Competition: The Great British Recipe Tree. Submit your recipe to win

09 February 2015

Join us as we celebrate generations of recipes passed down the Family Tree.

When it comes to celebrating special occasions or simply saying I love you, a family recipe that’s been handed down from generation to generation means so much more than the latest Nigella, Jamie or Delia.

And we know from talking to our homeowners that there’s a wealth of uncaptured recipes out there that have been passed down family trees across the nation, from grandma/granddad to mum/father to daughter/son. So to celebrate the chefs, recipes and the memories that they’ve created, we’re running a competition to find, share and celebrate The Great British Recipe Tree.

To participate, all you need to do is share your recipe with us. We’ll then take ten of the recipes submitted and turn each one into a fabulous recipe card which will be available to collect at a number of our Retirement Living and Assisted Living developments nationwide.

How to submit your family recipe and win a £50 John Lewis gift card

So if you have a recipe to share, maybe Mum’s Victoria sponge or Great Aunt’s Belgium loaf, simply tell us the name of your recipe and the person who handed it down. Ten lucky recipe holders will then be asked to share their family recipe with us and in return we’ll create your family masterpiece into a recipe card and send you one of 10 £50 John Lewis vouchers.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it. So please join us and celebrate your family recipe and the generations of recipes passed down the Family Tree.

Simply name your recipe and the person who handed it down to you in the comments section below.  

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Other Comments:

Dina Moore “Crispy coconut cookies from a much loved Auntie Margaret. Cream 4 ozs butter or margarine with 3 ozs sugar. Add an egg and beat well. Mix in 6 ozs flour, 1 oz of dessicated coconut and 1 tsp of lemon juice. Knead and divide into 12 then roll each into a ball. Roll each ball into dessicated coconut and cook for 20 minutes on gas No 4. Enjoy.”

Julia Plant “Rainbow meringues From my mum, Pamela Vowles”

sheila OCONNOR “Another special favourite which my old Mum used to make every week was Kidney Saute! It was amazing and I now know that she made this because it was good for us, went a long way, and she could afford it with four children to feed! I make this now for my family but guess there's a lot more kidney and bacon in it than there was all those year's ago!”

Rianna macrae “My mums lemon heaven ! So Yummy and easy to make ! She finally let me in on her easy recipe when I promised to make it for her. Was just like a never melting ice cream ! I was so fascinated by it ! 400mls double cream 2 table spoons of lemon curd Sprinkle of Icing sugar Whip the cream till stiff peaks and then fold in the lemon curd and icing sugar ! Place in a piping bag and shape as an ice cream on a cornet ! Was delicious !! ”

sheila OCONNOR “My old Nanny year's ago, Made us a pudding that we loved so, Rich and decadent, tasted divine, Made me glad that Nanny was mine!! lol Her recipe was CHOCOLATE AND MARMALADE PUDDING”

John Sturgeon “Olive stuffed eggs;. 6 hard boiled eggs ,halved. 1oz.butter,softened .2 tablespoons mayonnaise.1 tablespoon cream cheese. 2 tablespoons chopped black olives. half tea spoon salt . quater teaspoon black pepper. 12 stuffed olives. watercress. Remove the yolks, from each egg and place in a small mixing bowl. Set the egg whites aside. Add the butter, mayonnaise, cream cheese, black olive ,salt and pepper to the yolks and,using a fork, mash all the ingredients together until they are mixed and form a smooth paste. Spoon equal amounts of the paste back into each egg white half and top with the stuffed olives. Place the eggs on a serving platter and garnish with the watercress. Chill in the refrigerator before serving.[Recipe from a Great Aunt.]”

Ann Hardy “This Winter Warmer Sausage Stew was passed to me by my mother who is in her 99th year. It is still her favourite. Take 1lb Sausages each cut into 3 pieces, 1.1/2lb Potatoes abt. 1lb Onions (mushrooms can also be added at this stage if liked) Bring to the boil and simmer for 1.1/2 hours( add a few frozen peas if liked.) Take abt. 1 heaped tbs. cornflour mixed with about 1/2pt milk stir into stew to thicken. Makes abt. 4 portions so if you are alone you can freeze 3 for another day. ”

Clare Mansell “My mum's microwave chocolate pudding with custard. It has a place in heart because aside from the family meals when we used to eat it (and still do!) I used to make it when I was at boarding school as the only thing we had to cook with was a microwave. You can imagine the smell of baking chocolate sponge wafting down the corridors!”

Rita Stroughair “Courgette Bake my own recipe ”

joanne mowatt “My Auntie passed on recipe for New Zealand Cake ...delicious mixture of biscuits , cherries , dried fruits and chocolate .Lovely for children to make for family celebrations. We've even adapted it to a gluten free version so great niece with coeliac disease doesn't miss out !”

