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Cookery books

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Cookery books

Postby Amyw » Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:30 am

I thought it’d be fun to have a cookery book thread , about those we love, hate or hold a special place in our hearts . This was inspired by me leaving through my first ever cookery book today “Jamie’s Kitchen”

Previous to that , I’d looked through my mums 70s style books with sprigs of parsley everywhere but Jamie was the first cookery show that felt relevant to me and cool , at the age of 14. My mum bought me the book and I remember pouring over it excitedly . The first dish I made from it and the first grown up dessert I’d ever made was the baileys bread and butter pudding . Not sure I could stomach it now but thought I was at the height of sophistication back then .

I’ve bought a lot of cookery books over the years but this is the one that has the most nostalgia for me . Anyone else has books that resonate for good or bad reasons ?

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Re: Cookery books

Postby OneMoreCheekyOne » Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:55 am

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I have a few of my mum and dads older cook books which I’ve pilfered, there’s a crab Thermidor recipe which my mum made when we were kids which is so retro but I always use that version and probably always will.

I won’t ever part with any of my Diana Henry books.

We have too many, they are all over the house. Here’s one bookshelf for example. I have a clear out once a year but never get rid of more than a couple. I reckon I should be in good company here though :wave

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Re: Cookery books

Postby Badger's Mate » Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:12 am

Yes, mine are here and there around the house, some in the kitchen, some in the dining room, some in the study where the bigger bookcases are, some at the top of the stairs. I didn't inherit any of Mum's old books. My Mary Norwak one might have been hers originally. Ken Lo's Cheap Chow came from a friend - I ought to give it back - apart from that they're all ours. Several of them have been favourites over the years. My most regularly used recipes are perhaps spread over two dozen books. The rest could be got rid of without serious harm (especially given that the recipes are probably all online) but that ain't going to happen. :D

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Re: Cookery books

Postby Gillthepainter » Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:32 am

I've seriously diminished my stash of probably about 250.
In recent years, I've only bought the Kindle version of new acquisitions.
And in anticipation of this move, I've flogged pristine ones on We Buy Your Books, and those unaccepted by the site as they are seriously picky, I've taken dozens to the charity shop - we had a specific Red Cross bookshop nearby, who eagerly receive cookery books when you take them.

I think I've now got 25 cookbooks, which will fit on a smallish bookshelf in the "pantry" when I put it up. I need to find my drill.

I've kept my first ever gift/ bible - Keith Floyd's, it's packed with classics that I use all the time.
And I'm really hoping I've kept Ainsley's Express that has quite a few gems - but I may have inadvertently taken it to the charity shop.
My last physical book purchase was Bill Granger's, that I was really pleased with.

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Re: Cookery books

Postby herbidacious » Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:46 am

I have rather a lot too. Floor to ceiling bookshelf, some shelves double stacked, plus a couple of overspill shelves, all in the front room. (Eat Your Books is very useful. But I do need to sort my cook books out again. I can't always find the one I want.)
Too many, arguably, but I don't want to have a cull. This applies to books in general.

I still dip into Delia's Complete for basics. Cranks first cook book I hold in some affection. A friend at university (no longer in touch) gave it to me for my birthday, then a vegetarian of one year. (1986!) Both books are falling apart, and I have bought second copies. However I don't cook from either of these much any more. I have a fondness for those little Sainsbury's books. I have quite a collection - many bought when they came out, others collected second hand subsequently.
My mother has a Marguerite Patten book, black and white photos, but printed on coloured paper, which I have some affection for. I might ask her if I can have it next time I visit. I am sure it is full of 1960s pineapple monstrosities. I now it had a good recipe for basic chocolate mousse in it. There will not be a vegetarian chapter... :)

Other more modern books I indulgently have copies of both in the UK and in France. Delia's Complete, her Vegetarian book, Hugh F-W's veg book, I think (so long since I went to France, I can't remember :( )

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Re: Cookery books

Postby Stokey Sue » Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:58 am

I use Eat Your Books indexing service, which lists 110 books for me, then there are maybe another 10 that I have but aren’t on their database

I don’t actually have my first ever cookbook, it was Bee Nilssen’s Penguin Cook Book, it fell to pieces from old age rather than use, it was awful.

The oldest well used book I have is the Constance Spry Cook Book and my most used books are probably my complete set of Elizabeth David Penguins. Honourable mention to Katie Stewart’s Times Cook Book

I have moved to Kindle recently which has its pros and cons

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Re: Cookery books

Postby Gruney2 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:16 am

I fall for it every time - I watch a tv chef on one of his travels - "X in the Med", "Y in Spain" etc. and can't stop myself from buying the book. Almost without exception, the dishes in print seem flat and unexceptional - I do have a soft spot for Ainsley, however. I need to join cookbook buyers anonymous.

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Re: Cookery books

Postby mistakened » Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:18 am

I have a terrible dilemma with cookery books, I like to browse through them before I buy, I can no longer do that. I know that you can browse some books on Amazon but I do not find that very satisfactory.
These days I get most of my recipes via the internet. We have four lever arch files of recipes.
However, we do have Delia's How to Cook and and ancient copy of a Good Housekeeping cookery book

Moira

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Re: Cookery books

Postby Earthmaiden » Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:25 pm

I had a big cull a few years ago and just kept a few which represent various cuisines. I've a lot of stuff printed from online, especially Delia or cuisines I have only explored a bit. I also love the folder put together when I went on the year long weekly cookery course in Bristol.

