Sovay still trying to cook ALL the books in 2019


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Sovay still trying to cook ALL the books in 2019

Editado: Jun 5, 2019, 2:55 am

I set out to cook a new recipe from every book in my collection in 2012, and am still less than halfway (partly because quite a few of the books I have cooked a new recipe from have now gone and more books have arrived) - anyway I'm hoping that starting this thread will spur me on.

Editado: Jun 5, 2019, 1:18 am

Modern Cookery for Private Families by Eliza Acton

The problem with this book (first published 1845) is that so many of the recipes require either Veal Gravy of one kind or another (which I do not intend to make), or Harvey's Sauce which is no longer available, and as one of my self-imposed conditions is to cook each new recipe by the book (with no substitutions or variations except where suggested in the recipe) this limited my options. I eventually decided on Salmon Pudding and enjoyed the result, which was a kind of homely timbale. It would have been prettier if I'd used white breadcrumbs instead of wholemeal (the recipe didn't specify) but it tasted fine.

Having cooked one recipe by the book, I substituted vegetable stock for the "pale veal gravy" in an accompanying White Cucumber Sauce, which was disappointingly bland - I suspect the original tasted mainly of pale veal gravy. I should have ignored Miss Acton in this instance and left the peel on the cucumber since that's where all the flavour is. I added some dill and a dash of lemon juice to perk it up.

I've also made Yorkshire Ploughman's Salad from this book - lettuce and onion dressed with black treacle, vinegar and pepper. I wouldn't serve it with eg prawns, but with ham it actually works rather well.

I was surprised to note how often cayenne is used as a seasoning in this book - almost as routinely as salt and pepper.

Editado: Jun 5, 2019, 3:01 am

The Cuisine of the Rose by Mireille Johnston

I made Viande aux Baies (Meat with Berries) - more specifically, Lapin aux Mures (Rabbit with Blackberries) since it was another great blackberry year last year and I still have a few berries in the freezer and a last jar of blackberry jelly in the cupboard.

Result was delicious though a bit sweet for my taste - I would add a bit less of the jelly next time. Would also have been pretty easy if I hadn't chosen rabbit - I haven't cooked one for a while and had forgotten about all the fiddly little bones. Mine was a wild rabbit so probably ended up less tender than it should been, though full of flavour. Pork should work with this sauce, I think better than the chicken and turkey which were the alternative suggestions in the book.

I sieved the sauce as per the recipe - would probably use the blender next time. The pieces of bacon did not go through the sieve and are clearly meant to season the sauce without forming part of the final dish, but they still had plenty of flavour so I saved them, made stock with the rabbit bones, and will be cooking rabbit-and-bacon-flavoured braised lentils for tea tonight.

Jun 5, 2019, 5:33 pm

I love the goal you have set yourself. Thank you for sharing the results with us. Your resolve to cook by the book, so to speak, is honorable. I frequently don't know whether the recipe is at fault, or my shortcuts with steps and ingredients. :)

Jun 5, 2019, 6:44 pm

>4 MrsLee: I love when I read the comments on web recipes and they say they substituted seven out of the ten ingredients plus used a different technique but it didn't turn out well so the recipe must be bad.

Jun 6, 2019, 2:00 am

>3 Sovay: Rabbit and bacon flavoured lentils—sounds delish!

Editado: Jun 6, 2019, 11:36 am

>4 MrsLee: It does sometimes backfire on me - as when I made Poulet au Vinaigre from Patricia Wells's Paris Cookbook. I suspected early on that the amount of vinegar was wrong, but I pressed on ... had to add a lot of extra stock and tomato passata at the end to tone it down.

Jun 6, 2019, 3:18 am

>6 haydninvienna: It was! Worth boning the rabbit for.

Jun 6, 2019, 4:48 am

I have some hare in the freezer, but I think I would rather not bone it.

We used to eat a lot of rabbit when we lived in Geneva, but it's too expensive here for anything but special occasions.

Jun 6, 2019, 4:53 am

>9 MarthaJeanne: Crikey. In the 1930s in country Australia rabbit was poverty food —“underground mutton”. To the end of his days my father in law refused to eat rabbit. He was born in country Queensland in 1920, and lived through the Depression on rabbit.

Jun 6, 2019, 4:54 am

>9 MarthaJeanne: There's an awful pun hiding in your freezer!

Jun 7, 2019, 2:59 am

>9 MarthaJeanne: It's kind of middling in England - cheaper than lamb, more expensive than free-range chicken - but not often available away from rural areas. My mother remembers it being a great treat when she was a small child in the 1930s - they had farm-labouring uncles and cousins who managed to "acquire" one for them from time to time, no questions asked ...

Editado: Jun 10, 2019, 3:02 am

Mrs Beeton's Cookery Book by Mrs Beeton

My great grandmother was given this book by her father on her 21st birthday, when she was a maid-of-all-work with aspirations to become a cook. I'm not sure how much help it would have been - there weren't many recipes that caught the eye and the one I tried (Hodge Podge - a beef and vegetable soup with beer) - turned out very bland. No sign of Eliza Acton's cayenne and Harvey's sauce, no herbs, no seasoning other than salt and pepper.

Having tried a helping as it came, I added a couple of stock cubes and quite a lot of Worcester sauce and mustard to the rest, which I'll be having for lunch through the week.

Rather a waste of good beer.

I'm retiring the book from my shelves; I feel no desire to cook anything else from it and it's in terrible condition - Great Grandmother clearly got a lot of use out of it, dull as it is - so it will be better off in a storage box with other family bits and pieces.

Jun 10, 2019, 5:32 am

>13 Sovay: Bravo! My feelings entirely! I can't help wondering how much of the British reputation for dreadful cooking is correctly placed at her door.

Jun 10, 2019, 7:53 am

>14 hfglen: The nineteenth century certainly seems to be when it all went seriously downhill and the mere mention of garlic became anathema - whether this was the fault of Mrs B. or whether she was just going along with an existing trend, I'm not sure. She's not personally responsible for the dullness of this particular book, as she was long dead by the time it was published (1903).

The only point of interest is that there is a brief chapter on vegetarianism, which comments on the fact that British food is too dependent on meat and this may not be healthy. A number of recipes for meat-free and, I suspect, taste-free stodge follow.

Jun 10, 2019, 8:12 am

>14 hfglen: >15 Sovay: I remember a comment by Elizabeth David (or somebody like that) to the effect that she had started investigating the English cooking of the 18th century after reflecting that the sort of people who were eating off fine Wedgwood dinnerware and sitting on Chippendale furniture were unlikely to be eating muck. Of course a lot of things went downhill after the excesses of the Regency--we got democracy (of a kind), but had to eat vegetables, boiled to pulp, with white sauce. Wonder why we couldn't have had both democracy and decent food?

" 'Ere, there isn't any garlic in this magic potion, is there?" (Asterix the Gaul, somewhere).

Jun 10, 2019, 10:12 am

I read a short story yesterday which was set in the 1400s England, in an abby. The priest was addicted to eggs served with an onion sauce. Have you ever come across a recipe like that in your older books?

Jun 10, 2019, 11:21 am

>17 MrsLee: Looked in To the King's Taste, and found only a recipe for herbed omelet. Stere htt well has a recipe for egges in broth, that doesn't use onyons at all. You could also try googling Forme of Cury, which is somewhat earlier than your abbott -- about 1387, from the kitchens of Richard II.

Jun 11, 2019, 9:45 am

Found this, which seems perfectly readable to me, especially when you know that þ is a symbol for "th"

Pikkyll pour le Mallard.
Take oynons, and hewe hem small, and fry hem in fressh grece, and caste hem into a potte. And fressh broth of beef, Wyne, & powder of peper, canel, and dropping of the mallard. And lete hem boile togidur awhile; And take hit fro þe fyre, and caste thereto mustard a litul, And pouder of ginger, And lete hit boile no more, and salt hit, And serue hit forthe with þe Mallard.

Jun 12, 2019, 3:07 am

>17 MrsLee: The earliest recipe for eggs in onion sauce I have is much later - around 1782 - collected in A Heritage of British Cooking by Maggie Black; though in fact I wouldn't call it an onion sauce as such. It's sliced fried onions and sliced hard-boiled eggs with melted butter, vinegar and mustard. Logically Britain ought to have a heritage of delicious vegetarian dishes, in view of both the wealth of many religious orders and the restrictions on their use of meat and poultry, but they certainly didn't survive to 1903.

Jun 12, 2019, 3:10 am

>19 MrsLee: I'm a bit concerned about "dropping of the mallard", and hoping they mean dripping not droppings ...

Jun 12, 2019, 3:13 am

>20 Sovay: But the orders and their wealth didn't survive Henry VIII.

Jun 12, 2019, 3:23 am

>16 haydninvienna: There is a theory that social mobility was to blame at least in part - the rising middle classes were hoping to mingle more with their "betters" but were terrified that their breath might offend, hence the disappearance of garlic and, to a large extent, onions - Eliza Acton is quite nervous about onions even in 1845.

Jun 12, 2019, 3:31 am

>22 MarthaJeanne: True, and the Reformation probably affected eating patterns generally - too much avoidance of meat might have been regarded as a sign of adherence to Roman Catholic doctrines, which could have been literally a matter of life and death.

Jun 12, 2019, 3:52 am

>23 Sovay: Fair point, although considering the standards of dental hygiene of the time, garlic might have been the least of the causes of halitosis. There does seem to have been a prejudice against garlic though: I vaguely remember (but can't give a source for) one English Grand Tourist's astonishment that in Naples ladies of quality ate "garlick"! Maybe also garlic was "French" and anti-Napoleonic feeling was involved somewhere?

Jun 13, 2019, 10:13 am

>21 Sovay: LOL! I had that thought as well. I will be using the "drippings" interpretation, regardless of the original intent. The author of the article assures as well that it is drippings from roasting the mallard. :)

Jun 21, 2019, 8:05 am

Leon Naturally Fast Food by Henry Dimbleby

I made Quick Bean and Lettuce Stew. I have to admit I saw this mainly as a potential way of using up the lettuce I buy because I think it's good for me but don't really want to eat. However it turned out really well, and was indeed quick as billed. I made the non-veggie version with bacon, and intend to try the veggie version with olives as well; possibly adding a sprinkling of feta cheese on my own initiative. It does need lettuce that tastes of something - there'd be no point making it with iceberg lettuce - and it could also accommodate other salad ingredients such as spring onions or radishes.

I had a garlic and coriander naan with it, but other bread or pasta would also be good.

Editado: Jun 21, 2019, 8:23 am

50 Great Curries of Thailand by Vatcharin Bhumichitr

I made Black Pepper Chicken Curry - carefully selected because I find authentic Thai food usually has too much chilli for me (which I deal with by cutting the curry paste down to about half). This recipe specifies a fairly small quantity of curry paste supplemented with other spices, including a lot of pepper but no extra chilli, and it was excellent - I may well try it with pork next time.

Jun 21, 2019, 9:46 am

>28 Sovay: That sounds remarkably delicious. Also sounds like a recipe I should ask for a copy of (if I may), with the idea of trying it myself some time soon.

Jun 22, 2019, 4:24 pm

>29 hfglen: You should indeed give it a try - you will need to start with:

225ml coconut cream
2tbs black peppercorns, crushed
2tbs root ginger, grated or ground to a paste
2tbs garlic, ditto
1/2 tsp salt
2tbs coriander stems, finely chopped (I seem to remember you don't like coriander - basil should work instead)
2tbs lime juice

Mix all these together in a non-metallic bowl and add:

900g diced chicken breast

Stir well to coat all the chicken pieces, then marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.

For the curry you will need:

3tbs oil
1 large onion, chopped,
1tbs Green Curry Paste
1 large tomato, chopped
225ml water
2bbs fish sauce
1tsp sugar

Heat the oil, fry the onion until golden brown (about 3 mins), stir in the curry paste and tomato and cook gently for about 2 mins, then add the chicken with its marinade and the water, fish sauce and sugar. Simmer gently for about 20 mins .

Jun 23, 2019, 4:18 am

>30 Sovay: Thank you! I look forward to giving that a whirl.

Editado: Jun 23, 2019, 4:52 am

Copying a recipe is a copyright violation unless you have permission by the copyright holder to do so. While a paper copy to a friend may not be a real problem, doing so in an open interner forum is.

The Terms of Service say

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Jun 23, 2019, 10:33 pm

>32 MarthaJeanne: To some extent recipes cannot be copyrighted. The list of ingredients is uncopyrightable. What is copyrighted is the instructions. So if you express it in your own words, you're not violating copyright.

Jun 25, 2019, 7:40 am

>32 MarthaJeanne: ,>33 PhaedraB: Definitely my own words, but thanks for the reminder.

Jun 26, 2019, 2:56 am

The Hairy Dieters Go Veggie by Si King and Dave Myers

I made Red Kidney Bean and Green Bean Curry - result was very good and my only issue was that the green beans ended up not just al dente but seriously crunchy, which is not how I like them. Easily remedied - next time I would give them 15, maybe 20 minutes cooking instead of 5 minutes as in the recipe.