Susan Stone “Luscious Lemon Meringue Pie. This is a very simple to make pie that my cousin has already declared that it is very much better than one made at a James Martin cookery event!. This recipe was passed to me by my Mother and is as follows: Lemon Meringue Pie. 8oz shortcrust pastry 1 can condensed milk grated rind and juice of 2 lemons 2 eggs separated 4oz caster sugar Pre-heat oven to 190C(Gas mark 5). Use the pastry to line an 8 inch fluted flan ring. Bake blind. Mix milk ,lemon rind, juice and egg yolks. Pour into the baked flan case. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and whisk in half the sugar. Fold in remaining sugar and pile on top of the filling. Return to  oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until  meringue is crispy. Freezes well. Open freeze then cover. Defrost for about 3 hours room temperature. Enjoy.”

Marilyn Watson “My recipe is Butterscotch and Grape Cheesecake which was passed on to me by an old friend. This has become a family favourite from the children to the adults.”

Lesley pounder “A broth for the autumn, winter months, cheap and wholesome, a North East staple handed down for generations veg grown in your own back garden, carrots, swede, onion and leeks. With bacon bones or ham shank or bacon bits, with added cup of yellow split peas. Put meat in pressure cooker cover with chopped veg and peas,cover with water then put on lid and pressure cook for about 40mins, check that it is all cooked through and meat falling off bones, can do veggie version but stock cube needed. This soup is a meal on its own. But beware not to add too many peas as it will go really thick and be more like pease pudding. Give you two guesses how I found that out. ”

Pat Reed “My recipe is a simple cake that can be made with minimal fuss in any kitchen. Its main value is that you require no scales, just a cup and a caketin. I was an archaeologist and we worked all over the country, I have even made it in Saxony in the most basic of kitchens and now my grandson makes it for his schoolfriends. Select cup as your standard measure and mix half cup margarine, half cup sugar until creamed. Add one egg (two if feeling lavish) and mix. Add two cups of self raising flour and mix together using milk, orange juice or any liquid to produce a thick but not solid mix. Put in cake time and bake at 180 degrees for about half an hour until set. This cake can be flavoured to any taste. Powder ingredients such as cocoa or spices are added with the flour. Fruit such as chopped apples, blueberries, dried fruit are added to mix at end. If using fruit add also a teaspoonful of baking powder. Orange and cinnamon is particularly nice (use orange juice to mix) but chocolate cake with cocoa, mixed with made coffee and with chocolate nibs of great. Good luck. We call it the numbers cake because it takes two halves, (sugar and butter/narg) 1 whole (egg) and 2 whole (flour).”

Mrs Judith Hayes “My Aunty Betty passed her recipe for shortcrust pastry on to me and it is the best pastry I have ever made in my life - sweet or savoury, absolutely delicious! I would love to share it!”

Jane Hill “Grandma Kathleen's Apple Crumble. This is always the best crumble ever and easy to make, passed on from my mum.”

K Evans “This one is simple, old fashioned, tasty, and economical. Great for afternoon tea and picnics. Passed down from my Grandmother, to my Mother, to me. A traditional 'Tea Loaf'. Just a few ingredients: 5 1/2 fl. oz. cold tea, 6 oz. mixed fruit, 3 oz demerara sugar, 6 oz plain flour, l egg. Method: Soak the fruit and sugar in the tea overnight. The next day add the flour and egg and mix thoroughly, then bake at 350 degrees for approximately one hour (or equivalent in an electric fan assisted oven or a gas oven). .... Yummy !”

wendy sinclair “My nan's bread pudding recipe handed to me from my mum. Delicious plump sultanas, mixed spice, an orange kick and a crunchy demerara topping. What's not to like?”

Sheila Knight “My grandmothers receipe for sponge cake handed down through the family from before the time when only balance scales were available. It uses the weight of the eggs to decide on how much of the other ingredients to use. It works every time, makes a perfect sponge cake.”

Heather Jeary “Grandma's shortbread My Scottish grandmother served this almond shortbread to family and any visitors. She always had some in the tin!”

Mrs Judy Courie “My Granny's family fruit cake - she was born in 1882 and made superb fruit cakes that were just that little bit special.”

Mrs. Sarah Holt-Wilson “My favorite comfort food is Marmite Fritters, which I had over 60 years ago at boarding school. All the family love them and just so simple to make. Yorkshire Batter. 2 slices of white bread per person, crusts removed. Spread a large amount of marmite on to one side of the bread. seal together with the other slice, and cut into four quarters. Dip and cover well in the batter. Place the bread sandwidges in hot cooking oil, and turn over when brown. Place in a warm oven if you are making a lot of fritters, you can never make enough. ”

