Exeter stew anyone? Or a nice Vegetarian Duck?
You can go way back beyond the now traditional ‘exotic’ spaghetti bolognese or ratatouille and delve into some fascinating cookery books of the past. The books probably won’t cost much, and neither will the food.
Cookery books before the 1920s are quite scarce, mainly because very few were published. Look for the ones published between the Twenties and Fifties however, and they can be the source of interesting social history as well as some (possibly!) interesting recipes.
Don’t eat this one though:
1 1lb soft soap; 1 lb Calais sand; 1 1b whiting; 1 quart of water, to boil it all up for 1 hour.
You could try it for scouring your scummy pans, perhaps.
Books still readily available to look out for include:
The Ministry of Food’s ABC of Cookery (1945)
Elizabeth Craig’s Electric Cookery (1938)
Granny’s Yorkshire Recipes (1934).
Who could resist that?
Vegetarians may wish to snap up Good Food Without Meat (also published as Dishes without Meat) by Ambrose Heath (1940). There may be some disappointment though, as the lack of meat in the recipes is due to its scarcity in war-time rather than any true vegetarian motivation.
That recipe for Vegetarian Duck I mentioned earlier? Some ducks may be vegetarian, but this dish is not quite what it seems. Forget the duck. You will need some lentils and breadcrumbs for this one. Simply form the mixture into a duck shape then bake for 45 minutes. Try it with some home-made tomato sauce, and maybe some quackers.
A rare bird in a rare book online!
We can look out for the books mentioned above or any other book for you, either as a specific book search or to add your details to our Books Wanted list. Contact us here with your details.