HOW TO ENJOY OLD RECIPES FROM SOME OLD RECIPE BOOKS…

I don’t know about you but I have been baking lots more during lockdown, but it has given me the chance to be quite choosy and really study recipes. I had boxes of old recipe books so I decided I would go through them all and try out some of my old recipes. But then you end up with a load of books around you and some recipes that need the weights changing.

So, I bought this lovely new recipe book to put my new found recipes in (see below) which is a great size. You can write down any recipes you love in it. Prompts will also help you do that easier – areas for ingredients, directions, times for preparation and cook, and it is only £6.97 from Amazon so what’s not to like about it.

As I was going through all my books I found my original GCSE Cookery Book, which fascinated me as one of my courses was a salad !!!! I guess it was all about the timing back then as you had to do a starter, main course and a sweet. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a GCSE in cooking but it definitely put me in good stead for the future. One section that made me smile was about the storage of milk – It is important to store milk carefully to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria and to prevent scouring so never leave your milk in the sunlight, keep in cool dark place, always use clean jugs, keep it covered, and boil suspected milk!

If old cookbooks once belonged to family, then the connection is particularly strong, as I remember my grandmother and mother using the same books for special meals and I have a few written out that are falling apart that were my Mums. I have stuck that together and popped it into the recipe book. I think it’s going to take me a while to sort through them all and I am sure I will need another recipe book to put them in.

I guess I have really loved baking more than anything else and I have been doing quite a bit of that for my family recently. My son and his wife only moved down to where we live in January and with Covid-19 we have not even seen the inside of the house yet. So, I decided I would bake a few things for them then at least we can see them outside there house for a few minutes standing at a safe distance of course. I have also been baking for my 18 month old granddaughter who is going through that faze of not liking many things that are put in front of her but she will always eat my muffins and my fishcakes. I know she loves cheese so I just make sure there is a lot in both of them and make her vegetable muffins and the fishcakes have sweet potato and broccoli in so she is getting her vegetables down her.

I also bought Mary Berry’s Fast Cakes : Easy Bakes in Minutes, it’s a fantastic baking book with lots of recipes that only need one bowl to work with. Mary has incorporated her ‘all-in-one’ method of preparation into as many recipes as possible, so her recipes are faster to make than ever. Nearly 100 of the bakes take only 10 minutes to make and Mary has included small bake variations for fruit cakes, which traditionally take a long time in the oven, so you can make one even when you are pushed for time.

There are scones, buns and biscuits that you can whip up for tea, traybakes and fruit loaves perfect for a school or village fete and of course foolproof cakes for every occasion from everyday recipes such as a Honey and Almond Cake to Mary’s First-Rate Chocolate Cake. Not forgetting recipes you can make with your kids from Happy Face Biscuits to Traffic Lights and Jammy Buns. Fast Cakes: Easy Bakes is available from Amazon and other good book shops from £17.39 for the Hardcover or the Kindle Edition which is the one I bought is just £7.99 and worth every penny.

VINTAGE COOKERY BOOKS…

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 and is now being reprinted !!!

HOUSEKEEPING BOOKS THROUGH THE CENTURIES…

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 wroteThe 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.

THE DAIRY BOX OF HOME COOKERY…

The Dairy Box of Home Cookery by Emily Anderson is a special anniversary edition of this book celebrating 50 years of this classic cookbook, featuring 950 classic recipes including 50 new recipes sure to become firm family favourites.

The Dairy Dairy website has lots of gift ideas around this famous book with recipes and competitions to enter. The legendary Dairy Book of Home Cookery is the perfect reference book for both novice and experienced cooks. It’s cited as one of the most trusted recipe books of all time and is revered by all those who own a copy.

It has extensive cook’s information and over 900 recipes from soups to desserts, baking to confectionery, this is the one cookbook you’ll return to time after time. This new edition contains all the favourites from the original book along with new British classics.

Its photography has been updated to create a stunning, attractive and invaluable book. Over 3 million sold! 18 chapters 900+ recipes & variations Triple-tested recipes Nutritional facts per recipe Ribbon page marker Easy-to-follow instructions Essential cooking techniques Hints & tips for success.

AFTERNOON TEA AT THE RITZ…

download

What a great gift this book would make to anyone who has been or would like to visit The Ritz for afternoon tea.

This gorgeous book is a must to have on your shelf for any lovers of afternoon tea and everything that comes with it, including some fantastic recipes to try.

The contents start with ‘Tea at the Ritz’ – is the last delicious morsel of Edwardian London. The light is kind, the cakes frivolous and the tempo calm…………..
This chapter takes you through the menu you will enjoy at the Ritz with some recipes for chocolate éclairs, strawberry tarts and puff pastry.

‘The History of Tea’ – the Chinese, of course, were drinking tea even on the misty borders of recorded time ….
This chapter explains all about tea, the democratic herb, Victorian Worthies and the Invention of afternoon tea and afternoon tea now.

‘Sandwiches and Savoury Dishes’ – afternoon tea must always start with sandwiches, you are not allowed to move on to the cakes and muffins until you have blunted your teeth of your appetite with a sandwich …
This chapter explains The Archetypal Afternoon Tea , how to make the best cucumber sandwich, and recipes for the Ritz’s special egg sandwiches, potted shrimps, scotch woodcock and English Rabbit.

‘Winter Teas’ – the English and particularly English men, find it comforting to draw the curtain on a leaden afternoon sky, turning with relief to an open fire in front of which they toast and butter some little delicacy for themselves …
This chapter has lots of recipes for toasts, cinnamon toast, crumpets, English muffins, tea cakes and drop scones as well as The Art of Buttering Crumpets and muffins!!

‘English Cakes’ – in England it is possible to have your cake and eat it without being in turn consumed by guilt …
This chapter has loads of recipes for Madeira cake, coconut cake, seed cake, marble cake, sponge cake, Victoria sandwich, brandy snaps and Fruit cake.

‘Foreign Cakes and Wicket Cakes’ – all the cakes in this chapter and culinary ’emigres’ which have succeeded in winning plain English cooks to their delectable foreign ways …
This chapter has a load of recipes including Madeline, macaroons, meringues, Florentine, brownies, Pan-forte, and Devil’s food cake.

‘High Tea’ – unlike afternoon tea, high tea is not a dainty affair …
This chapters recipes are Rock cakes, flapjacks, Eccles cakes, shortbread, Dundee cake, gingerbread husbands, Helen’s rich gingerbread and Grantham gingerbread’s.

‘Summer Teas’ – golden summer afternoons in England are now scarce and fleeting, possessing the same umbra of mythicality as unicorns…
This chapter has recipes for every type of jam your can think of, strawberry, raspberry, damson, blackberry, rose petal and the novice guide to making jam. Other recipes are for lemon curd, scones and strawberry shortcake.

‘A Directory of Teas’ – everyone should build their own hoard of teas …
This final chapter in this lovely book is a tea guide through Assam, Darjeeling, nilgiri, Ceylon, keemun, lap-sangggggg souchong, jasmine, gunpowder, lung ching, formusa oolong, early grey, lady londonderryRussiaussia caravan – many I have never heard of and finally it finishes with ‘how to brew and not to stew’.

I do hope you have enjoyed my chunks from this beautiful book….