Local chef David Rayner cooks up some secret recipes handed down by his grandmother.
Local chef David Rayner cooks up some secret recipes handed down by his grandmother. John McCutcheon

Share your hand-me-down recipes

LAST night we had silverside for dinner. Having been a vegetarian for 16 years, I've only ever eaten silverside once or twice, the first time being at my husband's grandmother's place in Griffith.

I can remember we sat around Nanny Clarke's dining room table in the kitchen of her old fibro home as the meat boiled on the stove, cheese sauce was poured over the steamed cauliflower and Nan Clarke made her famous mustard sauce.

It was the mustard sauce that sold the whole meal for me and in the few occasions we've had silverside since - mustard sauce omitted - it just hasn't been the same.

Until last night, when Matt dug out the yellowing piece of paper covered in Nanny Clarke's handwriting, titled: Mustard Sauce.

And it got me thinking, everyone has a special recipe that has been passed down either from generation to generation or from a closer relative such as a nan.

I know for me it is my grandmother's muesli recipe. For more than 15 years I have eaten this for breakfast when visiting her house and now it is something I make proudly in my own kitchen. On the handwritten recipe card at home my 89-year-old grandma has written: "This is an original recipe as given to me by a friend but I have changed it a bit." I've included her suggested changes along with the recipe below.

So I'd like to know what your family recipe is. Be sure to include the ingredients and method and most importantly, why this recipe is so special to you and who handed it down.

To get you started, I've included the famous mustard sauce and muesli recipes.

Nanny Clarke's mustard sauce


  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 dessertspoon plain flour
  • 1 dessertspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 egg


  • In a small saucepan put all the ingredients. 
  • Mix all together until smooth and then add one cup of boiling water from the cooking silverside and stir until thickened.
  • Do not boil or sauce will curdle.
  • Also good as a salad dressing when cold.

Betty Bradley's muesli


  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup soy flour
  • 1/2 cup wheatgerm
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dry milk powder
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (optional)
  • 1/2 cup nuts
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup hot water


  • Mix all the dry ingredients together and then add the wet ingredients which have been mixed together.
  • Spread on baking trays and bake about two hours at 100º F then one hour at 150º F. Watch carefully at 150º F or it will burn.
  • Stir and tun over every hour or more often until you get used to the oven.

Suggested changes by Betty:

  • I use L.S.A mixture instead of wheatgerm, which I don't like after a bad experience with it.
  • I add sultanas after the muesli is cooked as they dry out too much and the nuts afterwards if they have already been roasted.
  • You can also add cranberries or goji berries but they are a bit expensive.
  • The muesli has all you need for a sustaining breakfast but I add yoghurt and a banana and milk or blueberries or whatever appeals and it keeps me going until lunch time.
  • I also add pepitas (dried pumpkin seeds) to the original mixture.
  • Stored in an airtight container, I find three or four tablespoons of muesli is plenty for me and I add half a Weetbix as well when making up my breakfast.
  • I hope this doesn't sound like too much hard work for breakfast but for me it is well worth the effort and it keeps me from snacking (which so many old ladies seem to do to the detriment of their health).

Share your recipe below.

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