Tuesday, 10 January 2012

History on a plate

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First published in 1965, this vintage cookery book is full of good advice and recipes, as you might expect from The Sunday Telegraph. I thought that you might like to see some of the photographs and well drawn illustrations, certainly of their time. Being of a certain age I grew up with kitchens like these, and I can’t stand them, however I do have a friend who will go gaga when she sees these illustrations – she knows who she is!stool & cook book 004

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the photos are styled in that certain way, although I do think that the egg shot is very current, almost a Jamie or Nigella shot.

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and how else would you display a trotter?

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My gran, a vary good cook, used to use an “hostess” trolley on Sundays when she would heat it up and put all of the veg into the glass bowls, sliding the lid across until it was time for lunch.

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Many Sundays were spent going out in the car to visit gardens or go to a steam fair. We used to park on the side of the road and get the table and chairs from the boot, the picnic hamper always had a flask of tea and the food was generally egg sandwiches, more hard boiled eggs (and salt) lettuce leaves and tomatoes, perhaps some porkpie and victoria sponge. If we camped at a steam fair we had a set up similar to this.

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The content of the book seems to be not only interesting but entertaining as well, I intend to read it and then report back to you, for instance a paragraph on puddings;

“No amount of sophisticated propaganda in favour of the continental habit of ending a meal with fruit and cheese will wean either the English man or English young from puddings. The popularity of ponderous puddings dates back to the Victorian era when the German influence at the Court affected appetites. Some heavy, some rich and all fattening, the pudding section of a contemporary  cook book reads like a guest list for Osborne House, Prince Albert, Queens, Baden-Baden, Saxe-Gotha, Kaiser, Savoy, Cabinet. Far more pleasing to our palates, and more suitable for modern menus are the lighter confections of the 18th century, creams, fools,ices and custards.”

Has this come full circle, do your loved ones prefer a fool over a suet pud??

Not in this house!!


  1. That book certainly does bring back some memories Tracey, very Fanny Craddock!! I also remember the hostess trolley's and picnics like the one in the picture with my grandparents when I was a child.
    Jo xx

  2. I'll have both the suet pud AND the fool please! What an interesting book. The camping scene seems to have a 'Tilley Talisman' camping kitchen like we had back in the seventies - happy memories!

  3. What a lovely book.. I love puddings but eat them rarely. Give me a good steamed pudding like a nice clootie dumpling, rather than a nice delicate sorbet.

  4. Interesting that you say the book was published in 1965, the illustrations look, to me, to be from the 70s. I was 19 in 1965 and newly re-located from Wales to Middlesex and don't recall seeing anything like that kitchen. I wonder if it was a class thing? I did, however, in the 70s own two egg coddlers as seen upsidedown to the right of the eggs in a bowl. It will be interesting to see what you show from the book.