Saturday, 15 August 2015
My First Cookery Book
When I was very young I would spend hours drooling over my mother's one and only cookery book. It was a huge black volume - Good Housekeeping's Cookery Book. I probably still have it on a bookshelf. It was mostly in black and white, with just a very few pages in colour, quite unlike modern publications, which are lavish with colour photographs, but often short on content.
I was given this Children's Cook Book when I was 8 years old. It was an interesting gift, I adored it and would spend hours poring over it, drooling. That messy spine repair should really be tidied up and I should give the book to our grandchildren, but right now I am enjoying my little excursion down Memory Lane.
The funny thing about this gift was that we were living in Hong Kong at the time and a trip to the kitchen was not often possible. It was presided over by Ah Foung, who was always smiling and happy, but she liked to cook alone, it was her kingdom.
I was occasionally allowed to wash the fruit, that was it. It had to be done properly, using some purple crystals which were sprinkled into the water. These crystals were there to ensure that we didn't succumb to some dreadful disease or other. Goodness knows what they were, or what they did to us.
So it would have been more than 3 years later before I was able to put any of this into practise...
Hold sharp knives, boil kettles, roast meat...
...do the washing up?
These days the thrill of cooking and baking has well and truly passed. However, with the annual village show looming, I have had to think about which classes to enter. A few cookery books have been consulted. A couple of items have been tried out - dismal failures - although the cake did make a great trifle and the birds enjoyed some experimental bread.
Don't worry, Dom. You definitely have nothing to fear from this quarter.