Norfolk Recipes sent in by members of Norfolk WIs
Norfolk Food Memories
Doreen Graham, Brundall and Braydeston WI
My Mother made Norfolk dumplings with self raising flour and cold water, these were then shaped and placed on top of the green vegetables to cook they were known in Norfolk as swimmers they fluffed up lovely and were extremely light.
Sue Eagle, Hempnall WI
Norfolk Kipper Straws. They were a huge favourite yet again this year. I made double quantity thinking I’d have some left over, but no - they all went!! I remember my mum making them when I was a child. My maternal Grandfather just loved them and because he used to eat them, then I did too.
We lived in Gorleston and it was at the time when the Herring industry in Yarmouth was beginning to wind up. I remember my mum talking about the ’Scottish Fish wives’………. I don’t think she was too complimentary! They were the wives of the fishermen on the Trawlers who used to clean and gut the fish on the Harbour concourse. My Grandfather used to take me and my sister walking along there, and then we’d end up having chips and chitlins on Yarmouth Market. I don’t remember much about it - just lots of noise and colour!!
Mum made the Kipper Straws and also Norfolk Vinegar Cake, but I didn’t ever have a recipe from her. As a child I never liked the idea of 'Vinegar Cake', but used to eat up every crumb because it tasted so good! I used to imagine her making a fruit cake then dousing it in malt vinegar!! Of course that’s not how it is, and it’s Cider Vinegar that’s used nowadays. I got all my recipes from a lovely little booklet called ‘Favourite Norfolk recipes, Traditional Country Fare’ compiled by Dorothy Baldock. ISBN 1898435081
Anne Hackett, Mulbarton WI
Many of our members are born and bred Norfolk ladies and remember Norfolk fare very fondly. I myself am a Londoner but love baking.
I first made Norfolk Vinegar Cake and Norfolk Shortcakes a few years back for Mulbarton Words Week when we had a Norfolk Dialect speaker. The recipes were from an old book I picked up from a bookshop. Fascinating book, one recipe I have yet to try is Yarmouth Straws. Cheese straws but with the added interest of strips of kipper wound in with the cheese pastry!
People initially baulk at the word vinegar when offered the cake, but there is no vinegar taste and everyone enjoyed it very much. A cake with no egg. Useful for when the hens were not laying well, so the book says. The Norfolk shortcakes are made with pastry. Well we have all dabbled with mum's leftover scraps of pastry as children, this is the same premise.