This recipe includes ground fenugreek which is a spice I hardly ever use, not because I dislike the taste but because the smell seems to hang around for days. In this case it didn't and I was looking again at the recipe to see if I could identify a reason when it occurred to me to check the fenugreek jar, which provided the explanation - "Best Before" date was April 2014.

Jun 26, 2019, 6:04 am

Oops! One could worry that fenugreek that old was vulnerable to attack by fungi, one in particular being a nasty customer.

Editado: Jun 26, 2019, 7:05 am

>36 hfglen: Not good news - jar is already in the bin however and hopefully all will be well ...

Jun 26, 2019, 7:34 am

Usually if there were a fungi in there the powder would not just be caked, but visibly held together by the fungus.

Jun 26, 2019, 12:16 pm

>38 MarthaJeanne: Thanks, that's reassuring as the powder was unmistakably powdery.

Editado: Jul 8, 2019, 1:49 pm

The Cooking of Burgundy and the Lyonnais by Anne Willan

I made Ragout de Porc aux Poireaux and it was delicious; all it needs as accompaniment is a couple of steamed new potatoes as it includes generous quantities of leeks and tomatoes. The only thing I would change is to put the garlic in for a brief saute after the pork has browned - if it goes in at the same time as the pork it's hard to stop it from catching.

Monsieur Milbert (one of the two main characters in The Cook and the Gardener) makes a cameo appearance in this recipe as a producer of leeks of monstrous size.

Jul 8, 2019, 4:13 pm

Going Solo in the Kitchen by Jane Doerfer

I made a cobbler, using damson compote from the freezer. I enjoyed the result though it came out slightly on the dry side, which surprised me as my initial fear was that the compote had too much juice and might swamp the biscuit element. Directions were to bake it in a hot oven and as the compote wasn't fully covered by the dough, I suspect quite a bit of the juice evaporated. It also didn't seem to be rising, but when I took it out of the oven and decanted it into a dish it turned out to have expanded downwards!

I've made a note of the weights of flour and shortening for future reference, since measuring by volume does not come naturally to me except for liquids.

Editado: Mar 7, 2021, 6:59 am

Food Without Fuss:200 New Recipes by Josephine Terry and They Can't Ration These by Vicomte de Mauduit: two World War Two books with one stone, as it were.

I have six books of recipes from this era, all of which (not surprisingly) include some pretty unappealing dishes, but Food Without Fuss definitely wins the wooden spoon with Maryland Crusts, which consists of cold boiled Brussels sprouts on cold toast coated with cold sauce made from flour, milk and water, salt and pepper and "as much cheese as you can spare" which I suspect for most people would have been not very much cheese at all. How Maryland comes into this is not explained.

I did NOT make Maryland Crusts ...

What I did make (from the very short list of recipes that sounded reasonably edible) was Mock Game Ragout, which is a stew of any kind of meat scraps, very well browned then simmered with onion, leek and carrot, salt and pepper and water, with black pudding added at the last to bulk it out. I used pork scraps trimmed from an over-large pork chop - 60g which is a little over 2 oz - it's hard now to work out what the meat ration would have been in 1944 (when the book was published) because fresh meat was rationed by price rather than weight. The result was not bad at all despite the absence of stock and other flavourings.

From They Can't Ration These, I made Haricot Bean Plaisir. This is a kind of pie crust, made with sieved haricot beans and mashed potato, a little finely chopped fried onion and a little beaten egg. Without the egg I could probably have rolled it out; as soon as the egg was added it became very soft and difficult to manage and I had to put it into the pie tin in lumps and press it into shape. I brushed it with beaten egg as directed, which made it brown far too quickly; it also puffed up a bit. A lining of greaseproof paper and some baking beans would have been worth trying, to be removed and the eggwash added later in the baking time. It made a surprisingly firm container for the ragout considering that it didn't really dry out; the inner and outer surfaces got crisp but the interior stayed quite soft.

The only other recipe I'm seriously considering trying from Food Without Fuss is Peanut Butter Pastry. Options from They Can't Ration These are also fairly limited because it focuses mainly on shooting, foraging and generally acquiring food from the wild, and I don't plan to start trapping squirrels or collecting lapwing eggs. It includes quite a long section on "Grass as a Food".

Set 25, 2019, 3:18 am

Hog: Proper Pork Recipes from the Snout to the Squeak by Richard H. Turner

I made West African Peanut Stew and it was delicious - better on day 2 as so often with spiced dishes - but very rich what with the sweet potato and peanut butter (type unspecified in the recipe - I used crunchy because that's what was in the cupboard, but smooth would be better).

I compromised my by-the-book policy in a couple of respects, viz. I didn't use curry powder (I've never found one I like) and I didn't make the Master Pork Broth (which requires a number of outlying pig parts I'd have to order specially). Instead I used the assortment of individual spices I always use when curry powder is called for, and vegetable stock with a dash of soy sauce and a little bag of the extra spices that flavour the Master Broth (clove, cinnamon, fennel and star anise).

I would definitely make this again but probably in the slow cooker; the lid of my casserole dish doesn't fit nearly as well as it should so I had to keep topping up with water when cooking the dish in the oven. I would also add chilli in some form, as suggested in the preamble.

Mar 16, 2020, 7:33 pm

Evita's Kossie Sikelela by Evita Bezuidenhout

Seeking a glimmer of kindly light amid the current encircling gloom, I turned to this book and enjoyed both the interesting artwork and the excellent recipe for Lamb with Chickpeas. I couldn't work out how much a "stick of ginger" should be so went with "quite a lot of ginger", which seemed to work fine.

Mar 16, 2020, 7:52 pm

Another fan of ginger here. Can't go wrong with ginger.

Mar 16, 2020, 9:40 pm

>44 Sovay: I like your definition. Love ginger.

Mar 17, 2020, 8:20 am

>44 Sovay: I'm impressed by your choice of book!

Mar 18, 2020, 1:15 am

>47 hfglen: I have to thank you for the recommendation! Much of the humour will be going straight over my head, but it's still an entertaining book and based on the lamb with chickpeas, the recipes are sound; I have a list of a couple of dozen I'd like to try.

Can you offer any enlightenment re: the stick of ginger?

Mar 18, 2020, 1:30 am

Curries and Bugles by Jennifer Brennan

I made Parsee Patia, a prawn dish with fairly simple spicing and tamarind - I love tamarind but I do wish it didn't turn everything the colour of mud. Flavour was delicious though a bit too much chilli for me - next time I'll keep the fresh chillies but leave out the cayenne.

I made one minor change to the method - the recipe involves cooking the sauce, simmering the prawns in it briefly then leaving them to sit for half an hour absorbing the flavours before re-heating and serving, but I'm not too happy doing that with seafood so instead I cooked and cooled the sauce, stirred in the raw prawns and marinated them in the fridge for a couple of hours before bringing it back to simmering point to cook them through.

Mar 18, 2020, 3:06 am

>48 Sovay: Not much. I presume s/he (you do know don't you that "Evita Bezuidenhout" is actually the entertainer Pieter-Dirk Uys in drag) means a bit of fresh ginger root that looks about right, whatever that means. I'd guess a centimetre or two.

Abr 5, 2020, 3:00 am

The Nero Wolfe Cookbook by Rex Stout

This feels a lot like fiddling while Rome burns; nevertheless some kind of life must go on, so ...

I made Kidneys Mountain Style as I had some kidneys in the deep freeze - they were delicious, though the recipe is not that different from other French-style kidney dishes I've made so strictly speaking I shouldn't be counting it. The Caramelled Dumplings that Nero Wolfe had with the kidneys would have been more of a departure, but the combination didn't appeal - I might have made them without the caramel sauce but that wouldn't fulfill the by-the-book requirement.

I'm not sure that lamb kidneys need the preliminary soaking - I don't usually bother (pig kidneys are a different matter).

>50 hfglen: I was aware that Evita is South Africa's answer to Dame Edna Everage! Rather more down-to-earth though, based on his/her cookbook - I'm not sure I'd want to embark on a recipe recommended by Dame Edna.

Abr 5, 2020, 3:02 am

>50 hfglen: >51 Sovay: As far as I know, gladioli aren't edible.

Abr 5, 2020, 3:23 am

Arabesque: a Taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon by Claudia Roden

There are a ridiculous number of recipes in this book that I want to try, but at present I'm focusing on using the older items in my deep freeze so they don't go to waste and that turned out to include some stewing lamb. I also had a couple of pears starting to go soft at the stalk end, so I made Tagine bil Bouawid aka Lamb with Shallots and Pears.

The tagine itself is very simple - browned lamb spiced with pepper, ground ginger, cinnamon and rather a lot of saffron (which makes it quite an expensive dish) and simmered in water with onion - but the result is definitely greater that the sum of its parts. This tagine, with minor variations in the spices, is the basis for several dishes with different additions and accompaniments (eg apricots, almonds, quinces) - in this case, shallots peeled and browned separately then simmered in the tagine until very soft, and pears quartered and browned in butter. The pears were better with the dish than I expected though I still prefer apricots, fresh or dried, with lamb.

Abr 5, 2020, 3:30 am

>52 haydninvienna: The flowers are, apparently! According to they don't have much flavour but make a pretty garnish and can be stuffed like courgette flowers.

Editado: Abr 5, 2020, 5:37 am

>53 Sovay: Her cookbooks all make you want to head to the kitchen. I don't have that one - just six others. But maybe I need this one, too.

Editado: Abr 5, 2020, 10:24 am

>54 Sovay: When eating flowers, remember that florists' flowers have probably been sprayed with various substances that aren't good to eat.

A lot of garden flowers make nice garnishes, but check first. And be very careful if you have multiple allergies.

Abr 5, 2020, 3:03 pm

The Nero Wolfe Cookbook by Rex Stout

I'm in awe--I doubt I could cook eggs the way Fritz does them. I love reading about Nero's food but most of the dishes sound super difficult to me.

Abr 5, 2020, 5:11 pm

>51 Sovay: I have that one. Haven't cooked much from it though. >57 LolaWalser: The eggs are delicious, but as Wolfe predicted, few have an hour to devote to scrambled eggs.

I used a combination of the recipe in here, my grandmother's, and one from another cookbook to come up with a chicken and dumplings I would serve to Wolfe any day. Although I would rather feed Archie. ;)

Abr 5, 2020, 6:56 pm

>55 MarthaJeanne: Claudia Roden's one of my favourites, and I certainly recommend Arabesque.

>56 MarthaJeanne: Edible flowers appeal to me much more as an idea than a reality, so I don't envisage ever buying flowers to eat. The only ones I use are elderflowers (from lanes alongside pastoral land) and nasturtiums from my mother's garden (guaranteed unsprayed - she's not an interventionist gardener - she plants the seeds and if they grow, they grow ...).

Abr 5, 2020, 7:17 pm

>57 LolaWalser: There are some complex recipes but quite a few are straightforward, including the kidneys (well ... apart from the whole coring business, which does take time). I haven't attempted the scrambled eggs, though.

>58 MrsLee: I have the Methodist Chicken Fricassee on my list of recipes to try; also Corn Cakes, which seem to feature in practically every book.

Abr 5, 2020, 10:07 pm

>58 MrsLee:, >60 Sovay:

I have the Rex Stout cookbook but it's firmly in my "for the literary association" category--I will follow with great interest your realisations of the recipes, though.

edible flowers

I did buy them a few times, once upon a time! When I lived in NYC there was an excellent grocery down the block, Elie's Vinegar Factory, that carried them. Only in small amounts, pre-packed (not sure about the exact price now, maybe 6-7 dollars for 4-5 flowers? Sort of expensive but doable as an occasional extravagance). I remember using them to decorate pasta dishes when I had guests. Nasturtiums (yes I think) and marigolds (definitely, have a picture somewhere) and something violet or dark blue but not violets.

Abr 6, 2020, 2:20 am

I use my lavender a fair amount in season, also my rosa gallica. Pot marigold as well, Nasturtiums, both leaves and flowers get added to salads. >59 Sovay: I'm with your mother on that. plants that need lots of fiddling don't do it for me.

Anyone who wants to plant weird edibles should read James Wong.

Abr 6, 2020, 6:51 am

>52 haydninvienna: It depends. Gladioli might not be edible or even tasty to us, but baboons eat them readily.

Editado: Abr 7, 2020, 2:25 am

>61 LolaWalser:, >62 MarthaJeanne: I have used marigolds in the past as a salad garnish, and they're a traditional addition to some cheeses for both colour and flavour. I'm a bit scared of lavender (which my mother grows) as it's such a strong scent/flavour and I suspect easy to overdo, though I have enjoyed sables au lavande in Southern France.

Violet and rose are probably the only flower flavours most people in Britain regard as "normal" these days - generally in the form of fondant centres for chocolates and very recently as flavourings for gin - but I'm sure Compton Mackenzie mentions in one of his essays that when he was young (late 19th and early 20th century) wallflower-flavoured chocolates were just as common.

