Tuesday, 24 April 2018




I'm tempted by quite a few of the talks in the British Library's ongoing 'food season.' Tonight it was The Art of the Cookbook with Anne Willan and Jill Norman which sent me on a nostalgic browse through my own collection when I got home... I've just pulled out Anne Willan's Observer French Cookery School which was one of my first sophisticated 'grown-up' purchases in my early 20s. Robert Carrier was my go-to for entertaining boyfriends; it was mentioned this evening that cookery book photographs date very quickly and I have to laugh at my youthful aspirations - but his recipes always worked.
Plats du Jour was also mentioned with affection ... and I had to stop myself from bouncing up in my seat to boast that I found a 1957 first-edition Penguin copy last week in a 10p charity rummage bin. (It does smell rather dreadfully of old book.)
Will anyone ever think nostalgically about flaxseed buns from faddy girls with flicky hair? Somehow I doubt it.

6 comments:

Veronica Cooke said...

Well done on your 10p bargain! Perspehone do this book but as I'm not into cooking much I've never bothered to buy/read it. I do love my Mrs. Beeton though which was a book club edition many moons ago.

Mary said...

I think I prefer the Penguin edition, Veronica - Persephones are too classy for a cookery book, I'd be horrified if I splashed on them!

Lucille said...

And of course you know my proud boast about the copy I have with Barbara Pym's name on the front cover in biro. Through the magic of blogging conections we established that it looked very much like her own signature. I've never cooked from it. I should rectify that.

Mary said...

OH, how wonderful, Lucille. Was that a lucky charity shop find? Perhaps you should recreate a meal from one of her books.

Lucille said...

No it came from Abebooks but with no mention of the signature.
http://usefulorbeautiful.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/you-only-have-to-ask.html

Mary said...

That must have been such a thrill, Lucille. I bought a book of poems by Virginia Graham - Consider the Years, now a Persephone - also from Abebooks, for peanuts - and when it arrived, it contained a hand-written letter from the author who was Joyce Grenfell's BFF. I was delighted - but that's not in the same league as Barbara Pym!