The rise of the humble Cook Book in the last 5 years is nothing short of astonishing. Chef’s and Cooks have become the new celebs in our lives and they follow us into our own homes. Paris Hilton never even got as far as the front door.
I recently found a pile of my mother’s torn out recipes from the People’s Friend circa 1960, a Lofty Peak Flour recipe book and some beautiful hand written recipes. The handwriting is exquisite, the paper aged and I found myself transported back to her kitchen where I stood on a chair as a child and watched the alchemy.
My shelf contains inspiration from Nigella, Jamie, Gordon, Delia, Stephanie to name a few. I trust their advice without ever having met them. My mother would only have trusted the food she had eaten and the cook who served it.
Mum seems to be teasing me in these recipes as very few have a name, as if the ingredients should tell you exactly what it is. Or was she planning to launch a book entitled Culinary Roulette. However, as all great cooks would tell you, when passing on a recipe you should always leave a key ingredient off the list so that the recipient leaves your status of domestic goddess intact. This appears to be true of my mothers handwritten recipes. There was one ingredient that I remember always being added but does not appear on the list, and that was a “1 generous heartful of love”.
My mother’s beautiful pieces of culinary literature are, in my opinion, as worthy as any of the great classics.