Abr 6, 2020, 5:21 pm

Ah, nasturtiums... It brings back memories of plucking a few nice wide leaves, and making a sandwich, using the nasturtium leaves in place of lettuce. I don't think I could eat a nasturtium flower, though, because they're so lovely. My mother grew nasturtiums for the double gift as well (beauty, and food).

I used to love wild mustard, but have not seen it in many years.

Abr 7, 2020, 2:35 am

The Jane Austen Cookbook by Maggie Black

Continuing the literary theme. I made Buttered Prawns - prawns in a sauce of prawn stock and white wine, flavoured with cayenne and nutmeg, thickened with beurre manie and served on toast. Quick and simple and tasted good, though I'm generally not that keen on things on toast. The sauce came out thinner than I expected.

This is an interesting book historically but there aren't many recipes I plan to try - I chose this one because I had some prawns to use up.

>65 Lyndatrue: I don't mind picking nasturtium flowers to eat because they grow so profusely. I've always meant to try pickling some buds - they're supposed to substitute for capers but I would expect them to have a flavour all their own.

Abr 10, 2020, 4:37 am

Ken Hom's Quick Wok by Ken Hom

I found some notes of new dishes I cooked late last year and didn't get round to adding to this thread, starting with this book from which I made Pork with Cucumber, which was excellent. I love cooked cucumber but few people seem to share my enthusiasm, and I'm not sure why.

The recipe calls for minced pork but I've also tried it with thinly sliced pork, and I think it would work with chicken too.

I don't cook much Chinese food, at least not from recipes - I tend to do a big throw-everything-in mixed stir-fry which is a bit of an insult to a great cuisine - which means that the Chinese sauces and seasonings I have tend to go to waste, to my great annoyance as they're often not cheap. In particular I wish there were tiny bottles of sesame oil and oyster sauce. Maybe the answer is just to have a Chinese Cooking Month and cook nothing else until I've used everything up.

Abr 10, 2020, 4:55 am

Five: 150 Effortless Ways to Eat 5 Fruit and Veg a Day by Rachel de Thample

Passed on to me by a work colleague who bought it thinking it was a vegetarian cookbook, which it isn't (and a cursory glance through would have made this clear). I use it quite a bit when I have a fridge full of veg and inspiration fails.

I made Summer Bean and Tomato Curry - simple spicing and a lovely fresh flavour from the cherry tomatoes. I hate tomato skin in cooked dishes so peeled mine although the recipe didn't specify this. There's a recipe for Cumin Chana Dosa as a suggested accompaniment which I'd meant to make as well but found I had no gram flour.

I plan to try it with fish instead of chicken (as suggested by the author) and with the dosa.

Abr 10, 2020, 5:00 am

A Soup for Every Day by New Covent Garden Soup Company

I made Minestra, and shouldn't really be counting it as my new recipe from this book since it is just a simplified minestrone, which I've made in many forms over the years. It was pretty good and used up the tin of baked beans I'd bought by mistake, but I doubt I'll make it again.

Abr 10, 2020, 5:07 am

Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson

I made Chicken Cosima (lightly spiced and simmered with chickpeas and sweet potatoes) and would make it again - straightforward, reasonably economical, tastes good, keeps well for a few days, freezes well.

Oddly, considering that Nigella is a huge chilli addict, it contains no chilli; I am not a huge chilli addict but think chilli would be an improvement.

Abr 13, 2020, 6:57 am

Roman Cookery: Recipes and History by Jane Renfrew

Ancient Rome, not modern Rome. I made Prawn Rissoles and Puree of Lettuce Leaves with Onions.

Many of the recipes in this book illustrate the Romans' apparently notorious tendency to throw every herb they could lay their hands on into every dish, but the prawn rissoles are very plain - cooked prawns beaten in a mortar with pepper and fish sauce, bound with egg, formed into cakes and rolled in flour before frying. They were actually rather good but would have been improved by the addition of parsley, fennel or dill.

I couldn't quite manage the lettuce dish by the book as I have no lovage, but as far as I can tell it's a kind of wild celery so I pounded some celery leaves along with the pepper, celery seed and dried mint and oregano. This with grated onion, oil and fish sauce makes a seasoning for the lettuce which is blanched and finely chopped ("puree" is a misnomer). The seasoning has to be simmered for 30 minutes which is not ideal because there's not much of it - I had to stand over it and add a splash of water at frequent intervals to prevent burning. The finished dish looked a bit khaki but tasted fine - I would make it again to go with fish or chicken.

The book is a little English Heritage production, more historical background than workable recipes, though there are a couple more I may try.

Abr 14, 2020, 6:23 pm

Quick and Easy Cookbook in Colour by Marguerite Patten

My first cookery book - I bought it from the Bring and Buy Stall at the village gala when I was about 8, attracted by the striking black-and-white cover. I can't now remember which recipes I tried back then but am pretty sure they didn't include Chicken with Walnuts, which is what I made today.

The result was pleasant enough though bearing only a passing resemblance to real Chinese food (no garlic, no ginger). It's a quick and easy way to use up leftover chicken and half a pepper, however, so I may make it again but would definitely add the garlic and ginger and probably replace the water chestnuts with an alternative vegetable that actually tastes of something.

Abr 14, 2020, 9:56 pm

I like the water chestnuts for the crunch and a sense of freshness they add, but yeah, not much going on in the taste department there.

You inspired me to look for my Peanuts (as in the comic strip) cookbook--quick and easy is just about what I can manage these days...

Abr 15, 2020, 2:22 am

I could only get sliced water chestnuts, so there wasn't even that much crunch!

Abr 19, 2020, 4:16 pm

A Dales Countryside Cookbook by Janet Rawlins

Autographed by the author in green ink (my old boss always maintained that use of green ink was a sign of madness, though no indication of that here). An enjoyable book focused mainly on Wensleydale and Swaledale, with many interesting historical recipes from the Roman Occupation through to the 1930s, as well as more modern recipes.

I made Wensleydale Mushrooms, in a sauce flavoured with bacon, mustard and Wensleydale cheese, topped with more cheese and browned under the grill. Very good though quite rich - I wouldn't want a lot of it - I ate it with wholemeal bread and a green salad, and in fact one could spread it on toast, top with the cheese and brown in a Welsh rabbit style.

Abr 19, 2020, 4:24 pm

Wensleydale cheese


Who knows if we'll ever meet again... it disappeared from the stores here last month.

Abr 20, 2020, 6:32 am

Wensleydale cheese
Indissolubly linked in my mind with Wallace and Gromit! But I second >76 LolaWalser:

Abr 20, 2020, 10:34 am

Heh, yes, W & G was the gateway to the Wensleydale habit for me! Wensleydale + W & G cartoons are special tea occasions. Were. *DOUBLE HEAVY SIGH*

Abr 20, 2020, 11:04 am

You can make your own. Of course it does take three months to mature, and we can hope that by then you can buy it again.

Abr 20, 2020, 3:34 pm

>76 LolaWalser: I live within comfortable day-tripping distance of Wensleydale and would normally be planning a visit to the source of the cheese (ie the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes) with my mum around now. Maybe next year ...

I hope your supply resumes soon, for your sake and theirs!

Abr 21, 2020, 5:54 am

... Chicken with Walnuts

If you think that's bad, how about this suggestion, from A Kitchen Goes to War - use Marmite instead of soy sauce.

I have to admit to never having attempted any of the recipes, though I have been wondering about Woolton Pie recently.

Editado: Abr 21, 2020, 7:43 am

>81 sarahemmm: I've eaten much worse in my quest to cook by-the-book from my small selection of wartime books, though there are lot of recipes I really can't face - see my message no 42 above, re: Food Without Fuss: 200 New Recipes and a Few Thoughts - the recipe for Maryland Crusts is pretty much the nadir of wartime cookery.

I don't have A Kitchen Goes to War though it's on my list of books to look for; I do have Food Facts for the Kitchen Front and have made Woolton Pie using the recipe as given there. I can't say I recommend it in that form - very bland and grey-looking and the potato pastry was not a success as a pie cover (tough and strangely rubbery) though with the addition of mustard and a microscopic quantity of cheese the offcuts made surprising acceptable cheese straws (eaten hot - I suspect they would have been less good cold). However there seem to have been a lot of Woolton Pie variations at the time and I've made a couple within the bounds of rationing that were actually quite pleasant. Topping with mashed potato rather than pastry certainly helps, as does the addition of just enough bacon or strong Cheddar to boost the flavour. Also, plenty of parsley!

Abr 23, 2020, 7:26 am

Marvellous Meals with Mince by Josceline Dimbleby

I've had a lot of use out of this book over the years, which paradoxically has made it hard to identify a new recipe I want to cook (I have the same problem with a couple of books by Nigel Slater). Having converted my milk lake into a paneer hillock I made Indian Spiced Meatballs stuffed with curd cheese. They were OK but a bit on the tough side (as is usually the case with meatballs bound with egg rather than breadcrumbs) and the paneer didn't really add anything in terms of flavour or texture - though the latter was my fault to some extent as I left it to drain longer than I meant to, so it ended up a bit firmer than it should have been for this recipe.

Plenty of good recipes in this book however - I'm particularly fond of the Atlas Mountain Soup.

Editado: Abr 26, 2020, 12:42 pm

Lots that I should be doing in my house and garden, and I have spent today doing none of it. Instead I have been checking my books and cross-referencing with my card index and find I am more than halfway to my goal!

144 books cooked from (not counting the 27 new recipes I cooked from books which have since moved on) and only 110 to go.

Abr 25, 2020, 11:09 am

Very impressive! What favourites have emerged at this milestone?

Editado: Abr 27, 2020, 2:31 am

>85 LolaWalser: My favourite Indian cookery writer turns out to be Anjum Anand - I have three of her books and had no problem finding new recipes I wanted to try in any of them (including my now favourite Indian recipe, Tamarind Duck).

Ditto Claudia Roden - long lists of new recipes to try from her books, especially Arabesque.

And also, unexpectedly, Samarkand: Recipes and Stories from Central Asia and the Caucasus by Caroline Eden - food from Central Asia which is not one of the world's more celebrated cuisines, but I've tried a dozen or so recipes and enjoyed all of them.

Incidentally my figures need amending - I've picked out 7 books to move on (when the charity shops reopen and they have somewhere to go) but found 4 more in a pile of books waiting to be added on Librarything, plus I have another on the way from Waterstones - so that makes 108 still to go.

Touchstones not working ...

Abr 26, 2020, 1:17 pm

A Soup for Every Day by New Covent Garden Soup Company

I've decided I can't really count the Minestra as per message 69 above, so made Black Bean, Carrot and Jalapeno Soup, which sounds pretty interesting. The result, however, is very reminiscent of old-school 1970s vegetarianism - thick, brown, wholesome and on the bland side. Perfectly pleasant - I had some for lunch, and will be having more for lunch every day this week - and a useful repository for a bag of turtle beans getting close to their eat-by date. The recipe included a generous quantity of sherry but it was imperceptible in the finished soup - next time (if there is a next time) I'd probably omit the sherry and use vegetable stock. It would also have benefited from the juice of a lime if I'd had one - fortunately I do have lime pickle, and I pureed and added a couple of tablespoonfuls which gave the whole thing a bit more kick.

Abr 27, 2020, 5:54 pm

Classic Cheese Cookery by Peter Graham

I made Fried Cheesecakes - little cheesy pancakes with lemon zest. I had serious consistency issues - my "batter" ended up almost solid enough to roll out. Tried adding a little egg white (the recipe specifies yolk only), overdid it slightly and went a little too runny. Considered adding more flour, decided this could go on all night and went with the slightly runny batter.

The resulting pancakes were thinner than they should have been but very light and extremely cheesy, in spite of which the lemon zest had quite an impact. I liked them but am not sure what role they would play in my life - not substantial enough for a meal, too much trouble for a snack ...

Abr 29, 2020, 2:29 am

The Country Housewife's Book by Lucy H. Yates

I have this for historical reasons, not as a working cookbook - it mainly deals with bottling, drying and general preserving - but it does have a few recipes for other things so I decided to make Stuffed Cabbage. It's one of those vague recipes - suggests ingredients and methods but no quantities or times. I parboiled my cabbage whole, cut it in half and hollowed out the centre, filled it with bacon, onion, oats and shredded cabbage bound with egg, and put it back together, at which point I should have enclosed it in a net, but as I don't have one I had to tie it together with string. I then simmered it in stock until done.

It was OK. I used porridge oats and they gave a nice texture to the stuffing (much better than breadcrumbs) but didn't readily absorb the egg, which started to run out as I was tying the cabbage shut, so the stuffing didn't really hold together well. It cooked through faster than I expected (though it was a small cabbage) and tasted pleasant but unspectacular. If I make it again I would probably finish the cooking in a covered dish in the oven, with a lot less stock or maybe a tomato sauce.

The whole cabbage did look good though - I seldom stuff cabbage and when I do it's usually as individual leaves. However I have to say my favourite "stuffed cabbage" recipe is the Lazy Stuffed Cabbage in Samarkand (see message 36 above) which involves no actual stuffing at all.

