I love cookery books, that’s why I have set up my business buying and selling cookery books and gardening books. How do we choose our cookery books though? Is it because it is written by a favourite cook or chef? It is about a specific ingredient that we love? The cover is pretty? or is it the name?
I must declare that I am swayed by an unusual cookery book or one with a quirky title. It doesn’t always work, the proof of the pudding of course is in the cooking and eating not just the title. But sometimes I find myself with some real gems that have just caught my eye and turned out to be money well spent.
One of these was ‘ Original Schwabisch The Best of Swabian Food’ by Hermine Kiehnle & Monika Graff. OK my geography is not that good and I had no idea where Swabian Food comes from but it sounded interesting. Turns out it is the original cooking of Bavaria – who knew? you probably. This great little book includes some classic foods such as Spazle, potato noodles and interesting recipes including butchers broth, elder blossom fritters and onion tart. The recipes in both Austrian and English.
Another great find was The New Wiki Wiki Kau Kau Quick Cooking recipes from Hawaii. I just had to try some of these! What a great little book! Not only does it have recipes but it has an intro on the Hawaiian language and how to make a muumuu. How about pineapple lollipops, beachboy salad or kamehameha punch?
Right now I’m on a roll. The next one is Fascinating Foods from the Deep South by Alline P. Van Duzor with illustration of Tuscaloosa University Club on the cover. The recipes are classic southern states with southern corn bread stuffing, butterscotch tart and heavenly pie. Very ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’.
Others are great because they reflect a bit of social history. Fare Ye Well with Ladies of the Realm Compiled by The Countess of Effingham is one of these. With 42 Favourite War Time Recipes , with a potted biograpy , portrait & copy signature of each of the the contributors , From Mrs Winston Churchill to Madame Gusev , wife of the Soviet Ambassador. Marvelous piece of cooking history. Also interesting because proceeds from the book were to go to ‘Comforts and Medical Supplies for the Children of Soviet Russia’ as these notable ladies felt the need to support the Russian allies during the war.
And for Strictly Come Dancing fans (that’s me) there’s Argentine Tango Cuisine by Hector Legrand – what a great name. Hector is an Argentine Tango teacher and is a mixuture of recipes from restaurants in Buenos Aires and home dishes. Includes Buseca (Immigrants soup stew), empanadas potenas ( tyree bite sized meat pies) and dulce de leche (one of my favourite foods).
So next time you are looking for another cookery book try going by the title you could end up with a little gem.