Friday 9 May 2014

Recipe Books

With the internet full of resources for every recipe you could imagine, who needs cook books these days?

Me!  I am an avid reader of fiction with the odd splash of non-fiction (usually food or history or both!) but cook books really have a place in my heart.

With the internet so full of new, imaginative and sometimes amazing recipes it's hard to go back to the hard copies and print.  I admit that I get a lot of inspiration from on-line,  but occasionally I like to go back in time...

We have a lot of books.  A LOT.  We had to buy more shelves when we moved house a year and a half ago.  Our friends weren't too happy helping us move because of the heavy boxes filled with books.

Imagine my delight when I found a cupboard in the kitchen that my food books fit perfectly in.  Even better than that, they fit above my scales and other baking supplies!

Some of my favourites from this cupboard are:

Cooking for Dummies - my mum gave me this when I first lived on my own.  It's great book that tells you how to cut things, cook things and generally make tasty food if you're not that experienced.

When I decided that university and degree life wasn't for me when I was 16-ish I then proceeded to quit High School, spend a summer getting a tattoo and going to the first Virgin festival (Supergrass, Pulp, etc).  Cooking was not something I had even thought about!  When I got my own place my mum gave me this book...  I had a sink, a fridge and a microwave so there was not a lot of cooking going on.  I love the book though and still have it.

How lovely is what she wrote that back in '96?!

Exploring China: A Culinary Adventure - Ken Hom and Chinge-He Huang visit all corners of China to bring us recipes for street food and home cooking.  A great companion to their programme!  I love watching them visit the street food stalls and trying all sorts of weird and wonderful dishes.

Gordon Ramsay - Makes it Easy - I bought this because I love watching Gordon Ramsay prepare food, tell people off and also (surprisingly) keep things simple!  There are some great recipes that don't take too much effort, money or time.

Around the World in 100 Dishes - beautiful pictures and a quick trip around the world with the "classic" foods from each country.  It's all about the writing with this book - history, background, culture...

Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook - not specifically a cook book but has so many excellent tips for all areas of the house from cleaning to organising to everything you need to make your house lovely.  Again my mum and my sister stepped in to make a normal book something special...this time in the year I turned 30 (which seems a long time ago now that I just turned 35...)

I have a few more books in there but can I share with you my most important and favourite cook book?

My mum and sister put this together...

It's nothing fancy but a lot of love was put into it.  There are clippings of my favourite things and my favourite recipes.  My mum printed out recipes from her friends, my sister wrote her favourite recipes down.  There are also a lot of blank pages that I can use to write down my own recipes as well.

Do you have a favourite cook book?  How about a home made one filled with handwritten recipes?


  1. I love and live by Delia's Complete How to Cook. I have the hardback edition of all 3 books combined.
    Fie xx
    Coffee & Confetti

  2. Fie - I remember Delia sitting on my mum's book case - the "classic" recipe one with a black background. You can't make Yorkshire puds without Delia! x

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