Thursday, 30 August 2012

A Recipe Review from Skiourophile.

A Recipe Review from Skiourophile (which means, 'lover of squirrels').

I have made two treats from the Golden Circle Tropical Recipe Book (1st edition): PINEAPPLE TOAD-IN-THE-HOLE and the simple but unusual JELLIED PINEAPPLE SLICES.

First up, the TOAD: I used pork chipolatas in place of full-sized sausages. The recipe was simple to follow and it turned out in a pleasingly puffy form. But what on earth led its creator to think that pineapple would be an improving addition to a timeless supper classic? Oh well, it looked lovely, even if it tasted all sorts of wrong.

If you want a dessert treat that'll make people's eyes goggle, it has to be the JELLIED PINEAPPLE SLICES.
I like canned pineapple. I love jelly. What could go wrong…? I followed the variation using the tall Golden Circle juice can. I also used canned pineapple in natural juice, rather than the awesomely over-sweet pineapple in syrup. And? Taste: well, it's fruit in jelly, isn't it? Presentation: now that's the winner! It's not just fruit in jelly now, is it?! I would definitely make this one again (unlike the Toad-in-the-Hole). It would be perfect for children to make (boiling aside). If you need an odd looking party piece, this would be ideal. Imagine if you did a rainbow of jelly colours, setting each layer individually. Imagine if you put glacé cherries down the centre (or between the rings). Or tinned lychees. Imagine...!

About Skiourophile: I collect vintage cookbooks, predominantly those from South Australia (where I live). My favourites are the fundraising ones from small country towns from the 1960s to 1980s. I post a recipe every couple of days on my blog Unusual Coleslaw
My absolute favourite recipes are mornays using a tin of tuna, a tin of pineapple, a tin of condensed soup and a packet of potato crisps. I once started to cook some of these dishes to test what my family's sense of humour would stand. I don't do that anymore.  ;-)

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Write a review for the Pineapple Princesses.

If anyone out there has tried any of the recipes on this blog and would like to write a review or send us a photograph, please write it into the comment box and I will include it into a new blog post.
Happy cooking! Anne.

A salad or a dessert?

Don’t forget, as Ruby said in the Golden Circle Tropical Recipe Book:                                                                                                       

“Imagine how long the list would be if you wrote down all the flavours you can recognise. And each of these is a bright, new theme for eating enjoyment . . . a way to make your meal-time the scene of unending surprise and variety . . . to make meals the happiest experiences your family shares. On this stage, you are the star – and pineapple a versatile winner of family applause, for every course from the before breakfast fruit drink to the gala dessert.”
The orange jelly and cottage cheese combo in this recipe was certainly a surprise for this family! Anne.

Pineapple Double Decker.
825g can Golden Circle Sliced Pineapple, 2 pkts orange-flavour jelly crystals, 250g cottage cheese, cherries and lettuce leaves.
Drain syrup from pineapple slices. Measure syrup into saucepan and add boiling water to make up to 3 cups liquid. Bring to boiling point and add jelly crystals. Remove from stove, stir to dissolve. Divide into 2 equal parts. Cool. Add one half jelly to cottage cheese, stir to blend. Turn into 22 cm square cake pan. Chill until firm. Arrange drained pineapple slices on cheese layer, with cherry in centre of each. Carefully pour remaining cooled jelly over pineapple slices and chill again. Cut in squares and serve on lettuce leaves.

Monday, 27 August 2012

A pineapple in Scotland!

Photographer Louise Bellin has given us permission to include her fabulous images of ‘The Pineapple' at Dunmore Park, near Airth in Scotland. I couldn’t decide which I liked more, so I’ve included both! She says that it was built as a garden retreat in 1761 by the Earl of Dunmore.
For more stunning views of Scotland taken by Louise have a look at  A celebration of light! She made me want to head straight to the nearest international airport! And I’d love to stay in the Dunmore Pineapple as apparently it is available as holiday accommodation.
To join in the city’s Olympic Welcome, organisers of this year’s recent London Festival of Architecture looked at the symbolism of the pineapple for their “competitions and treasure hunts to see who can find and photograph the most pineapples” around the city. Have a look at for some great examples of decoration.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

X marks the spot.

