Ardlethan Red Cross Brownies from 1956

I just adore the way that women in the bush band together, and nothing says community than a CMRI or Red Cross cook book. These books are a time capsule, a clever way of being written into to history by the fairer sex, today a treasured keepsake and as written in the foreword "we are enriched by the experience of working together" I find still holds true today. 

My copy was originally owned by my Great Grandmother, however it looks like Granny hilariously crossed out her name and popped her own on there so there was no mistake who owned it.  Dad gave it to me and now it sits on my studio shelf patiently waiting for me to give it some attention every now and then. 

The recipes inside are all donated by the local Ardlethan Red Coss members and include a spectrum of menus ranging for what to serve at a Red Cross Ball of 400 people to a Sheep Sale Afternoon Tea of 80 people. However my favourite is the Chocolate Brownie Recipe submitted by Mrs. W.S Rayment, "Cooinoo", Ardlethan. I think its the sultanas that do the trick for me! 

Entertainers at heart, this group of women proudly served their community by keeping tummies full whilst at same time generously helping others do the same for their own communities. So without further ado, I give you my secret brownie recipe. 


Brownie -  Mrs. W.S Rayment, "Cooinoo", Ardlethan. 1956


3 Cups Flour
3 Tablespoons of fat or dripping (for a contemporary spin, I use butter)
3 Teaspoons baking powder
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Essence
1 Cup Sugar (I use Brown Sugar)
1 Cup Sultanas
1 Teaspoon white Vinegar
A dash of milk


Rub butter into flour. then add other dry ingredients. Add vanilla essence and vinegar and then soften with a dash of milk. Bake for 35 mins in a moderate oven (180 degrees); when cool, slice and butter. 



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