I mentioned on here ages ago that while celebrity cookbooks have their time and place, I much prefer the old school tried and tested cook books. I also enjoy reading vintage cookbooks for their comedy value, and have recently discovered there are food blogs out there who road test vintage recipes – amazing!
Here are two vintage books I have recently acquired. The first is The Home Book (or the ‘ome’ book as mine is called – very apt, as we do not pronounce our H’s around here!) My mum gave it to me, it used to belong to my Grandad and comes complete with the gaffer tape repair he made! It has no publishing date, I believe it is from between the wars, and is more of a homemakers guide to running a household. It has some great advertisements from the time period (prize winning babies anyone!) and tells you how to organize your servants and has some wonderful simple recipes I want to try.The second book I picked up in my local Oxfam bookshop for 99p, is the 1973 edition of the American classic The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker. Now this is more of an encyclopedia than a cook book, there is so much gloriously old fashioned information in one paperback to process! Well, once I figure out the American terms for things that is! I have a set of measuring cups and know a that stick of butter is 4oz’s, but I am still not 100% sure what a broiler is? I think its a grill, but isn’t that what a toaster oven basically is? Its confusing.
The best thing this book offers me is how to boil brains and how to cook turtles. The latter recommended to be served with “Sherry, as a drink” apparently! Remember in the early nineties when everyone seemed to have a pet turtle, thanks to the teenage hero/ninja ones? And then suddenly they didn’t? Maybe this was poor little Leonardo’s et al’s fate, guzzled down with 6 tablespoons of butter and the last of the christmas sherry!
I am also inspired to as a challenge for myself, and maybe even, to become an occasional feature on here, cook some of the more random recipes from yesteryear I find in my vintage cookbooks. Its got to be worth a laugh, surely? Or it will at least be funny to me as I force Rob to eat all sorts of foodie delights! (As well as all the vegetarian food I – shock, horror – make him eat!) Mwah hah hah……