I didn't cook this weekend! I had a bit of a junky, ping ping sort of eating regime because I was running errands etc. Rather than re-hashing a meal I'd produced on an earlier occasion I thought I would acquaint you all with two cook books that I have used repeatedly.
The above is the 2nd edition of the (to give the full title) Durham County Federation of Women's Institutes Cookery Book. The contents page is divided up into the usual meat, fish poultry etc but also has the following;-
Loaves - sweet and spicy.
Chutneys and Pickles
Scones - 10 pages!
The recipes are a collection from members of the society probably around 50+ years old or even older. The presentation is quaint and quirky at times as are some of the titles eg. Mock Crab (no seafood included), and Durham Woodcock! The latter's main ingredients seem to be eggs, capers and anchovy fillets but I smiled on reading the final sentence which I reproduce below,
'Arrange on a hot dish on a plain doyley and garnish with sprigs of parsley.'
Durham Woodcock would seem to be egg on toast garnished with anchovies and capers! The bottom line is that nothing much changes even in cookery and I sometimes feel that modern recipes are over done (no pun intended) and so I delve back fifty years every so often for a refresher.
The second book that really got me more hooked into cooking came from my daughter after she'd heard me raving about the professional chef Rachel Khoo who was featured in her own TV show charmingly entitled 'The Little Paris Kitchen'
Five or six years ago Rachel Khoo translocated to Paris to perfect her baking skills at the Cordon Bleu cookery school. She spent sometime, once qualified, plying her trade in a small culinary bookstore, La Cocotte, where she baked delicacies for the salon du the. Her vocation led her to become more creative and she tests her recipes in her apartment with a mini oven and a two gas ring hob.
It is the very last fact that attracted me to watch the show in the first place. The idea of cooking quality food with limited physical resources appealed to me. I am more fortunate in that I have a 4 ring hob and an electric fan oven but the idea that things can be done without a platoon of helpers and the latest kitchen equipment was a push to try. What more do we need?