Charity shops are ALWAYS a great source for cook books of all types. Some of my favourites (and my most obscure) have come from these dens of pleasure, and this time of year, post the Christmas gift-glut, they really are an Aladdin’s Cave!
Here are some of my favourite finds recently:
Maura Laverty’s Cookery Book (1946). Now, I really want to find out more about this incredibly feisty lady! She has such a modern turn of phrase that you really would think she was a noughties writer. I believe that she was a governess in Spain in the 1920’s and wrote several novels and plays as well as cookery books. A real Renaissance woman!
Ismail Merchant’s Indian Cuisine. Gosh, how I wish I could have been there when he cooked up a feast in a tiny kitchen for Ingrid Bergman! What marvellous dinner parties he threw! Another inspiration for me to cook more Indian food this year.
Good Food From Farthinghoe by Nicola Cox (signed, no less!). This book is FANTASTIC. My mother-in-law has a copy; I’d been coveting it when — lo and behold! — I found it in Oxfam! Huzzah! I used her method of baking ham for one of my Christmas do’s, and — my God — it was amazing, adapted from Apicius, the Roman scholar and cook.
And The Daily Telegraph Cook’s Book by ‘Bon Viveur’ (aka Fanny & Johnnie Craddock). Hilarious! Great illustrations and pithy pearls of wisdom… and my new favourite word ‘fiddlefaddle’. And of course — wonderful, no nonsense recipes.
Off to Thailand tomorrow, all in the name of research, so will video-post and blog from there.