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Saturday, September 04, 2010

Our favourite cookery books

I love looking at cookery books although I don't often cook from them. I tend to follow recipes only from magazines or cookery cards. Funny that. Anyway, a newspaper columnist recounted yesterday how she has been having a clear out and a lot of cookery books were binned or given away. She found herself keeping the Nigella books but getting rid of Gordon Ramsay and Antonio Carlucci.

Marguerite Patten
My "keepers" would also nclude some of Nigella's books: I love Feast and Christmas with her gorgeous Ebay collected reindeer crockery. I'd also keep two really old, and food spattered (always a good sign) books that I used a lot years ago. One is "The Dairy Cookery Collection," which was a book sold by the milkman (!) and the other is Marguerite Patten's Everyday Cookbook. Marguerite is still seen on TV occasionally. I think she's marvellous. She was a home economist during the war and advised how to make recipes from food rations. Gary Rhodes has developed recipes with her help.

I have a couple of Delia Smith's and I would keep those. If in doubt, look it up in Delia.

I would get rid of my Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls, my one Gordon Ramsay amd my Claudia Roden. The latter looks beautiful but I'm never going to try the recipes.  I don't have any books by Julia Child or Elizabeth David, which a lot of chefs use as benchmarks.

It's ironic perhaps that the cookery books most of us love are by cooks, not chefs, who give us unpretentious recipes that deliver good results. Which books would you keep and which would you get rid of?


Daph said...

One of my essentials is the original River Cafe cookery book always guarantees good results

Jillsy said...

Hi Gail! As time goes on, I find myself using less cookbooks but instead going online to and OR I just improvise and create something myself. I also get sucked into watching cooking shows on TV like Giada de Laurentis and Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa).

Thanks for stopping by my place and saying hi! Nice to meet you!