I was wondering when Vegemite was going to get a mention in Ruby Borrowdale’s ‘Golden Circle Tropical Recipe Book’ ! I wouldn’t normally combine it with pineapple but gee, anything would work with bacon! I’ve known confirmed vegetarians not able to resist the smell of bacon cooking. Yum! Anne.

Hawaiian Toast
440g can of Golden Circle Sliced Pineapple, 5 slices of bread, 125g softened cream cheese, 1 dstsp vegetable extract, 5 thin rashers bacon.
Toast the bread. Mix cream cheese with vegetable extract and spread on toast. Drain pineapple slices and place one on each piece of toast. Trim and cut rashers into halves, placing 2 pieces criss-cross over each pineapple slice. Place under medium hot grill to crisp the bacon and brown the pineapple. Serve immediately.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Tropical Pork Chops.

Simple but delicious!

Tropical Pork Chops.

440g can Golden Circle Sliced Pineapple, short loin pork chops, buttered green beans, oven-baked potatoes, baby carrots.
Trim rind and fat from the required number of chops. Grill or oven-bake until richly browned. If oven-baking, spread chops lightly with dry mustard, then lightly dust with plain flour.
To serve, arrange on a heated platter and surround with buttered green beans. Halve sloices of pineapple, brown lightly and arrange round the chops over quarters of oven-baked potatoes. Serve with baby carrots.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Worldwide Retro Cooking.

Anna-Louise Taylor from the BBC recently interviewed the Pineapple Princesses for an excellent online article “The return of retro recipes” that you can access at The article includes some interesting insights, links to fabulous recipes like Spotted Dick and Custard and information on other blogs, The way we ate by Noah Fecks and Paul Wagtouicz and The Lunch Tray by Bettina Siegel.
Well worth a look!
Did you know that Spotted Dick is a dessert ? I always thought it was a sausage! Anne.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Tropical Spaghetti.

When my friend Maria offered me some lean farm fresh beef steaks and mince recently I decided it was time for Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Tropical – I have never mixed pineapple pieces into my meat sauce before and it wasn't bad. I was disappointed with the Pineapple Sunshine Pudding as it was a bit too sweet, Anne.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce Tropical.
440g can Golden Circle Pineapple Pieces, thin spaghetti, 500g topside mince, 1 small can tomato soup, 1 clove garlic, 2 onions, 250g grated cheese, 1 tblsp butter.
Drain pineapple. Cook and drain spaghetti. Melt butter in pan and fry chopped onions and garlic, add topside mince and cook. Add undiluted tomato soup and cook until evenly blended. Add pineapple pieces, reserving a few to garnish. Arrange alternative layers of spaghetti, cheese and savoury mince on large heated platter. Garnish with pineapple pieces, green peas or parsley. (This dish could be served for family dinner).

Pineapple Sunshine Pudding.
440g can Golden Circle Crushed Pineapple, 3 oz lemon-flavoured pudding mix, ¾ cup water, 2 dstsp sugar, 2 egg separated, 1 tsp gelatine, ¼ cup cold water.
Combine the undrained crushed pineapple, pudding mix, water, sugar and beaten egg yolks in saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from stove, stir in gelatine soaked for 5 minutes in cold water.
Meringue: Beat 2 egg whites until frothy then gradually beat in 3 tblsp sugar.
Fold meringue into hot pineapple mixture. Beat well. Pour into shallow pan (approx. 17cmx28cmx2.5cm) lined with crushed biscuits. Chill till firm. Cut into squares, serve topped with whipped cream or ice cream.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Pineapple, and eggs.

Okay, so this might not look very appetising (which may be why Ruby didn’t put a photograph of this dish in her book!) but my mother, Moira, thought this omelette made a delicious lunch, Anne.

Sweet Pineapple Omelette
440g can Golden Circle Crushed Pineapple, 6 eggs, pinch salt, 2 tblsp cold water, 2 tblsp butter.
Drain syrup from pineapple. In small saucepan melt 1 tsp butter, add drained pineapple, heat til bubbling hot. Melt remaining butter in omelette pan and keep hot. In a separate bowl beat eggs lightly with a fork adding water and salt. Then pour egg mixture into hot butter and cook quickly over high heat. When set, place half of the pineapple in centre and fold omelette over. Slide onto hot dish and spoon remaining pineapple over top. Serve immediately. Sufficient for 2 or 3 servings.