Maio 2, 2020, 6:50 pm

The Hairy Dieters Make It Easy by Si King and Dave Myers

I made Salmon and Broccoli Traybake and it was indeed easy, tasted good and I felt it was doing me good. It benefits from a squeeze of lemon. The only issue is that though the roasted broccoli is delicious, its smell tends to linger.

Editado: Maio 19, 2020, 5:02 am

A Kitchen Goes to War

Librarything member sarahemmm kindly passed on her copy of this book to me, and in honour of VE day I have made Dutch Onion Crisps which is a gratin of onions and peas in a white sauce, with a topping of breadcrumbs and finely chopped walnuts.

I enjoyed it and may well make it again, with some modification. As far as I could tell the onions were supposed to remain whole throughout but a whole boiled onion is a slippery beast and not easy to eat - I would halve or even slice thickly next time. I might also add a rasher of bacon - though this recipe is less in need of the extra flavour than many wartime dishes I've tried - and a layer of crumbled feta cheese between the onion and pea layers would also work.

This is a book of recipes contributed by the famous people of the time (1940) and I was pleased to find I'd heard of a reasonable proportion of them. The Dutch Onion Crisps were recommended by Rebecca West, author of a number of novels I've enjoyed and Black Lamb and Grey Falcon of which I've yet to get past page 20 (of 1150 in my edition).

Maio 14, 2020, 2:44 am

Lateral Cooking by Niki Segnit

I made Fesanjan - poultry (in this case duck legs) in a pomegranate and walnut sauce. I have various versions of this recipe in different books and have always liked the sound of it, never got round to trying it but as I'd got the walnuts in for the Dutch Onion Crisps and a couple of duck legs in the deep freeze, this seemed a good opportunity.

It tasted great but is not a pretty dish - sauce is a kind of lumpy mud-brown slurry ("mud" being a bit of a euphemism here). I made it in advance with a view to chilling it overnight so that I could lift off the excess fat, but did try the sauce on the day of making - it was nice, but definitely better after a day in the fridge and better still after two days.

I shall make it again, probably with chicken - the duck was a bit rich even after the removal of the fat - and will probably omit the cinnamon and saffron, neither of which added anything perceptible. I checked a couple of the other recipes, and neither included these spices. I would also leave out the honey as for my taste the pomegranate molasses adds enough sweetness.

Editado: Maio 14, 2020, 1:33 pm

I'm amazed you found something that sounds so edible in A Kitchen Goes to War! (I think the thought of using dilute Marmite as a replacement for soy sauce was the final anathema for me.)

Persian cooking does appeal, though perhaps more faff than I am prepared to give.

Maio 14, 2020, 3:14 pm

>93 sarahemmm: My shortlist of possible recipes from A Kitchen Goes to War was VERY short! Though you can tell it was published early in the war - there is mention of butter, eggs, and even cream. I really struggled to find something I was prepared to eat in Food Without Fuss (published in 1944) which recommends substitutes for pretty much everything.

The Fesanjan was pretty straightforward - the walnuts had to be toasted and ground but then it was just a question of browning the duck legs, softening the onion, chucking everything else in and putting it in the oven until done.

Maio 18, 2020, 6:42 am

Food with the Famous by Jane Grigson

I made Pea Soup from the Jane Austen section - the summer version with fresh (aka frozen) peas (there is also a winter version with dried peas and root vegetables). It was excellent; the peas are supported by onion, cucumber and lettuce (and optional spinach, which I didn't have), water (not stock) and quite a lot of butter, plus parsley and mint and a hint of cayenne, which made a perceptible difference without making the soup in any way hot or "spicy". I shall definitely make this again.

Maio 18, 2020, 6:57 am

I may try that since you recommend it. Otherwise I really ought to weed that one out myself. I probably bought it back in the seventies. Whoops, published 1981. Make that eighties. But I'm not sure I ever cooked from it. I really enjoy reading Grigson, though.

Maio 18, 2020, 11:33 am

>96 MarthaJeanne: I like Jane Grigson, but I too am more likely to read the books than cook from them these days - I used to use Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book a lot but then it was superceded in my affections by Nigel Slater's Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch. I think I've had about 3 copies of Food with the Famous - I buy it, don't cook from it, move it on ... then I find another copy in a second-hand shop and think "that looks interesting" and buy it again ...

Maio 18, 2020, 11:50 am

>97 Sovay: I think I'm still on my first copy, and I also used to use her Fruit Book a lot, but yes. Now that we have Tender and a few other recent books, hers aren't as needed.

Maio 19, 2020, 4:52 am

Turkish Delights by John Gregory-Smith

I made Ali Nazik - sauteed minced lamb on a bed of aubergine and yoghurt puree, drizzled with paprika butter. I liked it a lot - the lamb was quite chewy but that was fine - though it needs flatbreads to scoop it up, for which there are (oddly) no recipes given.

I've enjoyed everything I've cooked from this book but do have one issue with it, which is that the author introduces many of the recipes as his version of the traditional dish - when it comes to international and historical cuisine I'd always rather be given the original recipe before being offered adaptations and variations.

Maio 24, 2020, 3:50 am

Cooking in Spain by Janet Mendel

I made two dishes - Corvina en Salsa de Alcaparras and Patatas a lo Pobre aka Meagre in Caper Sauce and Poor Man's Potatoes. I didn't in fact use meagre (a fish I've never encountered, as far as I know) but the recipe notes say any bland fish is appropriate; my bland fish was coley.

The caper sauce is made in a mortar, using roasted almonds and garlic, onion, oil and the cooking juices from the fish (baked with white wine) as well as the capers, and it did wonders for the coley; my only issue was that there wasn't much in the way of cooking juices from the fish and I had to add a little water to make it a sauce rather than a paste. Next time, more wine with the fish.

The potatoes were also good - thinly sliced and layered in a baking dish with onion and green pepper, seasoned with bay, garlic and parsley - though they needed rather more than the recommended cooking time of 30 minutes; I ended up giving them nearly 50. The recipe said nothing about uncovering them to crisp up the top layer, so I didn't, but I would next time.

Editado: Maio 24, 2020, 11:10 am

>100 Sovay:

Oo, I like the sound of those potatoes. It's funny, I rarely buy them but every once in a while I get the yen... I think it's the "green pepper" here that did the trick.

Sounds like it may be an idea to boil them before slicing. I've also taken to broiling stuff--I might do this with the broiler on.

P.S.: when you say "top layer"--does this mean you stacked potato slices? Like in a moussaka? Alternating with the vegs? I picture spreading all in a single layer.

Maio 25, 2020, 10:53 am

>99 Sovay: Ali Nazik sounds good! I've never tried charring aubergines, but this sounds yum, and just the sort of thing we like, so I'll give it a go (I found the recipe online at

Maio 26, 2020, 7:12 am

>101 LolaWalser: The potato recipe wasn't specific about how to arrange the various components - I made 5 layers (potato; pepper & onion with seasoning; potato; pepper &c; and potato on top) but you could just as well mix everything up. If you plan to try it, par-boiling the potatoes might well be worthwhile - and I didn't mention that the dish also includes white wine and water (50/50 and not a great deal of either), olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika over the top.

>102 sarahemmm: I have to admit that I baked my aubergine rather than charring it (my kitchen is very small and fills with smoke at the drop of a hat).

Maio 26, 2020, 3:17 pm

>103 Sovay: You make a habit of dropping hats in your kitchen? Sounds hazardous ...

Maio 27, 2020, 8:29 am

>104 hfglen: In winter, yes (well I wouldn't call it a habit exactly but it does happen). I enter my house through the kitchen and have been known to drop my hat on the ceramic hob which is right next to the door. So far the hob has never been on ...

Jun 7, 2020, 4:58 pm

Dinners for Beginners by Rachel and Margaret Ryan

This is a book first published in 1934, aimed primarily at people who can no longer afford to employ a cook, and as the title suggests it provides not just individual recipes but complete menus, generally for a main course and a couple of accompanying vegetable dishes, plus a pudding. In the spirit of my mission statement I felt I should cook a full menu - there weren't too many I fancied in their entirety but I eventually chose Autumn Menu no. 4: Sausages and Kidneys a la Turbigo; Mashed Potatoes; Savoury Leeks; and Orange Caramel.

This is not the sort of meal I would normally cook for myself and it was a bit of a performance (and used every saucepan I have, some of them twice). However I did enjoy the result. The sausages and kidneys are sauteed with mushrooms, then cooked in the oven for half an hour in a tomato sauce; they tasted fine but the kidneys were on the tough side, which was not unexpected as they really need either much faster or much slower cooking. I may well make the dish again but if so I shall simply add the tomato sauce to the saute pan and simmer for a couple of minutes. A dash of cayenne wouldn't hurt either. The leeks are braised with onion, tomatoes and herbs - very straightforward and can be left to their own devices. The Orange Caramel requires four separate components - orange segments, an orange syrup, crushed caramel and whipped cream flavoured with some of the orange syrup - but all can be made in advance and assembled just before serving and the result was delicious.

I don't expect to make frequent use of this book but it's an interesting read - it assumes no cooking experience at all and so provides a blow-by-blow description of every process, plus a detailed timetable and shopping list (with cost of all ingredients). One drawback when trying to follow the recipes is that quantities aren't always clear - the Savoury Leeks, for example, requires one bundle of leeks, and the Orange Caramel fourpence-worth of cream, and I have no idea how many leeks were in a bundle or how much cream one got for fourpence in 1934.

Persephone Books have produced a reprint but mine is an original copy, presented in 1938 to Hermione Green (at the Brixton Central School) for Good Progress, according to the plate in the front.

Jun 8, 2020, 4:43 am

>106 Sovay: One can't help wondering what became of Hermione Green. Did she ever use the book?

Editado: Mar 6, 2021, 2:09 pm

I should really rename this thread, or start a new one for the new year. Not going to though - title is a reminder of how long this mission is taking me. Though for many months past I have been in supermarket microwavable shepherd's pie mode, so not surprising that there hasn't been much progress ...

Mar 6, 2021, 7:17 pm

That is an ambitious goal!

Mar 7, 2021, 7:33 am

Hugh's Three Good Things on a Plate by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

I made Black Pudding, Bacon and Sprouts. The black pudding and bacon are simply fried; the point of the recipe is the sprouts, which are boiled and mixed with sauteed shallot and garlic, then processed to a rough puree with a little cream. Result is excellent - all part of Hugh's campaign to get everyone eating more sprouts, and I am coming round to his way of thinking after a lifetime of sprout aversion.

Mar 7, 2021, 7:55 am

Hibiscus by Lope Ariyo

I made Roast Grapefruit and Turmeric Chicken - whole chicken marinated in grapefruit juice, vinegar, oil, honey, chilli and herbs, then sprinkled with turmeric, sugar, ginger and carob and roasted on a bed of peeled and sliced grapefruit. I liked it a lot and will make it again, though with a few adjustments. The main one is that I shan't roast a whole chicken - it was awkward to marinate and more importantly, when I carved it the turmeric (of which there is a lot) went EVERYWHERE. So next time, chicken thighs. I'll probably skip the carob which is not a favourite spice of mine, so I don't normally have it on hand. Also, the dry spices sprinkled over before roasting stayed a bit dry and powdery, which didn't look that good - I'll probably blend them with just enough oil to make them spreadable.

I had Nigerian Roast Veg with the chicken, which was good, as was the Coconut Fried Rice which I tried a week or two ago. It's an interesting book though quite a few ingredients aren't available in my area, which will limit the use I can make of it. I was already aware that chilli was a big feature of Nigerian food, but didn't realise they used so much thyme.

Mar 7, 2021, 9:42 am

>110 Sovay: I had to look up what black pudding wonder I did not know, it is banned in the U.S. However, the idea of regular sausage, bacon, and sprouts (is that brussel?) does not sound bad, if one liked sausage.

Chicken and grapefruit--I can't imagine the combo, but I will take your word for it!

Mar 7, 2021, 11:03 am

Black pudding tastes very different from regular sausage. I like both the British and Austrian varieties, but the French is quite differently spiced, and I never took to it.

Mar 7, 2021, 11:58 am

>111 Sovay:

If it's not a bother, would you tell the recipe for the Nigerian roast veg?

Mar 8, 2021, 4:26 pm

>114 LolaWalser: I can't transcribe the recipe (copyright) but can give you an outline - and it's very much like other roast veg recipes in that you toss your veg with some oil (coconut oil in this case), season (salt, cayenne and thyme), spread it out on a roasting tray in a single layer and stick it in the oven!

The recommended veg is red onions and large tomatoes (quartered), okra (halved lengthways), red and green peppers (thickly sliced), garden eggs (relatives of the aubergine/eggplant), plantain and Puna yam. I didn't have the yam or garden eggs (I substituted potato and thickly-sliced aubergine), the okra (courgettes, cut in half across then quartered lengthwise) or the plantain (didn't consider a substitute for that).

