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March 30, 2014 / mintcustard

A tin full of Gingernuts – remembering my Mum on Mothers Day.


Ginger nuts

Ginger nuts

I don’t have my Mum any more. I can’t spoil her or give her a bunch of flowers and a hug. Sadly because of the cruelty of breast cancer, my two girls only have very distant memories of her too.

What I do have however, is her handwritten recipe book. It is rammed full of sparsely noted details, vague titles such as ‘oat biscuits’, and the key to unlocking my culinary DNA.

Mum's notes!

Mum’s notes!

In her honour today I decided to bake a recipe that evokes my Mum more than any other for me. She used to make a fantastic chocolate cake that I still make, her pastry was always crisp and buttery but she had a serious weakness for ginger biscuits. I leafed through her notes until I came across two recipes, ginger nuts and ginger snaps. I plumped for the Ginger Nuts and set to.

Mum’s economy with words when writing recipes was because she was always doing so much elsewhere.

This is a transcription of her notes on how to make gingernuts in full.

2oz butter
2oz sugar
3oz golden syrup
7oz plain flour
1 level tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
1 level tsp bicarb
1 tblsp warm water

Melt fat etc, add dry.
Bake 15 mins Mk 3


Add dry!

Add dry!

I followed the instructions to the letter, and suddenly I was transported back into my Mum’s kitchen and if I listened very carefully I could almost hear the click, click as her wedding ring knocked against her rolling pin whilst making pastry.

If you have any recipe notes from your Mum and you don’t have her, why not cook from them. They are a legacy, your legacy. Have fun, and probably a few tears as the flavours and smells that were a distant memory all come rushing back.

It’s never too soon to start recording family recipes for your children too. They can take them to University, when they start a family of their own or just to stop then expecting you to always cook and they can share the load.

Pass on your culinary DNA, it’s the glue that binds families together.

A tin full of ginger nuts!

A tin full of ginger nuts!




Leave a Comment
  1. downmyfront / Mar 30 2014 9:17 pm

    Fast forward a few years my kids will be remembering how i always went on and on about freshly grated nutmeg. You are right…it is the glue that binds us. I cook like my mom. I gave my kids a personal cook book for christmas with love on every page as i wrote out the recipes. Thanks for sharing. The bickies look fab!!

    • mintcustard / Mar 30 2014 9:19 pm

      They are, thanks for reading this. I read your post , lovely memories.

  2. downmyfront / Mar 30 2014 9:20 pm

    Reblogged this on Down My Front and commented:
    Had to share…how many of us started cooking with our mums?

    • mintcustard / Mar 31 2014 9:53 am

      Thank you for reblogging this, never happened to me before!

  3. Lauren / Mar 31 2014 7:49 am

    What a lovely idea! Sadly my Mum was taken from me too early due to bl00dy cancer a few months ago. I have her recipes and miss her cooking…….I shall put them all together to use more often and eventually pass on to my Daughter 🙂
    Thank you.
    Lauren x

    • mintcustard / Mar 31 2014 9:49 am

      Lauren, so glad I planted a seed that will grow over time. Have fun cooking your Mums recipes, and sharing them with your daughter too.

  4. Keep Calm and Fanny On / Mar 31 2014 12:03 pm

    What a lovely post. I still have my Mum but I baked my Aunts favourite Rock Buns from the Bero book to remember her over the weekend, it would’ve been her birthday. It’s so evocative, and a grata way to remember – thanks 😉

  5. Lynda / Mar 31 2014 11:11 pm

    Lovely post. It brought a tear to my eye remembering cooking in the kitchen with my mum. Unfortunately most of her recipes were not written down, but I do remember the favourites she would make for the family.

    • mintcustard / Apr 1 2014 1:05 pm

      Thank you for reading the post.Glad you have family recipes you remember at the very least.


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