A useful tip from Ruby Borrowdale in the ‘Golden Circle Tropical Recipe Book’:  “To give a different flavour to curried eggs, add a half a cup of seeded raisins to the curry sauce before adding eggs. Heat, serve on buttered toast and top with a slice of Golden Circle Pineapple, lightly browned in butter.”

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Junior Master Dessert Chef Episode 2

Angelica, Raffaellu and Pascal creatively arranged the ingredients for this Wanderlust dessert for their afternoon tea, minus the cherries (I forgot to bring those!) You can see from the photographs that they enjoyed them! Anne.

Fill a boat-shaped sundae dish with Golden Circle Crushed Pineapple and pile chopped lime jelly cubes around the outside edge. Place a scoop each of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream along one edge. Cut wafers for sails, and top each ice cream scoop with a cherry.

Monday, 13 August 2012

The Pineapple Part 2

The following information was collected from a variety of sources including Fran Beauman on BBC Radio’s ‘Museum of Curiosity’, her book ‘The Pineapple: The King of Fruits’ and websites such as
In the Caribbean pineapples symbolize hospitality. This symbolism spread to Europe, then to Colonial North America, where it became the custom to carve the shape of a pineapple into the columns at the entrance of a plantation. They also appeared on brass door knockers, stair rails and mailbox posts. Families would set a fresh pineapple in the centre of the table as a colourful centrepiece of festive meals, especially when visitors joined them in celebration to symbolise welcome and hospitality and the fruit would be served as a special dessert after the meal. Often when the visitor spent the night, he was given the bedroom which had the pineapples carved on the bedposts or headboard, even if the bedroom belonged to the head of the household.

David McNamara has given us permission to use this great photograph of a magnificent pineapple fountain in Charleston, South Carolina.

A small, peaceful hamlet in rural Alabama boasts symbols of the pineapple everywhere your eyes may look. Pine Apple, settled by "Easterners" from the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia around 1820 was originally named "Friendship". But there was already another Friendship, Alabama, so the settlers named their town in honour of the pine and apple trees that gave the land its beauty and the town its wealth. These days the town's name is as often written "Pineapple" and it is Pine Apple. Signs of this universal symbol of hospitality are seen painted on the front doors of homes and the town's welcome sign, in fanciful finials and Christmas decorations, carved serving trays and wooden bowls, atop gateposts and rooftops, carved into bedposts and headboards, and found in a variety of table centrepieces.

The Pineapple Part 1

The following information was collected from a variety of sources including Fran Beauman on BBC Radio’s ‘Museum of Curiosity’, her book ‘The Pineapple: The King of Fruits’ and websites such as .

Pineapples are indigenous to South America, originating from the area between Southern Brazil and Paraguay. Christopher Columbus brought them back to Europe from Guadalupe in 1493 and it was the Spanish who introduced them into the Philippines, Hawaii, Zimbabwe and Guam. The fruit was spread around the world on sailing ships that carried them for protection against scurvy.

Pineapples became extremely fashionable in Europe. By the mid 17th century they were grown in English hothouses and eight hundred were grown in Louis V’s vegetable garden hot houses at Versailles.  Market gardeners asked very high prices because of the great cost of growing them. They quickly became a status symbol among the wealthy in England at a cost of £5,000 each. They were rarely eaten, but taken to parties to show off and pass around. In North America you could rent a pineapple to impress your dinner guests. Due to the difficulties of growing pineapples in cold climates and the expense of importing them, they remained an expensive delicacy until after the advent of the steamship, and after World War II.

Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromalyne which is “flesh eating”. In the 18th century someone died of eating too much pineapple and apparently workers in pineapple factories lose their fingerprints! That’s why it makes such an effective meat tenderiser.

Large-scale pineapple cultivation by U.S. companies began in the early 1900s on Hawaii. The Philippines is currently the largest producer of pineapples commercially.

Growcom Australia’s is a great website with information on the pineapple industry in Australia (and some delicious looking recipes!)

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Pineapple Toad-In-The-Hole.

I cooked the toad in the hole served with avocado salad for myself. On reflection, that was just as well, Ann.

