Friday, 22 November 2019

Secrets and Perception



Big Bear and his chums - nothing to do with this post, but I had forgotten this photograph was on my telephone and it is just so cute, I decided to use it.



This book arrived in the post this morning, along with a note from the bookseller, describing it as 'A rather sad specimen...'

I am thrilled with the book and delighted with the condition.   It dates from 1934 and, like all the very best recipe books, it has been used!  Surely that is the whole point of a book of recipes?    The chutney pages have splashes and marks on them, some recipes are marked with very large stars, or ticks, especially any which mention marrow. 


I assume that the woman who owned it must have had quite a few air-ship-sized ones to deal with each year - as do I, the difference being that mine are usually overlooked courgettes.

There are recipes for cures, tonics, ointments, liniments and embrocations.  Hints and tips, plus a recipe for shoemaker's paste.       '...should your fruit trees be troubled by American Blight you can sow common nasturtiums under the trees and let them climb all about them.  In 2 years time there will not be a trace of blight left'. 

Suffering from jaundice?  Remember that a handful of earth worms are fatal to it (and possibly also to the patient).    Nine young swallows alive can be compounded into an excellent ointment...doesn't say what it will cure.

It is an excellent book, thank goodness that it didn't get thrown away or burnt, as so many of these books must have done.    The condition is perfect, for my purposes.    Long may book sellers think otherwise - it means that I got my hands on this little treasure for just a few pounds.

The foreword was written by Edith Olivier, author, who was related to Laurence Olivier through her paternal grandfather, I believe.

Her style of writing is very enjoyable and I will certainly be looking out for some of the books she wrote - as long as I can find them at bargain prices, of course.



The log burner is blazing away, just as it was the other evening when I took this snap.   The cats and my granddaughter were all basking in the heat, Toby was around the far side, on the kitchen rug in front of the stove.    Double-sided stove, double the pleasure. 

No prizes for guessing what I will be doing this evening.

Have a wonderful weekend.




26 comments:

  1. Sounds like the book was written in the dark ages, where did she dig those concoctions up, sure it's not a book on witchcraft. Thankfully people don't do that nay more, least I hope not. Think you were brave buying that book

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    1. It could well have been, Billy. Glad to say it is merely notes taken from very old family cookery books and collated by W.I. members.

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  2. It's an understatement to say that that ointment would't do much to help the young swallows. What a treasure! I agree with cookbook conditions - I would not be tempted to buy one with pristine pages. I love the photograph of your granddaughter curled up by the fire.

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    1. My granddaughter is going through a phase of being a cat - they actively encourage her, purring away and making room. If anyone else were to steal 'their' rug, the claws would come out!

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  3. A lovely warm photo
    Enjoy that book hope it has some good recipes to try

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    1. It has kept me happily entertained, Sue - and as a bonus there are a couple of recipes which will definitely been tried. I am a hopeless addict with these old books, as long as I can buy them cheaply enough.

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  4. This reminded me of some of the recipes that I have. They were torn from magazines way back in the 60's and are literally falling to pieces. lol
    I got one booklet out the other day and had a job to use it, I shall have to write the recipes into my book to preserve them.
    Like you, I love this type of book.
    Briony
    x

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    1. I have my mother's old recipe book, Briony. I smile every time I flick` through it, she had her handwritten recipes, but there are also recipes on the flaps from old Trex cooking fat boxes, ripped out magazine recipes and so on. Another lovely old splashed and well-worn treasure.

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  5. I love that old book and am so glad that it wasn't binned and you got the joy of buying it to use again.

    Nine young Swallows ALIVE? Oh poor little chaps. I adore our Swallow visitors and it's so sad when they head back to Africa in September.

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    1. We had swallows nesting in the barn this year - it was sheer joy to watch the parents feeding the young ones, then watch as yet another one found it could fly! I hope you are finding your energy levels improve, BB. My 41 year old daughter suffers from asthma, she has just had another bad bout, I think they are going to have to review her meds again because it keeps on happening.

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  6. I love old cook books. My mother's and my grandmother's had so much useful information in them.

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    1. They are such mines of information, even if some of it seems out-dated and strange to our eyes today. They had to deal with everything - remarkable women.

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  7. What a wonderful find 🙂, I hope you enjoy reading it, planted in front of that flickering fire, with good company and, perhaps, a cup of something warm.
    X

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    1. Hello Crowoak - and welcome. The rug in front of the fire is being shared by my large dog and the black and white cat, at the moment, they love to heat themselves up and then go and stagger over to the cold flagstones to cool off, but don't worry, I have my armchair just over to the side, along with a cup of tea and a pile of books. Have a good weekend.

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  8. Bet you're going out into the garden to find some earthworms and a few swallows to compound. The mind boggles.
    But on the other hand you might just sit beside that fire to study your new treasure!
    Lovely cosy photo

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    1. ...while we are talking about earthworms, Linda - those creatures who were invading your house looked like earthworms on steroids. I hope you managed to get rid of them - without resorting to feeding them to jaundiced patients.

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  9. Oh dear, those poor earthworms and swallows!! Took me a few minutes to figure out what marrow and courgettes were, here marrow is the flesh inside of a bone. I don't grow squash in my garden, they just attract squash beetles so I buy from the local farmer.
    Love how you have the stove in the opening for both sides, that's clever!!
    Cheers, Sheri

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    1. Hello Sheri - very old recipe books do preface 'marrow' with 'vegetable', but not this one. I guess they were a progressive lot!
      We changed the stove out last year, cut a hole through the wall and installed the double-sided stove. It was a gamble, but it has been a real success, thank goodness.

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  10. I love the sound of that book, what a find! Hope it brings you pleasure for years to come.

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    1. Hello sustainablemum - lovely to meet you. It has been a busy old week, but I will drop by your blog to say 'hello' before too long. Have a lovely weekend.

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  11. I love your double-sided stove! I hope you find some scrumptious recipes in that lovely old book :)

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    1. Hello Ann, It is packed with so many interesting recipes and snippets of information, I am still delighted with it - thank you!

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  12. I love books like that they are hard to find now in some second hand bookshops at a price I can afford. The thought of earth worms ugh!!

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    1. I find that the best 'hunting grounds' are book sales - the fund-raising kind and, failing that, keep scouring ebay, amazon, and abebooks. Charity shops seem to prefer the pristine and modern ones, I check them out, just in case, but rarely find them there.

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Lovely to hear from you!