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Haddon Hall Gingerbread

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tony" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Monday, September 29, 2003 11:56 AM
Subject: Haddon Hall Gingerbread Recipe

This was a recipe in an old Betty Crocker Cook book around 1965 but they
haven't listed it since.


Hello Tony,

I could not find a recipe called "Haddon Hall Gingerbread". However, I did find out some things about Haddon Hall and about English gingerbread.

You see, Haddon Hall is a famous old medieval mansion in Derbyshire, England. It's not too distant from a Derbyshire town named Ashbourne, which is famous for it's gingerbread. According to Derbyshire tradition, Ashbourne gingerbread was first created by a French prisoner of war, who decided to remain in the town after the Napoleonic wars. His special gingerbread recipe was then handed down through generations of his descendants.

Gingerbread is a tradition in the area. Gingerbread men were made and sold in country towns at Easter Fairs and Autumn Wakes Weeks. Fashioned in molds, they were decorated with colored hats and scarlet or white sugar buttons. They can still be found for sale today in Ashbourne and the surrounding area.

So, I'm speculating that the Betty Crocker "Haddon Hall" gingerbread recipe was likely an Americanized version of the below Ashbourne gingerbread recipe.


Ashbourne Gingerbread(English)
 Makes 4 Servings

8 oz Self-raising flour
4 oz Soft brown sugar
4 oz Margarine
pn Salt
2 ts Ground ginger
1 tb Level golden syrup

 Set oven to 350/F or Mark 4. Sieve the flour, salt and ginger together.
Cream the syrup, margarine and sugar in a bowl, then stir in the dry
ingredients. Knead the mixture on a floured surface to form a smooth dough.
Form into a sausage shape, press into an oblong and cut into slices. Bake
the slices in a greased tin until golden brown; approximately 30 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin. Some local recipes add
a little grated root ginger and or a level teaspoon of mixed spice.
Gingerbread men were made and sold in country towns at Easter Fairs and
Autumn Wakes Weeks. Fashioned in moulds, they were decorated with coloured
hats and scarlet or white sugar buttons. They can still be found for sale
today in Ashbourne and the surrounding area.

Cream Candy

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Janet" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Monday, September 29, 2003 6:12 AM
Subject: cream candy receipe

Good morning,
I am looking for a recipe for cream candy. If my memory serves me right,
after bringing  ingredients  to a soft boil stage, you pour this mixture
unto a marble slab and start pulling it like taffy. After it sets up and
cools, cut into pieces and store in metal cookie container for up to 2 weeks
until the candy creams. It reminds me of the after dinner butter mints that
you can buy at the store.
Thanks for any info you can give me.


Hello Janet,

Below are the recipes that I found.


Cream  Candy

 Preparation :
    Note:  This recipe must be followed EXACTLY as the recipe is
 printed or it will not turn out.  It is worth the effort! 1 c. water
 1 tbsp. white syrup 1/2 stick butter 1 tbsp. vanilla   Turn oven on
 to warm setting.  Butter 2 plates and put them in the freezer to
 chill while candy is being cooked.  Mix together sugar, water,
 butter and syrup.  Stir constantly until it starts to boil.  DO NOT
 STIR AFTER IT STARTS BOILING.  Boil 12 minutes.  Test for hard ball
 stage.  Remove from heat and shake (do not stir) vanilla into candy
 mixture.  Pour candy into cold plates, put back into the freezer for
 5 minutes.  As soon as the candy is cool enough to pull, butter your
 hands and start pulling.  Pull for 10 minutes, stretch out on wax
 paper and cut in 1 to 2 inch pieces.  If candy starts to stick to
 your hands while pulling, open the oven door and pull over warm
 oven.  Candy will "cream" in 3 to 5 hours.
 Cream  Candy

 Ingredients :
 1 lb. white sugar
 1 tbsp. vinegar
 5 to 10 drops strawberry flavoring
 1 tsp. cream of tartar