Pineapple Toad-In-The-Hole.
440g can Golden Circle Crushed Pineapple, 500g pork sausages, 8250g self raising flour, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, 2 eggs, ½ pint milk.
Drain syrup from pineapple. Prick sausages and fry lightly. Sift flour, salt and pepper into basin. Beat eggs in milk, add to flour, beating to make a smooth batter. Turn batter into a buttered casserole, top with the drained pineapple and arrange the sausages over the pineapple. Bake in hot oven (400°F) about 45minutes or just until batter is cooked. Serve hot garnished with parsley and tomato.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Cooking on a budget.

Ruby Borrowdale offers this advice in the "Golden Circle Tropical Recipe Book”

“How to save at the supermarket.
v Plan meals in advance. Then you can buy exactly what you need, and make fewer shopping trips.
v Be wise about Specials. Stock up on the Special items that you and your family really need and use. Storage space is valuable too, and you don’t want to be storing items you may never use.
v Top quality is not essential for EVERY purpose. If you plan to serve buttered beans, you want the best. If the vegetables are intended for a casserole, you can pay less.

v Take advantage of modern packaged foods. Remember that your TIME is also worth money, and there will be many occasions when minutes saved in meal preparation are minutes you can put to more profitable use. You can still enjoy cooking creatively, by giving your own personal touches to the presentation of packaged foods. Golden Circle Pineapple, Fruit Salad and Fruit Cocktail are “convenience” foods that save time on busy days, and save the day when unexpected guests arrive, because each one makes a delicious 'instant sweet'."
Budget Rice Curry

440g can of Golden Circle Sliced Pineapple, drained, 1 apple, 2 onions, 1 clove garlic, 2 tblsp butter, 500g blade steak, 2 tsp curry powder, 1 tblsp plain flour, 1 tsp salt, 2 green tomatoes, 230ml stock or water, 1 tblsp coconut, 1 tblsp lemon juice.
Melt butter in saucepan, add chopped apple, onions and garlic. Cook until lightly browned. Remove from stove and stir in plain flour and curry powder. Add liquid and return to stove, stirring until smooth and slightly thickened. Add steak cut into bite sized pieces, and simmer for a few minutes. Stir in chopped tomatoes, salt, lemon juice and coconut. Cover and simmer until meat is tender. Transfer to hot serving dish. Top with pineapple slices sprinkled with brown sugar and reheat in moderate oven. At serving-time add pyramids of freshly cooked rice garnished with parsley and pieces of red capsicum.

This curry was just like the ones flavoured with curry powder we ate in the 1960s, nothing like the curries we make today with cumin, coriander and cardamon etc, Anne.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

A fruit of many cultures.

A pineapple (ananas comosus) is a tropical plant of the Bromeliaceae family, named because of its resemblance to the pine cone.
A large, sweet pineapple grown in Brazil is called abacaxi.
Spain: pineapples are called piña
Malaysia:  nanas or nenas.
Maldives: alanaasi (Dhivehi).
Swahili-speaking coast of East Africa: nanasi.
Portugal: ananaz.
Hindi: अनन्नास
French: ananas
Arabic: أناناس
Hebrew: אננס
Korean: 파인애플
Tamil: அன்னாசி
Chinese: 菠蘿
Esperanto: ananaso
Russia: ананас

Do try this at home (carefully):

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Chinese Veal and Ice Cream Islands, both with pineapple.

On a visit to my mother-in-law, Joan, in Sydney this week I cooked Chinese Veal and Pineapple Slices, and Ice Cream Islands. Her local butcher didn’t have veal chops or steaks and suggested osso bucco instead. I substituted peas with spinach. I’m not sure why the “Chinese” appears in the title – must be the Soya Sauce.

Inspired by Jenia‘s comment on the ABC online blog about this blog  I looked for a dessert recipe that was especially colourful. Joan’s three flavoured ice cream certainly helped in that regard. This could be a wonderful ice cream syrup for children as it could be made with fruit juice, and the colours, well, go for it! Anne.

