Bobs pudding

Amongst the collections provenanced to Meroogal is a very simple manuscript recipe titled ‘Bobs Pudding’. Its obvious restraint makes it intriguing, being devoid of butter, sugar or eggs, ingredients that the kitchen at Meroogal would always have had on hand. In this way it strikes me as being an ‘austerity’ pudding, suited to times or circumstances when access to fresh provisions is limited. It is quite unlike the other recipes in the family collection. Continue reading

Heirloom recipes from Meroogal’s good cooks

An assortment of useful items from the Meroogal kitchen.

An assortment of useful items from the Meroogal kitchen. Photo Kieran Larkin © HHT

Cooking was integral to the rhythm of day-to-day life at Meroogal, and we are fortunate to have original recipes from the family’s cookery books – most of them recorded by hand, transcribed into make-shift recipe books, but some were also published in the Shoalhaven Presbyterian Women’s Working Society cookery book, compiled in the 1930s.  This diminutive cookery book demonstrates the strength of community that the Meroogal household was connected to. Continue reading

Auntie Tot and her diaries

A wheel barrow filled with grapefruits.

A barrow full of grapefruits from the Meroogal garden. Photo Scott Hill © HHT

Kennina Fanny McKenzie Thorburn, or as we know her, Auntie Tottie or Tot, was the youngest of the eight Thorburn children. Thankfully for us, Tottie kept diaries and the ones written between 1888 and 1896 provide us with a wonderful record of daily life in the late nineteenth century. They are rich with references to food and cooking, and reading them, you really get the rhythm of the daily domestic rituals of a young woman whose life centered around the home. Continue reading