 Preparation :
    Add a little water to moisten the sugar.  Boil until brittle.
 Add flavoring and turn quickly out on butter plates.  When cool,
 pull until white.  Cut into squares.
 Cream  Candy

 Ingredients :
 3 c. sugar
 1 c. hot water
 1 c. milk
 1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
 Pinch of salt
 1/4 tsp. soda
 1/2 stick Butter

 Preparation :
    Boil sugar, salt and water to soft ball stage.  Add soda, milk
 and butter, a small bit at a time.  (Add milk slowly by the
 teaspoonful.)  Keep mixture boiling.  DO NOT STIR!  Cook to hard
 ball stage (it turns brown).  Pour onto buttered marble slab or
 porcelain table or very large platter.  Add vanilla.  As soon as it
 is cool enough to handle, butter hands and pull candy as long as
 possible (don't let the vanilla drip out).  It turns white. When it
 loses its gloss, pull out quickly into a rope and cut with buttered
 scissors.  (If it goes to sugar because you pulled it too long -
 make fudge!)  Wrap separately.  If successful, it will turn creamy
 in a few hours.
 Cream   Candy

 Ingredients :
 1/4 tsp. soda
 1 c. whole milk (freshest you can get, not old, or it will settle to the bottom of pan)
 1/2 tsp. salt
 1/4 lb. butter
 1 tsp. vanilla
 5 c. white sugar
 1 c. boiling water

 Preparation :
    Make on a cold, clear day.  Use a heavy aluminum 6 quart kettle
 and a candy thermometer.  Place the sugar, salt and water in kettle
 and stir until dissolved.  Then let it boil hard without stirring
 until it reaches 240 degrees.  Sprinkle in soda and add the milk a
 spoonful at a time never letting it quit boiling.  Add the butter in
 small pieces.  Cook until it turns brown and registers 270 degrees
 on the thermometer.  Grease the top of a porcelain table and pour
 out candy.  (A marble slab, large cool China platter or tray may be
 used.)  Add the vanilla.  As soon as it is cool enough to handle,
 pull until it loses its gloss.  Cut into small pieces with scissors
 and wrap in wax paper.  Store in tin or closed glass jar.
 Cream  Candy

 Ingredients :
 3 c. granulated sugar
 Dash of salt (less than teaspoon)
 8 oz. whipping cream
 1/2 c. water (rinse out cream container)

 Preparation :
    Cook over fairly high heat in heavy 4 quart pan.  Stir well with
 a wooden spoon before heating - do not stir while cooking.  Clean
 splatters off sides of pan, after stirring, with a paper towel.  Use
 candy thermometer.  Cook to hard ball (approximately 250 degrees)
 about 15 minutes.  Pour out on cooled, buttered marble slab.  Allow
 to cool so it can be handled.  Coat hands with a little margarine.
 In approximately 10 minutes begin pulling.  Pull until it turns
 white (approximately 20 minutes - more or less.)  Stretch out and
 give a little twist while pulling.  Pull out into a long rope.
 (Approximately 1" around.)  Cut into pieces quickly with scissors
 while soft.  Leave on slab until it creams. Cover with cloth
 loosely.  May take a few hours.  Makes about 1 pound.

Old West Recipes

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Denise"
To: phaedrus
Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2003 2:02 AM
Subject: old west 1850-1890's recipes

> Hello,
> I would like to know if a book with recipes that were used in the
> 1850-1890's in the USA exists. More specifically, ones that homesteaders,
> settlers, and farmers families used in daily life.
> Also I need to know where or if I can get a copy of "The Pocket Cook Book"
> edited by Elizabeth Woody and the food staff of McCall's Magazine. Dated
> April 1944?
> Thank you for your time
> Denise

Hello Denise,

Amazon has a book called "Pioneer Recipes"