You will need two roasting trays - the first one for the yam/potato (cut in large chunks and parboiled for 5 minutes) and the onions. Toss with coconut oil, salt and cayenne, cover with foil and roast at 200 degrees C for 25 mins whilst you prepare the remaining veg, which goes in tray 2 with more oil, salt and cayenne plus the thyme. After 25 minutes, remove the foil from tray 1, put it back in the oven along with tray 2, and roast for 20-25 mins. Halfway through this you should stir and turn the veg in tray 2.

I would probably have seasoned the veg with a dash of lemon juice at the end if it hadn't been accompanying the grapefruit chicken, the sauce of which provided all the sharp citrusiness required.

Mar 8, 2021, 4:33 pm

>112 Tess_W: I had an idea that black pudding was outlawed in the US! Many British people would tell you you're not missing anything ...

I would happily eat the creamed Brussels sprouts with sausages, or with pork in any form.

Mar 8, 2021, 5:03 pm

Paris Bistro Cookery by Alexander Watt

A guide to the author's favourite Parisian bistros, c. 1960, with two or three recipes from each. I made Poularde Portuguaise, a dish from Chez Josephine, 117 Rue du Cherche-Midi - a quick Google reveals that they're still in business at the same address and getting decent reviews, though I couldn't see this dish on their current menu.

Nice and simple - chicken joints browned in a little butter and oil, then baked, with sliced onion and green pepper, halved mushrooms and tomatoes, green olives and crushed garlic added for the final 10 minutes. The tin is deglazed at the last with white wine and a little cream, and the dish served with rice. The only change I would make would be to add the green pepper a bit earlier - after 10 minutes in the oven it was still quite crunchy.

The previous owner of this book has annotated quite a few of the recipes in handwriting disconcertingly similar to my own. They tried this recipe and liked it - it's marked "V. good - excellent". They also attempted Cotelettes de Vollaille Sobko, and, I suspect, regretted it - the extensive annotations seem to indicate that they realised quite early on that they had bitten off more than they could chew. The instruction to fold the stuffed paper-thin chicken escalopes into the shape of miniature legs of lamb was evidently the last straw and is annotated simply "Why???"

Mar 8, 2021, 7:39 pm

>115 Sovay:

Thanks! That sounds great. Not sure about getting those "garden eggs" but I think I can actually procure okra and plantain...

The instruction to fold the stuffed paper-thin chicken escalopes into the shape of miniature legs of lamb was evidently the last straw and is annotated simply "Why???"

SO funny! Because Art, I'd say. :)

Mar 9, 2021, 6:56 am

>118 LolaWalser: It wouldn't be so bad if there had been any indication that all the trouble had been worthwhile, but the final comment is "Took all afternoon. Poulet a la Normande is much quicker and just as good!"

Mar 10, 2021, 11:33 pm

>119 Sovay: lol, I have been known to write similar notes on recipes. More so as I get older and have less patience with fuss.

Mar 13, 2021, 6:03 am

>120 MrsLee: I took one look at the recipe when making my shortlist and passed swiftly on!

Mar 13, 2021, 6:24 am

The Kitchen Diaries III by Nigel Slater

I made Lamb with Beer and Shallots. I order a lamb shank sometimes when eating out, but this is the first one I've cooked myself, partly because they're expensive (though less so than when they were THE fashionable cut a few years ago) and partly because they tend to be an awkward size for me - more than I want at one sitting but not enough left over to make another meal. When eating out there's usually someone else in the party ready to step in and ensure no waste ...

Anyway I chose this recipe because I found a small lamb shank in the reduced-price "eat now" section of the supermarket and knew I had an odd bottle of beer in the cupboard. I liked it - the lamb came out beautifully tender - but have concluded that beer suits beef better than lamb, and next time (if there is one) I'll probably go with Nigel's similar recipe using red wine. I decided the parsnip mash wasn't an intrinsic element of the recipe and skipped it in favour of broccoli and pea mash with mint and lemon.

The beer I used - Golden Fleece from the Dent Brewery - was excellent in its own right, as is their Aviator.

Mar 21, 2021, 7:32 am

The Book of Latin American Cooking by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz

I made a completely green meal - Pollo Verde Almendrado and Calabacitas Poblanas aka Chicken in Green Almond Sauce and Courgettes in Green Pepper Sauce - both recipes from Mexico.

The chicken was delicious - simply poached in stock which is then used in a sauce of onion and garlic, herbs, green chillies and lettuce with ground almonds. My only issue was that the sauce separates - the almonds don't bind it and there's no starch element - so next time I might add a little cornflour just to hold it together, and maybe a hint of lemon or lime juice. Also, important to keep the chicken as hot as possible whilst making the sauce, so that the sauce doesn't have to simmer too long (and lose the fresh flavours of the herbs and lettuce) to re-heat the chicken.

The courgette dish was disappointing - my green pepper had plenty of flavour when grilled and skinned but none after pureeing and simmering to make the sauce, so the whole thing came out very bland.

I'm having a couple of other dishes from this book tonight - Albondigas Picantes from Paraguay (beef meatballs with garlic, oregano and cumin in a tomato, chilli and red pepper sauce) and Arroz a la Mexicana (rice with onion, carrot and peas) but I've cooked both before so they don't count towards cooking all the books.

Editado: Mar 21, 2021, 12:14 pm

Sounds like it could do with a green chili... oops, I can't read. Weird that the chillies went bland.

Mar 21, 2021, 7:17 pm

>124 LolaWalser: Actually you can read! There was chilli in the delicious chicken dish but none in the bland courgette dish - only green bell pepper.

Mar 21, 2021, 11:36 pm

>123 Sovay: Mmmm, now that's my kind of food! Although since I don't eat nightshade plants anymore (or at least very infrequently) Mexican cooking has taken a backseat in my lineup.

Mar 26, 2021, 8:01 am

Swedish Cooking by Sylvia Winnewisser

I made Salmon with an Almond Crust. The salmon is very simple - the crust is ground almonds and breadcrumbs, coating one side of the fillet only, and the salmon is fried on the plain side first then turned and fried on the crust side. This is not easy to achieve without the crust falling off as the fillet is turned, since it's not bound together or stuck on but is simply pressed on to the surface. Next time I would probably brown one side then put the fillet into an appropriate dish, press the crust on and top with a few flakes of butter, and finish it under the grill. The recipe said nothing about skinning the fillet so as I like a bit of crispy salmon skin I left it on, on the un-crusted side.

The recipe includes a quick and simple but effective sauce of fish stock, mustard, finely chopped prawns and butter, thickened with cornflour (I diverged here from the recipe which said 2tbs cornflour to 300ml stock - I suspect I'd have been able to roll out the resulting "sauce" like pastry ...).

Mar 26, 2021, 8:07 am

>126 MrsLee: I'd hate to have to do without nightshades! I've got very fond of green peppers recently - when I was a child peppers were new and exotic and invariably green, then red ones appeared and rapidly took over, and now green peppers are rather looked down on, but I've come to appreciate their freshness and hint of bitterness.

Mar 26, 2021, 12:26 pm

Oh, good to know I'm not completely failing reading comprehension yet... :) I love green bell peppers but I'd never puree them, just not big on pureeing in general...

>127 Sovay:

I did something similar with trout, but I just garnish it with almonds.

Mar 26, 2021, 1:41 pm

>128 Sovay: I like green peppers if they are cooked, especially with onions--it does take the bitterness away. However, may fav peppers are red, yellow, or orange, as they are sweeter and can just be eaten alone.

Mar 29, 2021, 5:20 pm

Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery by Jane Grigson and Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

The Jane Grigson book is quite hard to use these days; charcuterie predominates and the vast majority of the recipes for cured pork include saltpetre, a popular ingredient in home-made explosives. I probably could get hold of some online, but decided not to as on the whole I'd prefer not to be identified as a Person of Interest by MI5, and this has severely limited the number of recipes I could make by-the-book (not to mention the fact that saltpetre is apparently really, really bad for you). However whilst sorting through my freezer at the weekend I found some roast chicken juices, and these enabled me to make Sauce Bercy to go with a grilled pork chop. Other ingredients are shallot, butter, white wine, lemon juice and parsley; the result is an intense, concentrated sauce which I liked a lot and would make again.

Jane Grigson's introductory note about saltpetre says "It has no value whatever as a preservative"; it's included in the recipes only because it gives the cured meat an appetising pink colour. In view of this I may try some of the charcuterie recipes without it if I ever have the time.

To go with my chop and Sauce Bercy I made Carottes a la Concierge from the Julia Child book - a rather fussier side dish than I would normally bother with, but I liked the result. The carrots are braised in oil with a little onion and garlic; flour, beef stock and milk are added to make a sauce which is seasoned with nutmeg and sugar, then a further liaison of egg yolk and cream is added at the last along with chopped parsley. I'd probably skip the sugar in future as the carrots are sweet enough.

Editado: Abr 5, 2021, 6:37 pm

The Finnish Cookbook by Beatrice Ojakangas

An international weekend chez Sovay - yesterday I made Karjalan Piirakkaa (rye pasties) with two fillings - mashed potato (Perunapiirakkaa) and cheese (Juustipiirakkaa). The rye crust was very straightforward to make and shape, though in future I would damp the edges before crimping as my pleats came undone a bit during baking. I liked the texture of the potato filling but it was quite bland, which is not necessarily a problem if the piirakkaa is taking the role of bread as an accompaniment to soup &c. If I was taking one to work instead of a sandwich, however, which is apparently the other traditional role of the piirakkaa, I'd want a bit more flavour so would probably go for the cheese option. It should be possible to combine the two, in fact, using strong Cheddar or Parmesan.

There are a good number of recipes I plan to try in this book - the only other one I've cooked so far is Prune-stuffed Pork Rolls (excellent).

Abr 5, 2021, 6:31 pm

A Taste of Russia by Darra Goldstein

I made Georgian Cauliflower to accompany a favourite (also Georgian) dish - Chakhokhbili aka chicken with tomatoes, white wine and a shedload of herbs.

The cauliflower is lightly steamed, then sauteed gently with onion softened in butter, and finished with parsley, coriander and beaten egg. The result tasted good but looked like a dog's dinner because the egg set immediately on contact with the hot pan, rather than coating the cauliflower. I think it would be worth beating the egg with the herbs in a good-sized bowl, tipping the cauliflower and onion into it and stirring them in before returning the combination to the pan to finish cooking.

Abr 5, 2021, 6:47 pm

I now make it 164 books cooked, 71 still to go.

Editado: Abr 7, 2021, 2:48 am

Lobscouse and Spotted Dog by Anne Chotzinoff Grossman and Lisa Grossman Thomas.

Which it's a gastronomic companion to the Aubrey/Maturin novels of Patrick O'Brian: the authors have set out to find recipes for as many as possible of the dishes mentioned in the said novels of naval life in the Napoleonic era; find ingredients for as many of the recipes as possible; cook them; and eat them, no matter how discouraging the result may be. I feel they are women after my own heart, appreciate their willingness to embrace the suet pudding, and enjoy their book a lot, but as with many historical cookbooks it's quite tricky to cook from for various reasons and my shortlist of recipes to try is very short indeed.

I decided not to attempt Millers (aka Rats) in Onion Sauce, but made Shrewsbury Cakes which are a kind of spiced biscuit; they're quite soft in the middle and should be only slightly crisp at the edges, though my first trayful got a little overdone. They're flavoured with brandy, coriander and mace, and the mace predominates strongly even though there's only 1/4 tsp to 2 tsp of coriander. I liked the result and will probably make more (this is another useful recipe for using up the odd leftover half egg) but will try different spices - a West Indian version with allspice, ginger and rum should be a good combination.

165 books cooked; 70 to go.

Abr 6, 2021, 5:56 pm

the Aubrey/Maturin novels

One of the funniest scenes has Aubrey distractedly slathering jam on a fish.

Georgian cauliflower sounds good. I'm noticing how many new applications of coriander there are (still going through my ginormous reserve)...

Abr 6, 2021, 6:54 pm

>136 LolaWalser: slathering jam on a fish

That's one recipe the authors didn't include ... they did make and eat Millers in Onion Sauce (delicious, apparently - like very tender rabbit) as per HMS Surprise, and they claim to have made Boiled Shit which kept Dr Maturin going when stranded on a rock in the same book, though they comment "We made it, but we do not claim to have drunk it. There are lengths to which we will not go."

Abr 6, 2021, 7:01 pm

I recommend Chakhokhbili if you have a surplus of any soft, leafy herb - I used lots of parsley, dill and coriander in mine, and basil and mint are also good.

Abr 7, 2021, 4:47 pm

>137 Sovay: Did they let their flour and sea biscuits become infested with worm?

Abr 9, 2021, 2:27 am

>139 MrsLee: Their hard tack failed to become infested with anything, so they were not able to crack Jack's joke about the lesser of the two weevils!

Abr 10, 2021, 12:59 am

>140 Sovay: lol. My mom had a stainless steel lined flour bin in her kitchen when I was young. Weevils still got in now and then. That is why my mom always sifted her flour.