Chinese Veal and Pineapple Slices
440g can Golden Circle Pineapple Slices, 6 veal chops or pieces of veal steak, 4 level tblsps seasoned flour, 4 tblsps butter, 2 tblsp lemon juice, 2 tblsp Worcestershire Sauce or Soya Sauce, salt, pepper, 3 dstsp brown sugar, 3 tsps butter.
Cover chops or steak with seasoned flour and fry lightly in butter. Drain and place in casserole dish. Add remainder of seasoned flour to the pan and brown lightly. Stir in lemon juice, sauce and pineapple syrup made up to one cup with water, season with salt and pepper. Pour gravy over veal in the casserole. Place [pineapple slices on top, sprinkle with brown sugar and dot with butter. Cover and cook in a moderate oven until tender, approximately 40-45 minutes. Serve with rice and green peas.

Ice Cream Islands
440g can Golden Circle Pineapple Pieces, tsp butter, 1 level tblsp arrowroot, ¼ cup cold water, pink food colouring 4-6 servings Vanilla Ice Cream.
Drain pineapple syrup into saucepan. Add butter and bring to boil. Thicken with arrowroot blended in water until smooth. Remove from stove and tint bright pink. Cool and chill. For each serving, place a spoonful of pineapple pieces in dish, top with ice cream and pour the chilled sauce over. Garnish with cherries or strawberries.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Decorating your dining table for guests.

Ruby Borrowdale offers some useful advice for the 1960s housewife in the section ‘Flowers for your table’ in the Golden Circle Tropical Recipe Book.

“Use the colour and perfume of flowers to present carefully cooked meals in the beautiful setting they deserve.” “The floral arrangement should never dominate the table. Your food is the star on this stage.”
When he sculpted his mashed potatoes the young Les was always told not to play with his food, but I can see the attraction - the possibilities are endless! Especially with pineapple! Anne.

Doing cartwheels.

I thought I’d give Les a rest from pineapple, well for a few days. So I took my copy of the Golden Circle Tropical Recipe Book over to my mother, Moira’s place to assemble some cartwheel salads for lunch. I made a few changes to the suggested ingredients, simply combining the cream cheese with finely chopped celery and carrot. They mixed well with the pineapple, and ham sandwiches.

Pineapple Cartwheel Salad.
440g can Golden Circle Sliced Pineapple, 250g dessert prunes, 250g cream cheese.                                        
Flavour variation (1) – dash paprika and garlic powder, 1 tblsp grated onion, pinch salt, ¼ cup green and red peppers, diced.                                                                                              
Flavour variation (2) – 1 tblsp chopped onion, pinch salt, pinch sugar, few drops tabasco, 1 dstsp horseradish sauce.
Cut each pineapple slice in halves and stand on edge. Combine either of the two flavour variations with the cream cheese and pack between the pineapple halves. Serve with prunes and brown bread sandwiches. Serves 4.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Chicken and Souffle

The Golden Circle Tropical Recipe Book’s classic roast chicken was delicious with the basting sauce of pineapple syrup and the baked pineapple rings, which would be enjoyable with many meat dishes. The Ricecream Souffle was light and fluffy, lovely with cream or icecream, Anne.

Roast Chicken Tropic Style.

440g can Golden Circle Sliced Pineapple, 1 ½ to 2 kilo roasting chicken, butter.
Prepare chicken for roasting and lightly stuff with your favourite forcemeat, adding  1 chopped pineapple slice when mixing. Place on rack in pan, brush with melted butter or ghee. Pour half cup hot water into pan. Roast, uncovered, in moderate oven 180°C basting occasionally with equal parts of pineapple syrup and melted butter. Place remaining pineapple slices in pan during last 15 minutes of cooking. Serve with pineapple slices, baked potatoes and buttered green beans.

Pineapple Ricecream Soufflé.
40g can Golden Circle Pineapple Pieces, 1 can Vanilla or Lemon-Coconut Ricecream,  1 rounded dstsp gelatine, 1 egg white.

Drain pineapple, place syrup in saucepan, heat. Soak gelatine in 3 tblsp cold water for 5 minutes, add to hot pineapple syrup, stir to dissolve. Leave until almost set, then beat until spongy. Fold in the ricecream, the well-beaten egg white and half of the pineapple pieces. Pile into individual dishes or one large mould. Chill until firm. Unmould and serve with remaining pineapple pieces.