I have proudly amassed a number of recipe books over the years, it does amaze me how many I own and sadly how many of them are no longer used as reference books, but are relegated to decor.
Yet it is these books that have kept me entertained, explained those cooking techniques that apparently everyone else has known from birth. Nigella Lawson showed me how to make cupcakes, she certainly was not be blame for when I tried to cook the cupcakes under the grill, as opposed to the conventional oven, sad but true!
These days if I need a recipe I reach out to the internet, generally within seconds it will produce a recipe and so much more.
One of the books that ordains my kitchen shelves and one that I use is;
ORLANDO GOUGH RECIPE JOURNAL: A Celebration of Extraordinary Home Cooks. NO.2, discovered by chance at TOAST; a fortunate find for me.
It is a slim, unassuming cookbook. The book is presented in decades starting from 1950 through to 2010.
It is written in a familiar manner, almost as if a good friend has hand written their favourite recipes for you. There is a sense that these recipes are actually used and each one is linked to an occasion in the author’s life.
There is a colloquial dialogue running throughout the book, leading the reader to an understanding that the recipes are simple but very special.
You can see the recipes have evolved through spending quality time with people who the author likes, rather than actors who have been drafted in to depict a trendy set of friends…
There is a minimal need for fancy gadgets, the recipes and are legible and you can tweak them without ruining them.
My favourite? Baked Eggs (1950) – this was one of the first recipes I used, it is delicious as is and even more so when you add some fresh thyme.
This book is a joy and you can still buy it from Amazon!