A lot of Brentor’s social life revolves around cooking and eating with friends. These recipes are all provided by Brentor residents. No doubt many have been adapted and improved as the years pass. They are reminders of residents past and present, and of many good times around the table, as well as being household favourites.
Click on the links below to jump to the recipe of your choice
If you live in Brentor, or have lived here, why not add to these recipes? Please email your contributions to the editor, Colin Dawes, at
Parsnip Soup from Sue Rhodes
Sue and Eric Rhodes lived at The Station House until 2015, and Sue’s superb parsnip soup, made on her Aga, became a regular on the menu of many village events such as the Village Show……….
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1lb parsnips, cubed
1 fat clove garlic, crushed
1 onion chopped
1 rounded teaspoon curry powder
2 pints good stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To garnish; ¼ pint single cream, a few snipped chives
Heat the butter and oil in a deep pan and add the parsnips, garlic and onion and fry gently on the simmer plate for about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and the curry powder and cook for a minute, then add the stock and seasoning and bring to the boil, stirring. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
Place pan in a slow oven and leave to cook for about 40 minutes until the parsnips are tender.
Reduce the soup to a puree in a processor or blender then return to the pan. Reheat and taste to check seasoning.
Serve with a swirl of cream and a few snipped chives sprinkled on top.
Bakewell Tart from Colin Dawes
This is adapted from an old Mrs Beeton recipe. It’s been a great hit when made for events at the Village Hall! The breadcrumbs in the frangipane make it economical but also give the topping added texture.
6oz Plain flour
1oz White fat
Cold water to mix
1/2 lb Raspberry jam
4oz butter, softened
4oz caster sugar
2 large eggs
4oz fine white or brown breadcrumbs
4oz ground almonds
1tsp almond extract
Oven 200ºC (190ºC fan)
Mix the pastry by hand or using a food processor and use it to line a deep 8 inch flan tin.
Cover the base of the tart with a generous layer of the jam. (Raspberry jam is the traditional one to use, but you will find that other varieties, such as gooseberry or blackcurrant are equally good).
Cream the butter and sugar together until it becomes pale and light, then add the almond extract and the eggs one at a time and beat everything together until fluffy. Stir in the breadcrumbs and ground almonds and then carefully spread the topping over the jam, making sure to seal it to the pastry case.
Bake for about 35 minutes, until topping is browned and firm. Turn out the tart from the tin when it has cooled a little.
Serve cold or warm. Good with plain yogurt, cream or custard.
Easy Cookies from Sue Fraser
This recipe comes from a Canadian cook book we were given by one of John’s Canadian cousins when we got married. It’s called ‘The Best of Bridge – Royal Treats for Entertaining’ and makes me laugh every time I open it – mainly due to the picture inside the front cover of seven wholesome-looking ladies dressed in crisp white shirts with red tartan frilly aprons – but also because under each recipe is a ‘funny’ such as ‘married life is like sitting in a bathtub …..after a while, it’s not so hot’ and other such pearls of wisdom. Eve, Johns’ cousin, told us that ‘every mother in Canada’ owns a copy of this book.
The recipe I have used most over the past 20+ years is the one for easy cookies called ‘Mona’s mother’s mother’s best friends’s favorite’. It’s the first (and possibly only) recipe that my sons could easily ‘help’ with when they were very little – it’s very easy, very quick, very messy (=fun) and the results are good too.
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 ¼ cup flour
1 ¼ cup rolled quick oats
¾ cup coconut
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
In a medium bowl beat the egg. Add the butter and brown and white sugar and cream well. Add remaining ingredients and mix.
Squidge together in the small of the hand to form golf balls – flatten lightly on a greased baking tray.
Bake at 350°F/180°C for 12-15 minutes or until golden.