Date & Ginger Cake

This recipe makes a large cake


3 Cups dates, stoned and chopped
1/2 Cup orange or citrus juice & peel
1 cm piece of fresh ginger
250 g Butter or margarine
1 Cup of brown sugar
3 Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla essence
4 1/2 Cups SR Flour
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup milk or substitute milk


Grate peel from citrus fruit before juicing. Grate ginger.
Soak the dates in juice overnight with the grated peel and grated ginger.
Prepare a 25cm cake tin with paper lining and oil.
Pre heat oven to 180C.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, gradually add the eggs, beating well.
Stir in date mixture and vanilla.
Sift flour and salt.
Add flour and milk alternately to the mixture and mix well.
Place mixture into prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 160C and bake for a further 1 1/2 hours.


This recipe may also be used as a steamed pudding.

Put into prepared pudding basins (ie. halve the mixture and place in two basins, or alternatively make half the above recipe) cover, and steam for 1 1/2 hours. To serve top with cream or custard.

Upside down Banana Cake - helen

1 Cup Self Raising Flour
½ Cup White Sugar
A Little Vanilla Essence
Pinch Salt
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Egg
½ Cup milk
3 or 4 Bananas
½ Cup Brown Sugar

Cream 1 tablespoon of butter and the white sugar, add egg and beat well. Add milk and essence and lastly flour and salt sifted together.
Melt the other tablespoon of butter over bottom of a small round cake tin, sprinkle brown sugar over top of melted butter, cover with sliced bananas and pour batter over.
Bake 25 minute in a moderate oven.
Turn out on a dish upside down with fruit on top and serve with cream or custard. Serve hot or cold

Variations: Use any fruit, fresh or canned, tinned pineapple works well. Made with freshly picked mulberries it’s delicious.
Double the amount of butter to make a moister, yummier dish. Double the recipe and use a large cake tin and there’s plenty for 12 people

Johanna's Rice Salad

This salad has been enjoyed at a few celebrations now, and has always been a favourite in the past too. I vary it a bit, depending on what ingredients I have on hand, but the main ingredients are nearly always in the pantry, making it a great standby when living in the bush.
Basic Ingredients:
4 Cups cooked long grain rice (a few drops of sesame seed oil in with the cooking rice gives a nice nutty flavour. It is best to cook in the morning or on the previous day).
1/2 Cup of corn niblets (if using a tin of corn find a brand without sugar)
1/2 Cup of finely grated carrot
1/3 Cup Sultanas, or currants or goji berries
1/3 Cup Peanuts or almonds (whole or slivered)
Extra or Varied Ingredients:
1 red capsicum finely chopped
3-6 spring onions finely chopped
1 tin of Asian vegetable mix
1 small tin of waterchestnuts
1 Tbls dried caramelised onion
1 Cup Pinapple pieces
1/2 Cup celery stalks sliced
1/2 Cup of mayonnaise (or 1/4 Cup coconut cream & 1/4 cup Macadamia nut oil)
1/4 Cup of lemon or lime juice
1 Tbls grated ginger
1 Tbls grated tumeric
1/2 to 1 small chilli (without seeds) finely chopped
1/2 tsp mustard powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix dressing ingredients into a large salad bowl.
Mix in rice.
Add dried ingredients.
Add all other ingredients you have chosen to include and mix well.
Adjust seasoning, if needed.
Refridgerate until needed.

This salad keeps well for a few days and can be made the day before an event. This salad looks nice served in hollowed pinapple halves.