Sunday, 29 June 2008


As promised last time, I'm going to show you some of the loot I bought at Appleby Fair. As I said, the weather was horrible so we spent a good bit of time poking about in things we ought to have left well alone - junk stalls! There are treasures in there; you just have to look for them.

This is the sort of book I adore and this one in particular was a bargain. It's not a money-spinner - worth about £6, that's all - but a bargain because a) they only wanted £1 for it and b) there are not many of them about now. It's a slim volume published on the engagement of our present Queen to Prince Philip in 1947. I plan to send it to Keith's brother, Stewart, in Canada for his birthday in August. He may have been away 30 years but he is a royalist through and through. I blame Princess Anne myself, he shares her birthday of August 15th (not the same year of course! He may be a little bit older).

This little lot were all in a bag proclaiming "Old Cookbooks £1 each". Well I couldn't afford all that so I asked the man if I could have them for £4 - and he said YES! That doesn't usually happen to me. In fact I wouldn't normally haggle. Well, you can hardly call it that can you because he didn't quibble. When he snapped my hand off at 4 quid I wished I'd said two!!! Anyway, I digress. They are mainly from the 1930's to the 1950's but one, this one:

is from 1913. It's a compilation by the "Married Ladies of St. George's Road Primitive Methodist Church, Hull", probably for church funds. None of the recipes has much in the way of a 'how to do' method, just a list of ingredients. It's clear that Married Ladies could generally be expected to know how to do these things in those days! But it's not just food recipes. Right at the back Mrs. Kirk tells us that "a lump of sugar, put in the teapot, will prevent tea staining damask, however fine, over which it maw be spilled". What if you don't like sugar in your tea? Well tough, don't argue with Mrs. Kirk! And what does Mrs. Nowell say about floor stains? "Dissolve six pennyworth of permanganate of potash in 2 quarts of water. Apply with a brush in the usual manner. When dry, polish with beeswax and turpentine". What do we take from that? They didn't have wall to wall shag pile did they?

There's even a medical page. Here's what Mrs. Lazenby calls a "Recipe for Cholera": Tuppence worth of each - spirit of camphor, essence of capsicum, tincture of rhubarb, laudanum, essence of mint. From 15 to 30 drops to be taken in cold water or brandy. I'm not sure that I wouldn't rather take my chances with the cholera!

The very last word in the sauces section goes to Rev. J.H. Hirst. He cites the Best Sauce in the World as being "Hunger".

Apart from the facination of the old recipes, I like the ads as well. This one is from the '30s or '40's. And it was in 1932 that a 2oz block of Cadbury's Bournville chocolate cost tuppence in old money - well, as the price of something, that isn't even on the scale. When you think that an old shilling was 12 old pence, 5 new pence..........well, that dates me for a start! The Up to Date Cookery Book, edited by Elizabeth Craig around that time tells us "WIVES: the health of the family is in your hands. Choose chocolate". Y -a - a - a - y - so it's not just me then?

I shall give some of these old recipes a go as and when I can. I think I'll have to copy the pages I want because I daren't risk having those precious books on the workbench.

Away from cookbooks again, I also bought this old safety razor. It's a heavy old thing with a comb for the beard, a little box for spare blades and a leather (beautiful smell) strop. I have no idea when it dates from. On the head of the razor it does say 'Canada 1914' but that could mean anything. It was the purple velvet lining inside the lid which really caught my eye. It goes beautifully in my bathroom!

More soon,


Grammy Staffy said...

What wonderful treasures you found. I love the old cookbooks. My mom gave me an old cookbook from 1909 I think. Like your books it doesn't have exact amounts of ingredients. It says put in a handful of this and a penny's worth of that...etc. I wonder did they all have the same size hands back then and pay the same for ingredients?? Who knows?? Of course I usually adlib when it comes to recipes anyway.

Thanks for dropping by yesterday. I always enjoy your comments.

Have a great day.

StitchinByTheLake said...

What great finds! Since I'm a Methodist through and through I especially enjoyed that cookbook. Blessings, marlene

Raquel said...

I love treasures like that! We have Goodwill stores over here and it really pays to shop now and then, you find all sorts of things.

Marie said...

What a lovely bunch of treasures you got there Angie! I especially love the cookery books, but then that's no surprise is it!!!