An exciting present!


A very kind friend was thinking of me as she went through a collection of books… yes, I know I’m getting rid of things I don’t want, but I do want these! Aren’t they marvellous, just exactly my sort of thing! There is another book which my husband has adopted, called something like ‘A World of Beer’or ‘Beers of the World’.

  • Home Baked by George and Cecilia Scurfield – this was first published in 1959; George was an author, poet, and politician, born in 1920 and dying at the age of seventy-one. His wife, Cecilia, née Hopkins, came from Cambridge, as my family did… maybe they knew each other! The little book is delightfully illustrated by Nora Kay. One of my hobby-horses is the illusion that there was no decent cooking in Britain in the 1950’s, no-one knew how to cook, no-one had any imagination whatsoever etc… just looking at the index, the Scurfields include brioche, challah, Chelsea buns, coulibiac, pannettone, pizza, rye bread, Sally Lunns and traditional wigs (English spice buns)
  • Hungarian Cookery Book by Károly Gundel – published about fifty years ago, as well as recipes and helpful photos, it contains a wonderful and very interesting introduction which includes a history of Hungarian food and cuisine and I’m really looking forward to trying some of these recipes!
  • Traditional Recipes from Scotland – a selection of ‘Morning Call’ recipes by Janet Murray, broadcast on the BBC Scottish Home Service on Wednesdays… it was published in 1964 and has thirty-six recipes for delicious sounding things such as mealie bannocks, slim scones or slappies, a cake without a name, potted heid, something savoury and memory jams and jellies. it is a delightful book, with little stories and comments from the people who listened to Mrs Murray’s radio programme… I think I’m going to be doing some cooking from it before long!
  • World of Herbs recipes, remedies and decorative ideas, as seen on TV by Lesley Bremness; it contains useful addresses for products, and then chapters on herb seeds, herb leaves, herb flowers, roots and bulbs with herbal properties and essential oils – last of all is a handy list of suggested further reading. Just opening at random, I find marsh mallow han cream, chapped skin soother, ivy cellulite cream and sweet myrtle furniture wax… useful!
  • The Happy Housewife by Ruth Drew… I think Mrs Drew needs a whole post to herself, but this book was published in 1964 and has everything you might need to know about looking after a home, and also Ruth’;s recipes too!
  • Summer Cooking by Elizabeth David… Mrs David needs no introduction, I’m sure, illustrated by Adrian Daintry –
  • The Anglice Café Cookery Book by Mary A. Feilden; in her preface, Mrs Feilden writes “I have been approached so often by Doctors, Heath Officers, Educators, Pupils and Friends, that I have been urged to compile this book, and I have not the slightest doubt that it will be a very great help to the very many who need its aid… May I mention that since the year 1918 I have conducted Cookery Schools in most of the large towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire, my students at one time numbered over 2,000 per week. I have also given demonstrations in the culinary art throughout the British Empire…”

Thank you very much, Isabel!


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