. Nothing to do in Glasgow? There's always something going on.  And, with February 14 just behind us, it's fitting to close with a note that the remains of St. Valentine are reputed to be in a little church in Glasgow.
Sally Miller
- in Salmon Arm on Shuwap Lake, in beautiful, supernatural British Columbia

From Karen Howe via her mom

Dear KK-arrowroot squares - the base is made up of arrowroot cookies chopped up, then take two eggs beaten and coca in double boiler and then mix in the cookies - press into cookie pan-this is the base and then make a white almond icing and spread over it -you can put walnuts if you wish in the base also.  Also you can dribble melted chocolate over the icing if you want.  Made from memory. Love Mom

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