Now it's not new and it's definitely not fancy and there is no way I would ever go into a bookstore and buy the newest edition so I could throw this one away. This cookery book was given to me by my mum as an engagement present. I loved cooking but back in those olden days, there weren't many celebrity chefs bringing out books and I relied on my O level cookery recipes and Mum's family recipes. This book has very few photos in it, a few black and white lined drawings, splashes and spillages all over it and every classic recipe you could ever need. It's from Good Housekeeping and when I received it, it had a green hardcover with gold lettering on it. There was a colourful paper sleeve around it too, but that fell to pieces many years ago. Now it has a tatty front cover piece of card and the index pages have fallen out of the binding and are attached to the main book by a piece of ribbon. Interleaved in the pages are comments, hints that Mum passed onto me and instructions like 'might not need to add so much liquid next time'. In there too are a few handwritten recipes that my Mum gave me, like her recipe for meringues. Some of the handy hints she scribbled alongside these notes make me smile so much as they probably made sense to her at the time, but they're not always so clear to anyone else now! But along with those smiles is a little pang of sadness that she's not here for me to say 'What on earth does that mean?!' No mention is made of microwaves, recipes are shown in lbs and oz first and those new fangled metric equivalents in brackets. This is 'proper old school' as my kids would say.
But it's precious. It was my first recipe book, and given from mum to daughter as I embarked on proper grown up married life, and no other cookery book will ever take its place. It's not a very traditional heirloom but my kids know that this is one cookery book that must never be thrown away.
This post is part of Sian's monthly blog post - be sure to swing by there and see what other people are choosing this month.