Editado: Abr 11, 2021, 5:08 pm

Real Fast Food by Nigel Slater

I made Fish Steak with Lemon, Coriander and Cream - delicious though the cream curdled quite badly. It went very well with a favourite vegetable dish: fried green peppers with gram flour, from Anjum's New Indian.

I've made a lot of use of this book over the years, so struggled to find a recipe I hadn't already used. I think the reason I hadn't tried this one was the extravagance of heating an oven to 200C for 12 minutes' cooking time - less of an issue now as I have recently acquired a small halogen oven.

166 books cooked; 69 to go.

Abr 11, 2021, 10:51 pm

WOW-- I admire your cooking such a wide variety!

Editado: Abr 14, 2021, 2:37 am

French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David and The Cookery of England by Elizabeth Ayrton

From the Elizabeth David book I made Cotes de Porc en Sanglier - pork chops to taste like wild boar. They're marinated in red wine and vinegar with onion, carrot, shallot,garlic, various herbs and juniper. I've never eaten wild boar so can't say whether the recipe does what it says on the tin, but it was very good. The chops were to be marinated for 2-4 days - I took mine out after 2 1/2 days and don't think I would want to leave them any longer as the flavour was very strong - though this would be affected by the thickness of the chops (mine were around 2cm or 3/4") and the choice of wine (mine was a Cahors - vigorous). I cooked my chops as per the recipe in a slow oven in a sauce made from the marinade plus stock (made with the chop bones and rinds and the usual potherbs), lightly thickened with flour.

To go with them I made Butter Beans from the Elizabeth Ayrton book - cooked butter beans (I used tinned) combined with sauteed onion, celery and tomatoes, parsley, thyme and rosemary, and finished in the same slow oven. Good with the pork and I would even have it as a main course in its own right.

Must find out how to insert accents ...

168 books cooked; 67 to go.

Abr 14, 2021, 3:03 am

Letters with accents are separate characters. It depends on your computer set up how you get those extra characters. On the iPad it's easy: you hold down the letter and get a few choices.

Abr 14, 2021, 8:58 am

>144 Sovay: >145 MarthaJeanne: Pretty much the same on the Mac—hold down a key and you get a small menu of choices. On Windows there's usually an Insert special Characters dialog around somewhere. You might find some ideas here: The New How To Do Fancy Things In Your Posts Thread .

Editado: Abr 15, 2021, 3:04 am

>145 MarthaJeanne: & >146 haydninvienna: Thanks, I shall investigate further! Way back in the Mists of Time when I was on LiveJournal I had all the html &c - I've probably got notes in a file somewhere ... maybe a bit of Spring cleaning would turn them up.

Abr 15, 2021, 2:48 am

Holding down the letter on the Kindle seems to work. Côtes de porc. Sauté.

Yay! So simple!

Abr 15, 2021, 3:00 am

Yes, it's brilliant. I remember all sorts of fiddling I used to have to do when typing German.

Abr 20, 2021, 7:46 am

Nanny Ogg's Cookbook by Terry Pratchett and Others

I've been in two minds about counting this book as it lives permanently with the fiction; however I had a tin of corned beef (part of my emergency self-isolation stores) approaching its eat-by date so I chucked the contents in a food processor with some Worcester Sauce, mushroom ketchup and cayenne and made a Clammers Beefymite Spread sandwich. Definitely better than a plain corned beef sandwich, though with less punch than I expected - the corned beef seems to have a damping effect on the spices.

I probably won't cook anything else from the book, though I could quite fancy a Figgin (untoasted).

169 books cooked but still 67 to go, as this wasn't part of my original total.

Abr 20, 2021, 8:02 am

The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan

I bought this book last summer when we emerged from Lockdown Number One, but never got round to looking at it properly for a variety of reasons. I still haven't, but finding my fridge full of parsley and coriander I had a quick look through the index and found a recipe that would use large quantities of both - Herby Baked Falafels with Fennel and Watercress Salad. I've tried a few times to make "proper" falafels with soaked but uncooked chick peas, and always had problems getting them to hold together. This version uses cooked chick peas and a small amount of cornflour which helps a lot with the shaping, though they still need careful handling. They tasted great and the scent of the herbs, garlic and spring onion during the preparation is divine. The accompanying salad was also good.

170 books cooked; 66 to go.

Abr 20, 2021, 7:44 pm

>151 Sovay:

The falafels sound terrific. That's one food I'm almost glad I can't (easily) cook because that's all I'd eat!--but deep frying is problematic for me, in my tiny kitchen. Even worse, all that oil, I never know what's the best way to get rid of it. (I end up using huge amounts of kitchen paper to put it all in solid garbage--actually, the "organic" bin, as it allows for such stuff.)

If you are willing to make your own, have you considered the dry mixes, as less work than starting from whole chickpeas? That's what I used the few times I made them myself and there were no problems with keeping the shape.

Abr 22, 2021, 12:09 pm

>152 LolaWalser: I don't deep fry either, for the same reasons - also I am quite clumsy and so not at ease in the presence of large pans of hot oil - so the baking worked well for me, and the falafels were pretty straightforward to deal with. They took more work than a mix, but not too much more - it was mostly just putting things in the food processor and pulsing - and as mentioned the process smelt wonderful! The main thing was to remember to press them into shape and not try to roll them between my palms, which made them crumble. The only other issue was that the recipe said to coat them in oil and then in sesame seeds, but the sesame seeds then didn't stick - I'll probably do it the other way round next time.

Editado: Abr 23, 2021, 6:43 am

Love Your Leftovers by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

I made a Korean Veg Pancake with Carrot Salad: spring onions and leftover green veg (in this case broccoli and watercress) lightly fried; a basic flour-and water batter is then poured over and allowed to set and crisp a bit at the edges; beaten egg then swirled across the surface and allowed to set, then the pancake is turned and browned briefly on the egg side before topping with julienned carrot in a soy sauce, vinegar, chilli and garlic dressing.

It didn't turn out quite as it should but this was not the fault of the recipe. I made my batter, then took a phone call from my sister-in-law; when I resumed cooking more than an hour later I failed to check the consistency of the batter before pouring it into the pan. It had thickened considerably with standing and lay in a solid layer on the surface instead of mingling with the veg as it should have. However the result tasted fine and I shall certainly make it again; another useful addition to my list of recipes that use the other half of the egg.

A couple of points (apart from the importance of using the batter as soon as mixed): the pancake was quite awkward to turn and it might be easier to finish under a hot grill; and I wasn't entirely happy with the carrot salad as the absence of oil from the dressing (other than a very small amount of sesame oil for flavouring) gave it a texture between the teeth which I would describe as "squeaky". I would probably add a little sunflower or peanut oil.

171 books cooked; 65 to go.

eta: I have just added two more books to Librarything so now 67 to go.

Abr 23, 2021, 1:28 pm

>153 Sovay:

Hmm, somehow I suspect baking would result in more crumble... but I'll try.

>154 Sovay:

Have you seen this woman's video maybe? Although I have to say my one attempt so far also hasn't been brilliant but I think the problem was the pan, the batter stuck to it and the pancake ripped. Hers are so gorgeous!

Vegetable Pancake (Yachaejeon: 야채전)

by the way I did that Nigerian veg roast and the roast okra was a revelation, so great. Didn't have plantains though.

Abr 23, 2021, 5:11 pm

>155 LolaWalser: The falafel are baked at a high temperature so they get crisp on the outside without drying out inside, so they hold together well.

I hadn't seen the pancake video - that method is rather simpler than the one in Love Your Leftovers but the result looks delicious - must remember to add a mushroom to my next try.

I don't like okra much but have never tried roasting them - that would make a difference to the texture which is what I mainly dislike ...

Abr 24, 2021, 10:15 am

>156 Sovay: If it's the slimy texture (shudders) of okra you don't like, I second roasting it whole. It's totally different roasted! If it's the woody texture (gak!), keep to the youngest, shortest okra you can find.

Abr 25, 2021, 6:46 am

>157 lesmel: It's the slime! I shall try roasting ...

Editado: Maio 3, 2021, 5:42 am

The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater and What Shall We Have Today? by X. Marcel Boulestin

Or, A Tale of Two Aubergine Halves.

From the Nigel Slater book I made Aubergine with Lentils and Basil, which is Puy lentils with onion and garlic, mushrooms, herbs, cream and Parmesan. The aubergine half is scored and grilled until tender and then sits on top, where it looks bronzed and attractive but doesn't really meld with the lentils. Nevertheless I liked the flavours and will probably make it again, though I might incorporate the aubergine into the lentils and have them with pasta or a baked potato.

From the Boulestin book I made Aubergines Farcies aux Anchois. I seldom stuff aubergines because I find that unless I leave a really thick wall, and therefore little stuffing space, they usually collapse and are difficult to serve. Less of a problem when it's just me and I can eat my aubergine straight from the baking dish. This book tends to use Nanny Ogg's favourite unit of measurement, the some, a lot - in this case it required some aubergines - and also a related unit, the few - in this case a few anchovies and tomatoes. It did, however, specify two mushrooms - I took this to mean two mushrooms per aubergine so used one for my half. The only other ingredients are olive oil and a little parsley, plus seasoning; the aubergine half is fried, hollowed and the centre chopped and added to the stuffing. I used three anchovy fillets which made quite a good stuffing, not tasting strongly of anchovy - for my own taste I could probably have doubled the anchovy content, and I'd probably also add a little garlic which is not mentioned in the recipe, although this book (written for a British audience in the 1930s) is by no means a garlic-free zone.

173 books cooked; 65 to go

Abr 30, 2021, 2:48 pm

>159 Sovay:

it looks bronzed and attractive


Have you had pasta with anchovies? That's what I'm thinking of now... mmmm, an ancient Neapolitan recipe... but I need to go buy "some" anchovies.

Maio 3, 2021, 5:45 am

>160 LolaWalser: Have you had pasta with anchovies?

Certainly have! Pasta with anchovies, capers and garlic and olive oil, with a green salad ...

Editado: Maio 3, 2021, 1:51 pm

Is There a Nutmeg in the House? by Elizabeth David

This is primarily a book of essays, not a book of recipes, but nonetheless I'm including it in my mission. However I'm always a little wary of the recipes as so many of them are tagged "unpublished" which suggests they may not be the final version.

I made Celery and Mushrooms, a very simple vegetable dish which I though would be good with fish (as indeed it was). The celery is cut into 2" (5cm) lengths and then sautéed in olive oil for about 10 minutes in total, the mushrooms with a little garlic being added after the first 5. I was not at all surprised to find that the celery was not even close to being cooked at the end of the 10 minutes - which might be long enough for tender inner stalks but not for the outer ones. These were definitely meant to be included as the recipe called for the whole of a large head of celery. I would try it again but would slice the outer stalks diagonally about 1cm thick and still allow a bit of extra cooking time.

Maio 3, 2021, 6:15 am

River Cottage Light and Easy by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

I've cooked several successful recipes from this book, but decided I should try one of the ones that specifically substitute other ingredients for wheat and dairy products, this being the main objective of the book. So I made Ryegestives, a dairy and wheat free version of the traditional Digestive, my favourite biscuit.

The recipe uses rye and oat flours instead of wheat, and coconut oil instead of butter (which makes it quite an expensive option). The process is quick and easy and the result tastes great though perceptibly coconutty - which I don't object to per se, but is not quite appropriate for a digestive biscuit. I shall certainly make more but probably re-substitute butter for the coconut oil.

175 books cooked; I've earmarked a couple of uncooked books for the charity shop, so now 61 to go.

Maio 9, 2021, 3:42 pm

Ultimate Slow Cooker by Sara Lewis

I made Pork with Orange and Star Anise which, as the title suggests, is a pork stew with Chinese flavours. Tasted great and my only issue is that (as often with slow cooker recipes) there's rather too much sauce and it's a bit thin. I've got 3 further helpings to freeze, and have strained off the sauce to reduce first.

176 books cooked; 60 to go.

For ease of reference, as I proceed I'm also going to make brief notes of books already cooked before this thread started, beginning with A:

Offal by Jana Allen and Margaret Gin - I made Sauteed Kidneys Andalucia - they were OK.
On Drink by Kingsley Amis - I made a Normandy Cocktail (cider, Calvados and angostura bitters) - excellent.
I Love Curry by Anjum Anand - I made Tamarind Duck Curry - divine.
Anjum's New Indian by Anjum Anand - I made Madras Pepper Lamb - excellent.
Quick and Easy Indian by Anjum Anand - I made Roasted Peanut Fish Curry - very good
Yorkshire Recipes by Mrs Appleby - I made Broad Beans with Bacon - OK.

Maio 9, 2021, 4:10 pm

>164 Sovay: Best bit in On Drink Is the chapter on dealing with hangovers.

Maio 9, 2021, 5:23 pm

"Offal" sounds interesting. It's too bad organ meats are so hard to come by here, I can't even remember when was the last time I saw any in the groceries I go to. There's more choice in Chinatown but usually just tripe, tongue, kidney; my favourite are brains. I think I managed to buy them ONCE in the entire time I was here, so I never got to learn to prepare them really well.

