Sunday, 25 May 2008

Cookbooks

















I have quite a large collection of cookbooks. I love them just to read, though the large ones are a bit difficult in bed - your arm freezes! I know there are people with much larger collections than mine but I bet they too have their favourites: the few books they always find themselves reaching for.





I'm not a great fan of celebrity chefs, except for Delia Smith. Readers of my other blog, which I no longer do, will know that Delia is my guru! I have most of her books and I have yet to find a recipe of hers that is not absolutely correct. If she says 'cook for 7 minutes' then just do it. An absolute beginner can make incredible dishes just by following her instructions to the letter. My favourite book of hers, though, is the 'Book of Cakes'. You can see from the picture above (which was supposed to be below!) that this is a well-used book. Its pages are yellowed, curled and stained. Its back cover has fallen off. All the pages are there but not necessarily in the right order! And yet this book holds a cake for every occasion. In fact many of its pages actually contain blobs of cakes for every occasion!




But I do have one book which is even more precious to me because from it I learnt the most basic rudiments of cooking. I learnt how to cook breakfast. I learnt how to recognise different cuts of meat and what to do with them. And I learnt how to make a Victoria Sponge and Fruit Scones. With those two skills under your belt (so to speak) you can produce an impressive tea table of all sorts of goodies. It's Marguerite Patten's Step-by-Step Cookery. Sorry, the pictures are 'up there' again. It's the first cookbook I ever had and was a gift about 40 years ago. I must confess to wondering at the time 'What has she given me a cookbook for?', pretty much what a 17-year-old these days would think. But I was soon hooked and to this day I use her scones recipe, though I no longer have to look in the book. I did for years though (my memory!) so those pages also contain blobs of almost every scone I ever made. The dog goes mad when that book comes out because there's always the chance of a squashed currant falling out. To prove it works, just look at those scones straight from the oven the other day!






Apart from Mrs. Patten's book, which is too big, the books I use all the time live in my kitchen cupboard alongside the Church magazine, washing machine instructions - for Keith, you understand - and money off coupons. The picture of the other books, though I'm going to add it now, will also appear at the top, I fear. Where am I going wrong? That old McDougall's one - I don't know where that came from! It's ancient though, as you can tell from its condition and it's priced at 6d. That's 6 OLD pence, about 2½p in today's money. Hands up anyone who can think of something you can buy for 2½p now?
Now then - PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE WITH SUGAR, TREACLE, HONEY AND MAPLE SYRUP, WITH FLUTTERING EYELASHES AND MY UNDYING ADORATION............please can someone tell me how to make my photos appear where I want them and not in a glob at the top.




5 comments:

Raquel said...

Angie: I have quite a large collection of cookbooks myself. Like you, I have several stained favorites. I can read them like novels. Those scones look delightful and so does that Victoria Sponge. I love teatime treats! As for the pictures, are you using photobucket? That is what I use and as I go, I just copy and paste the Html code. Example:

Blah, blah, blah . . .

Html code

Blah, blah, blah . . .

Not sure if that is helpful, maybe for a good laugh! Much love, XO Raquel

Sandra said...

Hi Angie,

Your food always looks delicious and I`m sure even without your collection of books you can teach some of the cookery writers a thing or two. Your cakes always make my mouth water....so near and yet so far away...lol!

Love Sandra xxxx

Sandra said...

Hi Angie,

Your food always looks delicious and I`m sure even without your collection of books you can teach some of the cookery writers a thing or two. Your cakes always make my mouth water....so near and yet so far away...lol!

Love Sandra xxxx

Marie said...

You know I am a cookbook lover myself Angie, and I covet yours! I do have the BeRo one, but the others. I just love oldies and goodies. Those scones by the way look fab. As far as adding the photos where you want them. I just write all my narrative. When I have that the way I want it then I click on the edit HTML tag at the top and then I just copy the html code for every photo that I want to use into the space I want to put it in. Quite easy if you use a photo storage program like Photo Bucket.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I've fallen in love with your blog - you've made me smile reading your posts. I'll be adding it to "my favorites." Pictures: when you download one on your blog if you click where it says "none" instead of left or right or whatever else it says, then the picture will appear at the top of the page. Then click on the picture and drageit over to the right side where the arrows are and then down to where you want it. I haven't yet figured out when you do that how to get it anywhere but on the left and you write above or below it. It absolutely will not let me write to the right of it unless I've downloaded it on the left from the beginning. It's the blogger elf - he's a bit nasty I think.