Before 1800, housekeeping books tended to be handwritten collections of recipes and instructions tried and tested by the household cook. By the 1850’s they were developed into books for ‘adult women’, in particular for your brides who were setting up home.
They were intended as work manuals, they were without lavish photography or even set in fine bindings but if you can get hold of one from a book shops they will amaze you. They tell us about the lives of the women in the past from where you can see social change and the disappearance of domestic servants.
Mrs Breton’s Book of Household Management, which was published in 1861 was a huge success and sold 60,000 copes in its first year and two million by 1868. Of course with no television at that time these books were inspirational.
By the time Helen Simpson wrote ‘The Happy Housewife‘ in 1934 modern appliances were starting to pop up everywhere, not only helping with the housework but also removing the servants of that time.
In ‘Keeping House’ with Elizabeth Craig (Collins 1936) she said ‘ I have no use for elaborately decorated or furnished homes or for elaborate meals. The simpler the home, the simpler the housekeeping.
Some of these vintage home books can now fetch a lot of money at auction. A book published in 1687 ‘The Accomplished Ladies Rich Closit of Rarities’, by John Shirley sold at Sothebys for £1,625. So, if your great aunt or grandma are still alive and have some old cookery books make sure they don’t end up at the tip.
Even the National Trust ‘Manual of Housekeeping of 2006’ sold 10,000 copies in 2006.
The Good Housekeeping Institute have written a book The Art of Good Housekeeping in 2010 which is packed with tried and tested answers to every household query, from how often you should clean your duvet, to how to maintain the exterior of your house.
Bread comes in so many different types, from bagels, ciabatta, tortillas, potato, garlic, you name it you will find one out there.
Bread is a low-fat staple food for many people and a good source of carbohydrates.
They are made with different flours including white, wholemeal or wholegrain.
Whole grains are grain foods in which all parts of the train are intact and retained during any processing.
According to wikipedia ‘ Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients’.
The Real Bread Campaign has absolutely everything you need to know about bread and more. The Real Bread Campaign are fighting for better bread in Britain. The national network brings together everyone who care about the state of bread in Britain.
It has an online guide dedicated to helping you discover places to buy ‘Real Bread‘ and bread making courses and lessons on loaf.
For me, ‘real bread‘ taste very different from processed breads and loaves and something I can never say ‘no’ to if it’s a freshly made one in a Restaurant.
It’s worth a visit to the lovely Georgian village of Easingwold to appreciate the lovely tea rooms and cafes available. The Clark’s have two to choose from, Clark’s Tea Rooms, Market Place, Easingwold, Yorkshire, YO6 3AG Tel No 01347 823143. This tea shop has all the same cakes, breads and pastries sold at their other shop ‘Clark’s Cafe’ bakery.
It’s divided into three rooms with walls adorned with local artists work and a smokers parlour at the back.The position of this tea shop in the central Market Place is perfect for a stop while shopping where you can enjoy their delicious home-made cakes and a refreshing pot of tea.
Clark’s Cafe, 195 Long Street, Easingwold, Yorkshire, YO6 3JB Tel No 01347 821285. This shop started back in 1925 when the Clark’s grandmother-in-law used to make scones and tea and sell it from the kitchen window to road repair men and cyclists.
You can see from the displays of canal-wares around the room that the owners enjoy narrow boats.
There is also a pretty garden with outside seating for the good weather months.
Everything is made on the premises with the speciality being the all day breakfast, ploughman’s lunch and the set afternoon or cream tea. This comes with a selection of sandwiches, scones with cream and cakes and tea.
I have just published my book ‘A Little Book on Tea Cake & Chocolate‘, which would make a great gift for anyone who loves tea, cake and chocolate.
This little book on tea and cake is a guide about one of our favourite beverages. It explains tea pairings, tea and chocolate, tea and health, tea and sandwiches, fascinating tea facts, buying the right tea, tea to help you sleep and tea cozies and teapots. It also features over one hundred tips on baking cakes and has some recipes for delicious loaf cakes. It finishes with several lovely tea quotes.
A great book for any tea devotee. It’s available on Amazon for £2.99
Over the last three months of spending hours after hours and days after days at the hospital, where my Dad was, I started making notes of some of my posts on tea, cake and chocolate as I felt sure I could use it in a book.
There are nineteen chapters which cover all the tea topics I have mentioned above plus tips on how to make the best cake, pastry, and more. I also cover baking apps and recipe books old and new.
I finally finished it at the weekend and it is now available to buy as a paperback and hopefully as a kindle read soon. I would love some feedback if any readers bought the book.
We are not talking about herbal teas either, but real tea: Camellia sinensis. You don’t need a large garden to grow your own tea, a planter on a balcony would work just fine.
‘You could try growing Camellia sinensis in a greenhouse, or in a pot that you can bring indoors during cold winters.
The Camellia sinensis plant is a small shrub about 1-2 meters in height, though it will grow taller if you don’t prune it. In the fall, your tea shrub will flower with small white blossoms that have a delightful scent. These plants are often grown as ornamentals. For planting, Camellia sinensis likes well-drained and sandy soil that is on the acidic side. If you are going to grow your tea in a container, add some sphagnum moss to the potting mix. You’ll need some patience, too. Your plant should be around 3 years old before you start harvesting leaves.
A great site with all the details on growing your own tea is ‘Guide to Growing Tea’, and you might be able to get seeds at your local nursery or try online at Amazon.
From that plant, you could make black, green or oolong tea. Fascinating stuff and for all us tea lovers, its another thing we can try growing in the garden.
Before icing a cake, sprinkle the top with some flour, this will stop the icing from running down over the edges of the cake.