Maio 16, 2021, 4:47 pm

>166 LolaWalser: liver is difficult to obtain?

Maio 16, 2021, 5:55 pm

>167 Tess_W:

Good call--no, liver is more common, BUT, actually, not all that common. Like, I know that any time I go to the groceries around me, there'll be some fashion of chicken, beef, pork--but liver (beef or calf) actually shows up only intermittently. And chicken liver... I can't remember the last time I saw it.

Of course, maybe it's just that my neighbourhood sucks for groceries. It does have three large ones, and one even has a fairly decent fresh seafood selection, so it's a bit of a puzzle.

Maio 26, 2021, 12:46 am

>165 haydninvienna: Yes indeed, including interesting suggestions for hangover-relieving reading ... though these days I find the best way of dealing with a hangover is to make sure I never get one.

Maio 26, 2021, 12:57 am

>166 LolaWalser: I was interested to note when reading Lobscouse and Spotted Dog recently that when the American authors set out to make Pig's Fry (which requires various pig innards) they had to obtain these sub rosa by going direct to a farm as pig offal is not just rare but illegal.

I've never tried brains, nor, as far as I recall, ever seen them for sale here, though I suspect they were around in the 1970s and before.

Editado: Jul 4, 2022, 2:32 am

Feeding the Nation by Marguerite Patten

I made post-war Salmon Dip for a Platinum Jubilee Family Tea - it went down very well. I used tinned salmon not fresh - my Mum who was around at the time of the coronation said she and her family were vaguely aware in the early 1950s that salmon was an actual fish but as far as they were concerned it only came in tins, as a huge and very expensive treat. Dish also features mayonnaise, tomato ketchup and grated cucumber - no mention in the recipe of squeezing the juice out of this but I did so as otherwise the dip would have been very watery.

I also made Coronation Chicken based on the recipe in this book, but not by the book - for a start, I didn't boil a whole chicken.

Jun 6, 2022, 8:22 am

Bit of a hiatus due to Real Life getting in the way. Still not changing the thread title ...

Jun 6, 2022, 9:52 am

>171 Sovay: Coronation chicken seems to have become slightly fashionable again fairly recently (that is, not just in the context of the Platinum Jubilee). I've even encountered it as a sandwich filling, which isn't especially wonderful.

Jun 6, 2022, 10:03 am

My problem with coronation chicken is that it is generally made with raw curry powder, and turmeric, to my taste, is only edible when it's been toasted first. With that change I would probably love it.

Jun 6, 2022, 12:28 pm

>173 haydninvienna: I find there's usually way too much mayonnaise in a Coronation Chicken sandwich - I believe the original recipe (which is not the one in this book) specified that there should be just enough sauce to coat the chicken pieces.

>174 MarthaJeanne: That's a common problem - I used whole spices, toasted and ground them (I've never found a commercial curry powder I like).

Jun 7, 2022, 10:47 am

>16 haydninvienna: It wasn’t Elizabeth David, it was Jane Grigson referring to somebody else. At random I just found, on p 239 of English Food, the following: “Of the many books on our own food which have appeared in the last few years, my favourite, the one I use most, is Michael Smith’s Fine English Cookery (Faber). He starts from the reasonable assumption that people who sat on Chippendale chairs in elegant houses, were unlikely to be eating filthy food from their Wedgwood dinner services. Therefore what they ate is worth exploring.”.

Now we’ve got that sorted out …

Jun 9, 2022, 2:34 am

>176 haydninvienna: I'm impressed that you remembered having mentioned this reference two years ago! I have Fine English Cookery and have cooked from it though not for quite a while - must have another glance through ...

Jun 9, 2022, 1:10 pm

>170 Sovay: What exactly were the authors trying to purchase? Chitlins/chitterlings are found in mainstream supermarkets in the United States. Liver, tripe, sweetbreads, etc., can all be found, although usually at either Asian or Hispanic markets. Lights are illegal to be sold in the US due to concerns about the ability of the slaughterhouse to properly clean them. Mad cow disease convinced most Americans to stop eating brains from any animal and they never really came back into favour.

Jun 9, 2022, 1:45 pm

Here in Austria "Beuschel" made of lung and heart, often veal, is still very popular. It's one of the things we tend to buy as a finished dish from the butcher or in a restaurant.

Jun 10, 2022, 2:20 am

>178 MsMixte: I'd need to check the book but am pretty sure lights/lungs were included

Jun 10, 2022, 7:58 am

>180 Sovay: That makes sense, then, as the lights are really the only thing not legal to sell (that's why haggis is not legal to import from Scotland, by the way).

Jun 12, 2022, 5:40 am

Tin Can Cook by Jack Monroe

I made Conchiglie with Broad Beans and Artichokes - broad beans from a tin as per the book title, artichokes in oil from a jar though I have also made it with tinned ones (acceptable but not as good) Other ingredients apart from the pasta are garlic, mint and lemon juice (and optional white wine - haven't used that so far). Ready in no time and pretty damn good though not for the purist. I've rather taken to tinned broad beans, and having cooked artichokes from scratch a couple of times have come to the conclusion that life's too short, so this works for me.

I spotted a copy of this in a charity shop whilst stocking up with emergency self-isolation supplies back in 2020, and invested 50p as I thought I might well need a selection of frugal store-cupboard recipes (the one above is pretty extravagant in terms of this book). There are recipes I'd only cook and eat if I had to, but plenty more, especially in the Bean and Pulse section, that are perfectly good in their own right. I can't take to tinned potatoes and carrots so tend to replace these with fresh.

Jun 12, 2022, 6:10 am

>182 Sovay: Potatoes have to be cooked from fresh, but it is almost an article of faith with me that anything done to a carrot after peeling it and cutting it into manageable pieces is at best a mistake. As are more than a few dips offered with crudités.

Jun 13, 2022, 7:01 am

>183 hfglen: I'm not that fond of carrots as a standalone vegetable, either raw or cooked - for me they are primarily potherbs, adding flavour and substance to soups and stews. Though I do quite like a roast carrot or two occasionally.

Editado: Jun 13, 2022, 7:43 am

Grated carrots are good baked into cakes and breads. I also love carrots in stews, not just for the flavour in the broth, but eating the cooked carrots.

Jun 14, 2022, 2:20 am

>185 MarthaJeanne: Good point - I love carrot cake!

Editado: Jun 14, 2022, 7:26 am

The Country Life Cookery Book by Ambrose Heath

I made Lettuce a l'Étouffée - shredded and stewed gently in butter and its own juices with a little onion, parsley, thyme and bay leaf, seasoned with salt and sugar, and bound with a little flour/butter at the end. I liked the result though it needs the right lettuce - even with a large bitter Cos the flavour of the finished dish was very mild. I'm not sure I'd buy lettuce specially to cook this way but it's a useful recipe when I've got one on hand and don't fancy a salad. In future I'll probably not bother with the flour (there was very little juice left in the pan at the end of the cooking time and leaving the lid off for the last 5 minutes would have reduced it even further) and will add a small squeeze of lemon.

I have this book for largely historical reasons - Ambrose Heath was probably the best known and most prolific cookery writer in Britain in the 1930s and 1940s - though in fact there are quite a few more recipes I'm considering trying.

Editado: Jun 16, 2022, 2:34 am

A Cook's Book by Nigel Slater

I made a smoked fish pie - puff pastry (bought), smoked mackerel, crème fraîche, tarragon, mustard, parsley. I was in two minds about the smoked mackerel - being an oily fish, I thought it might be a bit much with the pastry and cream, but in fact it worked well - though I did select the meatier sections of the fish and freeze the more unctuous parts for future paté. Nevertheless I'll probably try smoked haddock or other white fish next time. The pastry was very thin - so thin that I had some trouble scoring it with a pattern without cutting right through.

Book was a Christmas present - looked as though it was going to be a kind of "Best of Nigel Slater" compilation but in fact there are plenty of recipes that are new to me even though I have a good number of his books.

Jun 16, 2022, 2:49 am

>188 Sovay: I also have several of his books. This one I borrowed as an ebook back in April, but didn't make it through.

Jun 17, 2022, 2:31 am

The Azerbaijani Kitchen by Tahir Amiraslanov and Leyla Rahmanova

I made Balyg Kuukyusu aka Smoked Fish and Herb Omelette. Result was delicious. I stuck to the recipe and used parsley, coriander and dill - if I hadn't been doing it by the book I'd have added some sorrel as well. Recipe also includes celery and spring onions, smoked fish (I used haddock), lemon juice and pepper with a garnish of sumac. And eggs, of course.

Plenty more recipes I plan to try, though I could do to live somewhere where pomegranates and walnuts grow like weeds ...

Jun 17, 2022, 2:57 am

Sorrel is always a good addition. (It makes a big difference in spinach recipes.) I would leave out the coriander. We are both of the 'at best it tastes like soap, or sometimes like stinkbug' school.

Walnuts only grow like weeds if they were planted (or planted themselves) quite a while back. We had a walnut tree once. It had moved around the neighbourhood for a while. It was another plant in that garden that finally started doing what it was supposed to the summer we moved out.

Jun 18, 2022, 3:39 am

Coriander does seem to be a very divisive herb! I like it, as you'll have gathered, and use it a lot in Persian/Central Asian dishes because it's cheap and plentiful where I live, whereas the same quantity of eg dill would be ridiculously expensive.

Jun 18, 2022, 4:09 am

It's apparently a genetic matter. While most people like it , 5-10% have a very different experience.

Editado: Jun 26, 2022, 5:15 am

Danish Cooking by Nika Standen Hazelton

I made a Bornholm Omelette - eggs with quite a lot of milk added, cooked over a low heat - not a French-style omelette. It's garnished with strips of smoked herring, sliced radishes, shredded lettuce and chives. It made a nice light meal with a little potato salad - next time I'd probably make the lettuce into an accompanying green salad rather than sprinkling it over the omelette.

And another quick round-up of books cooked before I started this thread - this time the Bs:

Favourite Lancashire Recipes by Dorothy Baldock - I made Goosnargh Cakes; they were OK but a bit bland.
A Celebration of Soup by Lindsey Bareham - I made Curried Parsnip Soup (Jane Grigson's recipe originally); delicious even though I hate parsnips in almost every form.
In Praise of the Potato by Lindsey Bareham - I made Kaleji Aloo Karhi (Liver and Potato Curry); delicious and very quick if you happen to have leftover cooked potatoes to hand.
Onions Without Tears by Lindsey Bareham - I made Caramelised Garlic, Leek and Bacon Kuku; excellent. Also the accompanying Garlic, Red Pepper and Onion Sauce which was very good but more trouble than I'd normally go to for an everyday meal.
A Wolf in the Kitchen by Lindsey Bareham - I made Baked Mushroom Kibbeh which was great apart from the baking, which dried it out and made it crunchy but not in a good way.
The Frugal Cook by Fiona Beckett - I made Spiced Game Pilaff with leftover duck; OK but not spicy enough
Home-Made Wines, Syrups and Cordials by F.W. Beech - I made Orange Gin which after several years maturing came out very much like Southern Comfort.
The United States Regional Cookbook by Ruth Berolzheimer - I made Liver Dumplings; pleasant and economical but definitely needs a bed of sauerkraut or a sauce with a bit of kick.
The Taste of Thailand by Vatcharin Bhumichitr - I made Gaeng Ho, a mixed meat curry; very good and a handy repository for the trimmings from over-large chicken breasts and pork steaks, which can be frozen until there's enough for this dish.
The Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black - I made Jowtes with Almond Milk, a spinach and herb soup; pleasant but a bit grainy due to home-made almond milk. Now that non-dairy milks are a commercial Thing one could probably make a much smoother version.
Arabella Boxer's Book of English Food by Arabella Boxer - I made Celery Soup; simple but delicious.
The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken -I made Doctor Martin's Mix; it was OK and quick to make though I didn't manage it in the 7 minutes it took Dr Martin.
Pasta for Pleasure by Moyra Bremner and Liz Filippini - I made Vermicelli alla Siciliana; aubergines with three of my favourite things (anchovies, capers and olives) so I loved the sauce but it is quite chunky - vermicelli seemed an oddly delicate pasta to go with it, and I generally use trottole instead.
Please to the Table by Anya von Bremzen - I made Red Bean Soup with Walnuts; OK but rather bland - the walnuts seemed to disappear.

Editado: Jun 26, 2022, 5:06 am

The Cuisine of the Kings nominally by Paolo Piazzese (it's actually one of those written-by-committee kind of books)

I made Stewed Mushrooms and Onions - which is mushrooms and onions in a simple red wine sauce. Quick and easy and went well with a chicken breast en paupiette with herbs and lemon.

The book's a souvenir of a long-gone holiday rather than a book I expected to get much use from, though there are a couple more recipes I may try. Many recipes for river fish which I suspect are obtainable in this country only if one is, or knows, a keen angler.

