Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Retro Cookbook Swap!

When I was a kid,  I thought Delia Smith was my mother! No, really.  Not beause she was a brilliant cook (which she is) or beause she's chairman of Norwich City FC (she's not)  No, the reason for this confusion was that, in my child's mind, the picture of Delia on the back of Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course was a spitting image of my mum!  After telling some friends about this, every now and then, when there is a Delia show on TV, someone will pipe up and tell me my Mum is on the telly.

After this revelation, there were a few conversations about how everyone has a favourite cook book - mine (inherited from my Mum) is a 1968 copy of The Dairy Book of Home Cookery.  It's battered and stained but it's still my go-to book for some really basic things like measurements for pastry and how long to cook a joint for. Mrs Soup's is a 1973 copy of The Cookery Year, and is regularly referred to for measurements for jams, jellies, chutneys and how long to cook everything from a joint of beef to grouse.

They've both also got some amazing retro foods (a lot of dinner party foods that were probably served at swingers parties) and sections on Offal and Game that have passed from retro to cool again, as well as vaguely dismissive sections on Foods of the World and Vegetarian Foods.  It really is a slice of the past preserved for all to see. And pretty much everyone, I suspect has at least one of books on their shelf - some well used (mine has been referred to as 'The Bible', so well thumbed and worn it is), and some unloved, unread and unseen for many years!

Wouldn't it be nice if we could put these books to some use?

And so we come to the first Soup Tuesday Cookbook Swap! The idea is explained in full (with details of how to sign up, and all the relevant dates) on a separate page of the blog which can be found at the top of the blog or here, but the basic idea is that everyone taking part picks one of their unused cookbooks (for this first swap it's those old, pre-1990 books) and sends it to the next person in the chain, where hopefully it will receive some new life, and might even become someone else's new 'Bible'.

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