Make Mum a treat

Gingerbread family Photo Fiona Brell © Sydney Living Museums

Let the kids cook something for Mum this Mother’s Day from traditional recipes we have adapted especially for children with step-by-step pictures and instructions.

Step-by-step recipes for kids

We have a classic gingerbread biscuits recipe from a Rouse family manuscript, to shape into gingerbread men, women and children, cheerful jelly-filled oranges, which were a delight for adults and children alike in the early 1800s, old fashioned lemonade made with real lemons, and perfect comfort food for autumn – traditional bake apples.

Baked apples being made in the Vaucluse House kitchen Photo © Tim Girling-Butcher for Sydney Living Museums

Baked apples

At Meroogal the ‘misses Thorburn’ sisters Tot, Belle, Kate and Georgina enjoyed baked apples for breakfast, cooked in their iron fuel stove. Stuffed with dried fruit and spices, baked apples are easy to make. They are a delicious served with yoghurt at breakfast or with custard or ice cream for dessert.

Fresh from the oven, baked apples in the Vaucluse House kitchen Photo © Tim Girling-Butcher for Sydney Living Museums

Jelly-filled oranges

The idea of filling oranges with jelly was quite a trick, the coulourful sweet filling only revealed when the fruit was cut open to serve. Fill a few oranges with different flavoured jellies so they look colourful on a platter.

Jelly filled oranges Photo © Tim Girling-Butcher for Sydney Living Museums

Before instant jelly crystals were available jelly was a specialty dish only found on the finest tables in the 1800s. It took many hours and great skill to make. Jellies would have been a very special treat for children, often reserved only for formal dinners.

All you need for jelly-filled oranges Photo © Fiona Brell for Sydney Living Museums

Gingerbread biscuits

Ginger bread, ginger cakes and ginger nuts have been a family favourite for centuries. Our recipe is adapted from a handwritten ginger nuts recipe found slipped inside on of the Rouse family’s cookbooks.

Busy hands making gingerbread biscuits Photo © Fiona Brell for Sydney Living Museums

Old fashioned lemonade

Made with real lemons, this is what children know as lemonade before fizzy carbonated drinks hit the market in the mid-to-late 1800s and was a good way to keep coughs and colds at bay in wintertime. You can use half oranges if you find the lemony taste too strong.

Lemonade making in the kitchen at Vaucluse House © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums