Retro goodness

This past week I have been lucky enough to indulge in a few little blasts from the past in my favourite way to do so: BY EATING THEM.

On Friday afternoon Rob came home from school pick up with a heart shaped tupperware container from my friend filled with none other than sweet mushroom tarts! Remember these?


Kind of like a neenish tart but without the icing on top. A little home made raspberry jam at the bottom of the sweet pastry cases, some mock cream on top and a sprinkle of nutmeg or maybe cocoa (I think?). I know I’m meant to be laying off the sugar but how could I NOT eat a couple of these with a cup of tea? Illegal not to.

Then on Sunday my beautiful Mother in law popped down to see Maggie but came with a basket of food for us and proceeded to get into that kitchen and make us all corned beef with veggies! Be still my beating heart! I NEVER cook this (still scarred from the smell from my Grandma’s kitchen) but oh how I love to eat it. I think I had 3 or 4 helpings!


How spoilt am I with friends and family like this? Bring me food and I will be your friend for life! Got me thinking about some of my old favourites that I never seem to eat anymore. I wonder why they go out of favour when they are so good? I remember a few years ago we had a special retro party to remember Rob’s Grandparents (think smoked oysters on Jatz, devils on horseback, rock cakes) but I would love to hear what are some of your old time favourites?

And because I had lots of people ask me, and because people are wonderful and sent me the recipe for the mushrooms here you go. A reader Diane sent me this from the Australian Womens Weekly “Sweet Old Fashioned Favourites” published in 1995. Dead set how good is the styling here?

Punch, Bridge and baked tarts anyone?! If that’s not a recipe for a good time I don’t know what is.


So tell me, what’s your all time retro favourite dish?
Anyone going to attempt these mushroom tarts?


  1. On a cold winters evening when I need something warm & filling I make savoury mince with mashed potatoes the way my Nan did when I was little. It is not attractive, there is no amount of styling that will improve it & my husband won’t eat it & makes himself something different but my daughter & I love it. I still have to eat it the same way I did as a kid, mince stirred into the mash to make a big puddle of mincy goo which makes it look even worse but for me it is a very yummy memory 🙂

  2. Favourite retro dish – Mum’s steak dianne made with simply garlic, wostershire sauce and cream. I’ve been eating it all my life. It’s such a bastardisation of proper dianne sauce. Also gotta love that lemony cheesecake thing set between lattice biscuits. That is the shizz!

  3. Mmmmm love those mushroom cakes. Other retro favourites of mine are lemon meringue pie; any cheesecake made with Philadelphia cream cheese ; carrot cake with heaps of cream cheese frosting; Neenish tarts; lemon delicious dessert; chocolate mousse – to name just a few …..

  4. Gosh the corned beef brought back memories of my mum’s big pot with a string for a handle that used to flip about when I used to sneak a peak! x

    • How bout that smell? That’s what’s stopping me from making it.

      • Pop it in your slow cooker with 1/2 cup of water, an onion peeled and halved, a dessert spoon of vinegar and a dessert spoon of brown sugar (my Nan’s recipe ). Do it on a day when you’re going out and when you come home, you only have the cooked meat smell rather than the ‘cooking’ meat smell that I think you’re talking about. I love coming home on nights when the kids have sports or other activities and the main component of dinner is done! Add some mashed potatoes and veggies (and white sauce if you’re so inclined) yummy!!! xx

  5. Curried sausages are on high rotation in our house in winter. Complete with frozen peas and corn.
    For dessert it’s often a white wings self saucing pudding. Taking it back to 1978 with those two

  6. OMG!!! What timing!! I have been complaining to my local bakery that they don’t make neenish tarts often enough. She tells me “yes they fly out the door when they are on the shelf”. So I’m in there last Friday and have another whinge, she hands me a mushroom! The same taste without too much of that sickly icky pink and brown icing. Thank you Beth & friends. I will now have a go myself. BTW Maggie is gorgeous and is so alert for a newborn xoxo

  7. michelle says

    I deadset thought that was a real mushroom back there on Facebook. And thought, whoa, I have never ever heard of cheese sauce stuffed mushrooms??? Incidentally, have obviously never heard of sweet mushroom tarts either! Ha!

  8. Lisa Mckenzie says

    I bought a corned beef to have for dinner one night soon,curried sausages,shepards pie and Salmon rissoles were some of my mums regular things to cook.
    I love a good rock cake and homemade vanilla slice with real passion fruit icing,but I don’t make them cause I eat them all!

  9. Retro to me means memories from my childhood. Northern NSW on the beach was all about the icecreams like Hava Hearts & Splice (lime). We had a Milkman for most of my early years with a treat on board for about 50 cents that was basically frozen flavored milk in a squeezable packet. My end of the beach had an awesome corner store with 1 cent and 2 cent lollies galore, think fantales and milk duds. Once in a while in our house there were store bought biscuits like the iced vovo. Always homemade lamingtons and fairy cakes (with cake wings stuck into the cream on top) thanks to my Grandmother. Fairy bread at every birthday party, I can’t stand the stuff now. A huge treat for us was in my Grandmothers back yard grew a macadamia nut tree, 4 kids each with a hammer 🙂 hours of fun. This was my all time favorite and may gross readers out. Fresh white bread with guava jelly (home made) drizzled with fresh thickened cream. So good, I mean gross 😉

  10. I love Macaroni Cheese, Cauliflower Cheese and White Wings self saucing puddings. I also have a great fondness for jelly, despite my advanced years (I am a grandma).

  11. Apricot chicken – recipe still on the back of French onion soup mix!

  12. Where is the white sauce or white sauce with parsley on the corned beef? Don’t forget the corned beef fritters with the leftovers.

    I was thinking nostalgically the other day of my grandma’s curried sausages. Nothing like what we call curry these days with special pastes or carefully ground and roast spices, but they were so good on a cold night. Hers had veggies in them but also, sultanas, granny apples and banana slices, along with Keens curry which was all that was available. Served with mash as rice was used for sweet desserts. (ugh!)

  13. Jo Lloyd says

    My husband and I were at a party many years ago, I was newly pregnant with son#2. They were people I had only met a few times and the others guests I had never met…..we had lots of laughs and mineral water. On the platter was a little thing that made me raise my eyebrows…..cold mashed potato wrapped in Devon with a toothpick…..WTH…..then to my amazement another guest said…”oh I love these and haven’t had one for years”…I still had my eyebrows raised…

  14. I’ve never seen those mushroom thingies before – hilarious!

  15. Mum used to make us bread and milk cooked together on the stove with heaps of sugar till it was all soggy and delicious. Also wheat hearts in a glass of cold milk. My all time fav was tapioca pudding though. The best!!

  16. Oh my, Beth, you’ve taken me back with this post! I can’t remember where I had the mushrooms, but when I saw your post and the photograph it just bought back really fond memories. They are soooooo delicious! I think we used to get them from a bakery when we were young. Maybe I’ll attempt to make them, now you’ve given us the recipe, but I don’t think they’ll taste as good as the ones I remember. My husband and I have been enjoying sausages or rissoles with onion gravy, mashed potatoes and veggies, at the moment. We remember our mums making this for us when we were young. We also had the corned beef and white sauce with cabbage and veges, as a staple on our family menu when I was growing up. Mum used to make corn beef fritters with the leftovers the next night! Cottage pie with holbrooks sauce is also another fav. Thanks again for your heartwarming post. Hope all is well and you enjoy your special treats and deliveries. You deserve it. Leesa xo

  17. Carolyn Heywood says

    Beth use your slow cooker for easy corned beef. Melt in your mouth tender.

  18. I love those mushroom tarts, a friend of my Mum’s makes the best ones I have ever eaten. Other retro faves in our house are curried sausages, cottage pie and meatloaf. My Gran used to make everything including her own ice cream (no ice cream maker) and tomato sauce.

  19. One of my fav retro meals are these asparagus (tinned no less) and ham rolls. Ham and asparagus is rolled up in bread slices, covered with a white sauce concoction and some mustard I think and baked..sickly rich and retro. Potato casserole made with mash topped with an egg and cream mixture and baked..oh my another fav. God no wonder I look like Demis Roussos! That photo of Maggie in her hat omg just beautiful. What a gorgeous soul she is. Those eyes will see everything xx

  20. FunMumX3 says

    Your photo of the WW mushroom recipe reminded me of this gem that I saw a few years ago. Please read. But hang on to your recently-gave-birth uterus because you will laugh so hard you will pop. Make a hot cuppa, give kids some colouring and read on…

  21. I still request curried sausages every year for my birthday dinner!

  22. Catherine says

    I love a good old meatloaf, the one with glazed sauce on the top.

  23. Oh I love corned beef – it’s on regular rotation here during Winter and we usually have leftovers so that’s another dinner or lunch sorted. Winning right there! My fave retro food is cabana. On a toothpick with a block of Coon and stuck into an orange preferably! x

  24. For me? A chicken sandwich on white bread cut into four triangles served in a basket lined with a doiley and topped with a sprig of curly parsley. Iced chocolate on the side. My mum would have a cup-of-chino. That’s an 80s fancy cafe lunch. Always sitting in a booth.

    I make corned beef semi-regularly. Served with a red cabbage, apple and walnut coleslaw. Delicious. For some reason I never get that nursing home smell.

  25. One of my favourite sandwiches is beetroot and curried egg.
    my fav retro is corned silverside with mashed potato with sliced spring onions and lots of butter, carrot, broccoli and sweetcorn. No white sauce but dijon mustard spread over the meat.


  1. […] is neat and clean. There is also a bakery across the road, so we called in to see if they had any mushroom cakes that one of our crew had taken a liking to, but there’d been a fridge malfunction earlier in […]

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