Now 180 books cooked; 62 still to go (does not correspond with previous figures but new books have arrived, a few old ones have departed ...)

Jun 26, 2022, 10:25 am

>195 Sovay: I have seen trout and catfish in our local stores, but have no idea about the quality. Both are farmed, of course. I really miss the trout suppers and breakfasts my mother would cook, father being an avid fly fisherman.

Editado: Jun 27, 2022, 7:05 am

>196 MrsLee: No anglers in my family for decades - my dad used to fish with his grandfather as a child but that was back in the 1930s and I don't think they often caught anything edible. The Cuisine of the Kings has recipes for eel (unsustainable in this country) and pike (I did make tentative enquiries at a couple of fish stalls in Leeds Market - fishmongers looked at me as if I'd grown an extra head).

Jun 27, 2022, 4:46 am

>197 Sovay: Thank you for bringing back a happy memory! Many years ago Better Half and I were treated to a splendid lunch at a tiny place in deepest Burgenland by an Austrian colleague. The dish of the day was Zander nach Serbischer Art, which colleague and restaurateur described enthusiastically, and which we had. On return to London, I found that Zander translates as pike-perch. A few weeks later New Scientist noted that a new invasive fish, a pike-perch known in German as Zander, had been spotted in the Norfolk Broads. It was "said to be edible". No sir; it is delicious if prepared correctly.

So I sympathise, but am not surprised by your experience with the Leeds fishmongers.

Jun 27, 2022, 5:02 am

Yes, but in Austria if you want good fresh fish, it is likely to be freshwater fish, because ocean fish has to be imported, either frozen, or expensive transport. We eat Zander quite frequently.

Zander is part of the perch family, and not the same as pike. Pike apparently is very boney, so wouldn't be popular in a country surrounded by waters with easier fish to cook and eat.

Jun 27, 2022, 5:07 am

Ah, so being brought up on Western Cape snoek (which is bony but delicious, especially smoked) helped unexpectedly.

Jun 27, 2022, 5:20 am

Zander is not boney.

Jun 27, 2022, 7:08 am

>198 hfglen: Plenty of fishing goes on in this area, but mostly in the murky waters of the Leeds-Liverpool canal - I've no idea what sort of fish the anglers catch but suspect that whatever they are, I probably wouldn't want to eat them ...

Jun 27, 2022, 7:13 am

>199 MarthaJeanne: I believe this is why the most popular French recipe for pike is quenelles - which ensures that all bones are removed before the fish reaches the plate.

Not all sea fish are easier to deal with, as I was reminded when making the Bornholm Omelette - herrings have, in my view, far more bones than they really need, and far too many of those bones are simultaneously too fine to be easily removed and too substantial to be ignored.

Editado: Jun 27, 2022, 7:39 am

>203 Sovay: Which is why a lot of herring gets pickled. The larger part of the skeleton can be lifted out, and the little bones are dissolved enough not to matter.

>202 Sovay: "The canal contains Roach, a good head of Bream & Skimmers , Carp up to 25lb+ , Perch, Gudgeon, Ide, Chub, Pike (lots of Jacks).
This is classed as a mixed fishery and is open all year round."
We haven't been on that one, but you at least get many fishers on some of the English canals. The water quality varies a lot. I'm not sure I'd want to eat fish out of some of the canals.

Jun 27, 2022, 8:58 am

>202 Sovay: >204 MarthaJeanne: Interesting assortment of fish, but what about the coliform count?

Editado: Jun 27, 2022, 2:19 pm

Years ago, OK, decades ago, Yankee magazine had an article about the fishermen along the Charles River in Boston (Mass. USA). The final question to each fisher the reporter interviewed was always, "And what do you do with the fish you catch? Do you eat them or throw them back. The answers, as I recall, were about evenly divided between, "I'm not crazy, of course I eat them!" and "I'm not crazy, of course I throw them back!"

Jun 29, 2022, 8:10 am

>206 MarthaJeanne: Having peered into the waters of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal I would definitely be in the "Throw them back" school!

Editado: Jun 29, 2022, 8:23 am

Simply by Sabrina Ghayour

I made Green Chicken - fairly large pieces of chicken breast marinated in yoghurt, garlic and herbs (coriander, chives, parsley and dill) with fenugreek and chilli, and cooked in a hot oven. It was very good - brief high temperature cooking meant the chicken breast wasn't as dry as it can be - and I shall make it again but with a couple of tweaks viz: coriander seed instead of fenugreek, and fresh green chilli instead of the dried chilli flakes.

To take advantage of the hot oven I also made Charred Courgettes - with chilli, oregano and lemon, also very good - and I was all set to make a yoghurt and preserved lemon sauce (part of a different recipe) but in fact I found I had far more of the herb and yoghurt marinade than was needed to coat the chicken, so I kept half back to dress both the chicken and the courgettes when they came out of the oven.

181 books cooked; 61 still to go.

Jul 1, 2022, 2:30 am

Plats du Jour by Patience Gray

I made Moules à la Bordelaise - in a sauce of butter, shallots, tomato, parsley plus the mussel steaming juices, thickened with breadcrumbs. It was excellent though the sauce was quite thick - I'll probably start with half the quantity of breadcrumbs next time. Mussels are steamed open in white wine, shelled and heated though in the sauce, which I prefer to those recipes where you make the sauce and throw the mussels straight in and one sandy rogue can irrevocably destroy the whole dish at the eleventh hour.

Very generous quantity - a quart of mussels in their shells (2 pints/40 fl oz/rather more than 1 litre) per person. I had a kilo of mussels which was about 3 pints and having shelled them all decided to freeze half (with half the steaming juices) and add half to the sauce, but that was slightly more than enough for me. I'd probably divide by three next time.

Lots of tempting recipes in this book - I've had it for many years but hardly ever cooked from it, perhaps because it's an original 1957 paperback copy and the spine is a bit fragile. Maybe I should acquire a second "working" copy ...

Jul 4, 2022, 2:27 am

The Food of Spain and Portugal by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz

I made Pato con Judias a la Catalana, or Catalan Duck with Beans. Delicious and very substantial - more of a winter dish. Duck (I used a pair of legs rather than a whole jointed bird) is braised with onion, red wine, tomato paste, bacon; garlic, herbs, saffron and pine nuts are added for the last half hour and the cooked haricot beans (I cheated and used tinned) for the last quarter of an hour. I would certainly make it again with a few adjustments, viz: olive oil for browning the duck was superfluous as there was more than enough duck and bacon fat to do the job; home-cooked beans would have a better texture; I might add the pine nuts right at the end to retain some crunch; and I'd revert to my usual policy of saving the saffron for dishes where it is the star ingredient, as a pinch of it in a dish like this with so many other competing flavours is a bit of a waste.

183 books cooked; 59 still to go.

Jul 11, 2022, 11:52 am

French Country Cooking by Elizabeth David

I made Mussel, Shrimp and Mushroom Gratin, using the mussel-opening juices with butter and flour and a little cream to make a sauce, and topping with parsley and breadcrumbs then browning under the grill. The mussel juices and mushrooms between them made quite a grey sauce but it tasted fine. Next time I'd put the parsley in the sauce rather than on top with the breadcrumbs.

A clove of garlic was mentioned in the ingredients but not in the body of the recipe; I added it anyway (thinly sliced and lightly fried with the mushrooms).

184 books cooked; 58 still to go.

Jul 11, 2022, 9:29 pm

>211 Sovay: That sounds lovely.

Editado: Jul 13, 2022, 2:59 am

Italian Regional Cookery by Valentina Harris

I made Insalata di Riso Novarese: the rice is cooked with white wine, layered with thinly sliced raw fungi (white truffle, strictly speaking, but I went with the allowable - and affordable - mushroom variant) and seasoned with an anchovy, garlic, lemon and olive oil dressing. I liked it a lot - went well with a grilled sea bream fillet and green salad. The truffle would probably add more depth of flavour but I've never eaten one and suspect it would not be to my taste - and it would be a very expensive experiment to find out ...

I've had this book for years, never cooked anything from it and have no idea why not - plenty of tempting recipes.

185 books cooked; 57 still to go.

Jul 14, 2022, 2:35 am

The Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer

I made Slow-Roasted Ras-al-Hanout Mushrooms with Halloumi and Pine Nuts. Also included shallots, butter, garlic and lemon zest which all went in at the start with the whole mushrooms and ras-al-hanout, and were covered and roasted in a slowish oven; cover removed and halloumi and pine nuts added towards the end along with lemon juice and a increase in oven temp. The mushrooms and shallots were delicious; halloumi I think would have been better left in bigger chunks rather than the 1cm cubes as per recipe; and the tin needed serious deglazing which wasn't allowed for - I'd probably save the lemon juice to add right at the end with a little hot water.

A bit of an extravagant book in terms of energy use - lots of promising recipes but I tend to use it only when I have something else to go in the oven at the same time.

Jul 15, 2022, 2:05 am

Précis of books previously cooked - the Cs:

The Food and Cooking of Eastern Europe by Lesley Chamberlain - I made Leipziger Allelei - very good
The Omelette Book by Narcissa G. Chamberlain - I made Omelette Paysanne with bacon, potatoes and sorrel - tasted fine but looked like pond sludge due to the sorrel
The Flavour of France by The Chamberlains - I made Côtes de Porc a l'Auvergnat, braised with cabbage, white wine, cream and cheese - delicious but probably not good for one's health
The Flavour of France 2 also by The Chamberlains - I made Haricots Verts Béarnaises - cooked with ham and tomatoes, excellent
Indian Restaurant Cookbook by Pat Chapman - I made Mattar Paneer - paneer with peas, tomatoes and ginger, very good
250 Favourite Curries also by Pat Chapman - I made Aloo Hari Ghobi - sweet potato and broccoli, pretty good
Casa Moro by Sam and Sam Clark - I made Col con Castagnas (braised cabbage with chestnuts) - excellent
Moro also by the Sam Clarks - I made Sopa de Setas (mushroom soup with almonds) - very good though some issues with almond texture
Four Seasons Cookery Book by Margaret Costa - I made Cabbage with Caraway Seeds and Wine - excellent

Jul 15, 2022, 2:17 am

And the Ds whilst I'm at it:
The Classical Cookbook by Andrew Dalby - I made Stuffed Kidneys, a Roman recipe - delicious but right fiddly
Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen by Elizabeth David - I made Baked Haricot Beans with Oxtail - tasty but less economical than it used to be and takes an age to cook
North Atlantic Seafood by Alan Davidson - I made Polderaardappelen Gevuld med Garnalen, a Belgian recipe - baked potato stuffed with shrimps, excellent
Farmhouse Fare by Mary Day - I made Blackberry Vinegar, a primarily medicinal preparation which does seem to have some effect on cold symptoms, though that may be psychological. I wouldn't drink it for pleasure though.

Jul 15, 2022, 7:07 am

>215 Sovay: Is Narcissa G. Chamberlain related to, and does The Chamberlains team, include Sam Chamberlain of the Gourmet magazine? If so, the recipes will be memorably good.

Jul 16, 2022, 12:57 pm

>217 hfglen: I'm not familiar with the Gourmet magazine so not sure - The Chamberlains (two of them, one of whom is Narcissa G.) were active in the 1950s and 1960s judging by the publication dates and info in the introductions of my books, which may give you a clue.

Editado: Jul 17, 2022, 9:15 am

All About Cookery by Isabella Beeton

I made Broad Beans à la Poulette: blanched and skinned the beans, then simmered them in stock with herbs until tender and finished them with a liaison of egg yolk and cream. Result was excellent.

I've not been looking forward to cooking this book, given my experience of my other Mrs Beeton book (see message 13 way back at the top) and there weren't too many recipes I wanted to tackle, though to be fair that was partly because many of the more attractive ones wouldn't have been easy to adapt for a smaller quantity. However I'd certainly make this again. Herbs weren't specified other than that they had to include parsley - I used parsley and marjoram. It needs care at the end as the egg-and-cream mixture curdles easily if it gets too hot (as I've found when using it in other recipes) and the skinned beans are fragile so stirring is not advisable - careful shaking and swirling required.

187 books cooked; 55 still to go.

Jul 17, 2022, 6:32 am

>218 Sovay: Sounds like the couple I'm thinking of. I have Bouquet de France (1953) and British Bouquet (1963), both of which are attributed to Samuel Chamberlain, though IIRC Narcissa G. Chamberlain is credited inside with the recipes. Apparently he was a gifted artist, and Bouquet de France is illustrated with his drawings and etchings (mostly) and photos (relatively few). The recipes tend towards haute cuisine, but work nonetheless; the text and pictures are delightful "museum-pieces" of a bygone age.

Jul 17, 2022, 9:20 am

Both volumes of The Flavour of France are full of photographs by Samuel Chamberlain - which are what caught my eye in the first place, though I've enjoyed all the recipes I've tried as well.

Nov 24, 2022, 5:49 am

Are you still cooking from your cookbooks? Do you grow your own herbs? Your meals are interesting and inspiring.