I’ve got a bit of a cheek posting a photo of this book, it’s so tattered most people would throw it away but that would break my husband’s heart as this is probably his favourite book of all time.
30 years old next year, it came with him when he moved in many moons ago and it been somewhere near the top of the heap ever since. Saying that, it did take me quite a few years to love it as much as he, but now I find it is one of my go to books when I want something traditional. You will find the very basics from Yorkshire Pudding , Irish Stew and Greengage Crumble to the more unusual fare of Dublin Lawyer (lobster) and Rose Petal Sorbet.
Peppered with wonderful old quotations and black and white photographs of country scenes and people from days gone by it does represent a different age of cooking but one we can still learn a lot from. Everything from Bread and Butter Pudding, Potted Shrimps, Boiled Bacon and Braised Oxtail is in here, dishes that my mother and grandmother used to make and are still firmly imprinted in my memory. The only recipe I have had out of here that I haven’t liked is Braised Kidneys in Port Wine which my husband cooked for me several years ago and which I can’t quite bring myself to try again, I can only put it down to the combination as I like kidneys and I like port but I just didn’t like the two together, a bit like two really nice people in a bad marriage.
When I had my cake stall at Wyken Farmers Market in Stanton, at this time of the year ginger cakes, crumbles and fruit cakes started to take over from the pavlovas and summer cheesecakes. Dundee cake was a favourite of Sir Kenneth Carlisle, the owner of the beautiful Wyken Hall, the recipe out of this book is the one I used to make for him. It wasn’t worth tweaking to call it my own as it is perfect as it is. Although I have made more than I care to remember I still have to look every year at the recipe and the time for tea and fruitcake is definitely here.