Sue mentioned the Penguin Cookery book which she said was awful. I acquired mine circa 1971, I think through saving some labels from something. I've found it very good over the years and reliable as a reference. It is in bits and held together with a large bulldog clip. I am also fond of my Commonsense Cookery Book from school, known to generations of Australian schoolgirls who took home science. It is so old fashioned but so good, from the fricaseed brains to the coconut pyramids.

I'd love to know which book (probably online) that younger people would recommend if they could only have one. Food is so varied nowadays with so many global cuisines, alternative grains etc it's hard to keep up. The days when something like the Penguin book covered the national repertoire seem so long ago.

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Re: Cookery books

Postby Suelle » Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:38 pm

I've got about 8m of shelving filled with cookery books. Over 250 at the last count. I've collected old and unusual books for years, and like to think that I've also got something representative of most major ethnic cuisines. The biggest 'group' of books is baking, desserts and chocolate - what a surprise!

I still use Delia's Complete Cookery course to check on basics, and Mary Berry, Sue Lawrence and Dan Lepard most frequently for baking.

I buy mostly from charity shops, where you can always see which fad has just passed, and who was the latest celebrity to have a TV series just before Christmas (unwanted presents). Some I buy on impulse and never look at again after going through it once, so I could easily cull them and not miss the ones I get rid of.
Traditional home baking, and more:
http://mainlybaking.blogspot.co.uk/

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Re: Cookery books

Postby Pepper Pig » Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:06 pm

Last count was over 700 and my kids live in fear of my dropping dead and them having to clear them. As mentioned before I'm not cooking much at present, but I still have to face a cull. And one day they'll come in handy. :crossed :crossed :crossed

Would not be without Delia, Nigella, Ainsley, Diana Henry, Hugh F-W, Sue Lawrence, Elizabeth David (although she's beginning to annoy me) and many others which have a good narrative. I need to get rid of those that are just recipes and I particularly need to shift anything "Celebrity", "Slimming World", "Weightwatchers" or "Healthy Eating". Josh bought himself the set of Joe Wickes ones over lockdown but has gifted them to me - I really cannot see myself even opening those so if anyone would like them PM me.

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Re: Cookery books

Postby Earthmaiden » Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:18 pm

I thought we were talking recipe books. If it's food books there are a few more! Michael Pollen, James Beard, The Rituals of Dinner, Fast Food Nation, The Englishman's Food, Curry, Diet for a Small Planet, a Penguin series of small books ....

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Re: Cookery books

Postby Pepper Pig » Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:31 pm

Mine all have recipes in. Even Joe.

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Re: Cookery books

Postby Pampy » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:07 pm

I bit the bullet and gave over 400 recipe books to a charity shop when I did my life laundry/house modernisation about 7 years ago. I kept about a dozen and am pleased to say that I've managed to buy only a couple of new ones since. To be honest, I've hardly missed them - the internet is a wonderful thing!

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Re: Cookery books

Postby cherrytree » Sun Sep 06, 2020 4:42 pm

I’ve got a house in France too and have duplicates of Delia’s Complete, Katie’s Times Cookbook and French Provincial Cooking in both houses. I bought Mary Berry’s Quick Cooking recently, why I do not know. It is Just Terrible.
I love Sue Lawrence’s books and at home I’m very fond of Josceline Dimbleby’s books. I do so agree about charity shops stocking the latest fads. In fact it’s quite fun guessing in a bookshop which will disappear from memory and just end up unused and unloved in the Oxfam
However something I can’t bear to get rid of and look at with fascinated horror is the 72 part Cordon Bleu Cookery course publishes in around 1969/70. Most of the recipes look disgusting with a huge amount of brown overdecorated sludge. It was the height of sophistication at the time.

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Re: Cookery books

Postby herbidacious » Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:52 pm

Houses in France can be useful for avoiding book culls... :D

Ours, is a bit damp, though (we don't have central heating) so I wouldn't take anything really precious there. Wish we did have central heating... We need to find a way to make it more comfortable as we get older. No gas, of course.

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Re: Cookery books

Postby Stokey Sue » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:03 am

Just had a conversation elsewhere about the two 1971 cookbooks The Pauper’s Cookbook (Jocasta Innes) and Poor Cook (Susan Campbell & Caroline Conran)

Neither of which I’ve ever owned, but I must have known Pauper’s cookbook almost off by heart, in the spirit of the titles I borrowed both books from flat mates and libraries :D

Any aficionados?

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Re: Cookery books

Postby Pepper Pig » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:26 am

Yes. I bought The Paupers Cookbook twice and used it all the time. Strangely I no longer have a copy. :? :?

Don’t know the other one though Sue.

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Re: Cookery books

Postby cherrytree » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:54 am

That’s really amazing. I was only thinking yesterday about the Pauper’s Cookbook as I’m trying to remember the sauce that goes with the little pancakes and meatballs. My copy is at home . However I’ve made it so often it’s no problem. I bought the original edition when it was published. I lost it but bought the revised edition which I didn’t think was as good. However I found the original in a charity shop. What a cracking little book it is. Very forward looking in 1970.

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Re: Cookery books

Postby Badger's Mate » Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:02 pm

I've bought both editions of the Pauper's cookbook too. I think we've had conversations about the bacon hotpot on more than one occasion. :D

Very forward looking in 1970.


I can still remember the pizza recipe being introduced with the words 'For those of you unfamiliar with them'. It seems a whole world away now, but then again, 50 years :shock: .

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