Pioneer Recipes

And another one called "Log Cabin Cooking"
Log Cabin Cooking

Yet another:
The Old West Baking Book

More Old West Cookbooks:
More Old West Cookbooks

Even More Old West Cookbooks:
Even More Old West Cookbooks

As for "The Pocket Cookbook" by Elizabeth Woody, that book is extremely rare. It was re-issued in 1955 and again in 1961. None of the big bookstores had used copies, and it was not offered on E-Bay.
In a message board post, someone had a copy for sale in 2001. See:
Place to Sell
The only sure source that I found was at Bookfinder. There was one copy for sale. See:


Sheik Babani

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Chad"
To: phaedrus
Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2003 8:22 AM
Subject: Sheik Babani

> My name is Chad Zimmerman and I was watching the Food Network channel
> last night and I seen a Kurdish restaurant in Minnesota I think and they
> showed Sheik Babani.  The only I thing I can find about it is that it is
> a cored egg plant peeled in decorative stripes and filled with a spicy
> meat and vegetables served on red sauce over Basmati rice.  Do you know
> the recipe for it or can you find it?  Do you know what spicy meat and
> vegetables they put in it and do you know how to make the red sauce and
> what Basmati rice is?  Please email back at  Because I
> am very forgetful and I will forget to check your website at the message
> boards.  Thank you very much.

Hello Chad,

Babani's Kurdish Restaurant has a website. See:

However, I could not find a recipe for Sheik Babani. The dish is named after the colorful striped pants once worn by Kurdish tribal leaders.

Basmati rice is a type of rice that is grown mostly in Asia. It originated in India and has some different cooking characteristics from our usual rice. Basmati rice can be found in most supermarkets - if not in the rice section, then in the ethnic foods section.

I will put your e-mail on the website in the hopes that someone will send in a recipe for Sheik Babani.


I suppose it's a bit too late after 18 years, but I got this today:

Subject: Sheik Babani or Sheik el Mahshi
From: Kathy 
Date: 4/15/2021, 6:01 PM

Dear Phaedrus,

There was an old request from 2003 for a recipe for Sheik Babani from a restaurant 
called Babani in Minnesota featured on The Food Network.† Here is your link:

I ran across the request while looking for a recipe for Sheik el Mahshi.† 
It looks to me that Babaniís, Sheik Babani dish, was just rechristened from 
the traditional Middle Eastern dish, Sheik el Mahshi. Iíve been to a Lebanese 
restaurant that has this dish, and features stripes taken off the eggplant, 
stuffed with lamb, onions and seasoning then covered with tomato sauce.† 
There are tons of recipe variations online for Sheik el Mahshi should someone 
else be interested.

Cheers and much thanks for your hard work,


There are indeed lots of recipes for "Sheik el Mahshi" on the web, and I found an actual recipe for Sheik Babani today after so many years. See: Sheik Babani


Rock Candy

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Polly
To: phaedrus
Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2003 5:57 AM
Subject: rock candy

> Hi!  I am a science teacher and I attempted to make rock candy with my
> kids.
> I used 8 oz of h2o to 3/4 cup sugar.  Will this work?  It is day two and I
> don't see any crystals forming.  Should I pull the paper clips out and
> dip them into sugar?  Please let me know, I have 28, 6th graders counting 
> on me! thanks!  Polly

Hello Polly,

Well.... Two days is a bit premature. Sometimes you have to wait a week for the crystals to form. It all depends on how dry the air is in your classroom. In high humidity, the water takes longer to evaporate.

Y'know, it doesn't sound to me as though you used enough sugar. You have to get the water boiling and keep adding sugar a little at a time until no more will dissolve. You have to have a supersaturated solution. Sugaring the string or paper clips can help crystals form quicker and larger, but if you pull the clips out of the solution now, you'll knock off any crystals that have already begun forming. Might as well start over as to do that.

These sites have instructions on making rock candy:

Science Bob


I guess the bottom line is that you can either wait until a full week has passed and if no crystals have formed you can start over, or you can start over right away using as much sugar as the solution will hold.



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