Oldest Cook Books?

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Motherwoman
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Oldest Cook Books?

Postby Motherwoman » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:18 pm

I've just been decorating in the kitchen and had all the cookery books off the shelves to paint them, shelves not books... and this morning I've been going through the books, giving them a dust and clean, before they go back. I'd forgotten I had half of them, some were my partner's mother and grandmother's, including handwritten ones.

I've got the usual old Mrs Beeton's, a Pears Cookery from the 1960's and some interesting game cookbooks from reprints in the 60's, one even has a recipe for Badger ham. Also got some leaflet books from the war including Potato Pete, they were very inventive with the potato in the war! Not sure what to make of a large piece of folder newspaper in one of the cookbooks which is an entire transcript in English of a speech Hitler gave in 1940 in a book by Theodora Fitzgibbon.

Got me thinking about all those previous hands on cookbooks, sticky marks on the marmalade recipe etc, and odd things tucked in the dust jackets.

So what's your oldest cook book and the oddest thing you ever found in one?

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Re: Oldest Cook Books?

Postby Primrose » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:03 pm

I still have the old hardback Parkinson Renown Cooker cookbook my mother acquired on her marriage in 1937 when my parents bought a new gas cooker (which she kept for nearly 40 years before replacing it with something more modern) The pages are now brown with age and use and some are sadly falling away from the cover, but I still cherish it. Tucked amongst the pages are snippets of various recipes my mum tried over the years, and in her now faded handwriting, some wartime cookery tips she picked up and obviously used during those difficult austerity years. And yes, there are all the sticky fingerprints on it too. I can't find any recipe for the famous Woolton pie though. I expect she probably carried a made-up version of it in her own head! I do recall eating what I now realise by today's standards were some rather weird concoctions in my early childhood years !

My husband is a keen amateur cook and we have a surfeit of cook books, most of which were probably just bought for a couple of recipes in them. Nowadays he transfers his favourite recipes to his iPad and uses that in the kitchen instead of the books. I keep telling him that ought to mean he can dispose of some of the cook books but he's not having that !
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Re: Oldest Cook Books?

Postby Motherwoman » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:16 pm

Hi Primrose,

I too have this longing to hang on to cook books, sometimes I just get them out for a browse. And the family memories like the muffin cookbook that my sons used to enjoy so much! At one point I was turning out a dozen muffins a day.

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Re: Oldest Cook Books?

Postby Westi » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:13 pm

I have my grandparents hand written exercise book recipes. I started re-writing them on the computer but when it died I lost the lot off the hard drive and haven't started again, but must do as the original is written in pale ink & although protected it is fading.

I have an old cookbook from South Africa with all greek recipes. I bought it at a bric-a -brac stall in the village hall. Unusual recipes that don't really seem that Greek, but it is the most un-PC book as from before apartheid, the adds are very bizarre but true to time, advertising kerosine & stuff. Clothes the people in the ads are drawn in look like probably 1950's.

I have far too many cookbooks, but am just addicted - I have to sneak them into the house as Mr Westi has to comment! :) I have 2 huge plastic boxes with lids in the garage full of them and that was after a cull when we had the new kitchen fitted, but somehow I have about another 20 that have sneaked in. Can't wait for the decorator to get better & finish the lounge so I can get the bookcase back in & release those from the box in the garage.
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Re: Oldest Cook Books?

Postby peter » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:21 pm

Sign up to the free version 9f Dropbox or I Drive or..... any other cloud storage server.

Anything you don't want to lose should be put there, protects your electronic stuff from loss or theft of laptop and against anything nasty happening to your house.
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Re: Oldest Cook Books?

Postby Westi » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:06 pm

Cheers Peter!

Got Cloud back up now, but it was an old cheap computer & was a while ago when I thought Cloud was indeed a fluffy thing in the sky! :) Just need to find the time now to start again, but I will as haven't tried the sponge with a dozen egg whites beaten separately that won my Grandfather best jam sponge in the town show, much to the distain of the ladies I might add!
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Re: Oldest Cook Books?

Postby Anny365 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:39 pm

I have very large cookbook) My grandmother started it many years ago, then my mother wrote recipes there, and now it`s mine 8)
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Re: Oldest Cook Books?

Postby Westi » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:53 pm

Anny365! Welcome to the forum!

The greatest thing about these books is we have a link to the people that wrote them! I recall loads of memories just seeing the handwriting!
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Re: Oldest Cook Books?

Postby Colin2016 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:25 pm

Just replaced “Cookery in Colour by Marguerite Patten” believe it is from 1960s any way defiantly last century as one of the recipes says cut thickness of a penny.
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Re: Oldest Cook Books?

Postby Primrose » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:39 pm

Slightly diverting but still on the topic of old recipes and methods of cooking, did anybody watch the last episode of BBC2 "Back in Time" programme where a family were reliving life in the 1940s? I was intrigued by the method of cooking all courses for a meal in the same saucepan (It wasn't a pressure cooker). It looked an absolute nightmare to coordinate. Maybe economic in the use of fuel in wartime but not surprised it never caught on !
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