Liz Tebbitt “Great Grandma's Christmas Pudding This makes 6 big Puddings. But you can halve the ingredients to make 3. One for Chriistmas, one for New Year and one to store for following year. Ingredients: Suet 500 gms Self Raising Flour 500 gms Bread Crumbs 500 gms Seedless Raisins 500 gms Currants 500 gms Sultanas 500 gms Ground Almonds 250 gms Chopped Dates 250 gms (mixed with rice flour) Marmalade 2 dsp Soft Brown Sugar 500 gms Eggs 16-18 mixed with third to half a bottle of Advocat (25cl) ,½ pint Milk and 2 Paris Goblets of Brandy, + Sherry, Port etc. Method: Chop suet and mix with flour. Add soft brown sugar. Then add bread crumbs, raisins, sultanas, currants, ground almonds and chopped dates. Thoroughly mix all the dried ingredients and leave overnight. Next add the egg mixture and the marmalade and mix thoroughly with the dry ingredients. Add the liquid mixture a little at a time to ensure the mix does not get too wet. Leave overnight to thicken. Make sure everybody, who wants, has a stir and a wish! Prepare basins. Butter and place circular grease proof paper at base of basin. Fill basin with the pudding mixture and place grease proof paper on top of the mixture. Place baking foil (pleat in middle) on top of basin and fold under rim, twist to secure. Steam. Small puddings – 8 hrs Large puddings – 12 hrs On Christmas Day steam for 4 hrs ”

David Donnelly “My recipe is for Christmas stuffing for the Turkey. The only problem with it is that guests request more stuffing rather than Turkey. Get some chicken livers, add the turkey liver,kidneys and heart from the giblets bag. Mince. Add finely chopped onion and garlic, salt and black pepper. A tablespoonful of nutmeg is the next ingredient. Stir all together until thoroughly mixed. Toast some porridge oats, and stir into the mixture. If it is a bit dry, add some good (Australian) red wine. Job done. Stuff the neck before roasting, but ensure you have a dish-full to serve in addition.”

lesley carberry “I live in Portugal but the recipe is unknown to my mother as yet......I plan to introduce it to her on my next visit to the Isle of Wight”

Susan Dredge “I have been baking this cake, and experimenting with different flavours, for the last 40 years since one of my dear friends at the "school gate" passed me the recipe. We all baked in those days, it was a "treat" for our children to have a shop bought cake!! Great one for cake stalls, quick and easy to do. YOGHURT CAKE Basic Cake Ingredients (based on yoghurt pot sizes, approx. 180ml capacity) 3 x Pots Self Raising Flour 2 x Pots Caster Sugar 1 x Pot Natural Yoghurt 1 x Pot Sunflower Oil 2 Medium Eggs Method: This cake is best done by hand. Put all ingredients into a basin and beat well until a smooth, lump free mixture. Variations: • Juice and rind of lemon • Juice and rind of orange • 2 tablespoons of Coffee (Camp) Essence – chopped walnut pieces • Ground almonds, almond essence and chopped glace cherries • Melted Plain Chocolate with chopped glace cherries • ** For fruit cake: Sultanas, chopped Mixed Peel, chopped glace cherries, “glug” alcohol, chopped nuts if wished. The first two variations can be added to the basic mixture at the first stage but it is best to beat the mixture before adding any other ingredients such as nuts, fruit or cherries. Baking Times: Depending on how hot or cool your oven temperature is (they all vary). 170º Celsius electricity or Gas Mark 4 for approx.60 - 75 minutes. Test with skewer after this time to ensure fully cooked, otherwise give extra time (I usually try 5 minutes at a time). ** Note: For fruit cake I do the first 30 minutes on 180º Celsius (Gas Mark 5) and then turn down to 170º Celsius for the other 45 minutes (usually needs a few more minutes cook time). Leave in tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto cooling rack. Can be frozen. Refrigerate if using over several days. ”

Mrs Daisy Garrod “Never fail fruit loaf handed down from my mother from her mother and I have been making it for over 50 years! I made 25 loaves last year at Christmas to give to friends and neighbours I managed to keep one for my husband and I! ”

Rita Gonsalves “Mum's Goa Prawn Curry”

Mrs June Stephens “Simply the best.................. Lemon Drizzle Cake, handed down to me from my Auntie Jean, it never fails. Always a winner at tea parties, cake stalls, bring and share , a family get together, or given as a little gift to someone who is unable to make cakes anymore. I have another too Cranberry and Almond success on a plate given to me by a friend, the same comments above apply.”

Jo mendum “Mums foolproof sponge cake (and its low fat too!)”

Lorna Paterson “Recipe for a rich seasonal treat - Scotch (or Black ) Bun - which was/is a favourite New Year goodie in Scotland, handed down by my step-grandmother”

Angela Balkwill “My mother's parsley pie - that's the taste of sunny childhood summers for me”

Jennifer pearl “Grandmas chocolate pudding. A wonderful pudding with a fudge sauce.”

Mrs L.Thackwell “Marmalade Cake from my Nan .”

Shelley Turner “Watercress Soup from my Best Friend's Mum - delicious!”