Sunday, 7 October 2012

Vintage cooking heaven...

It's no secret that I have a bit of a problem when it comes to the purchasing of cookbooks. I love all kinds of cookbooks and am regularly suckered in by the newest offering from our favourite tv chefs however I also love to pick up secondhand bargains and am particularly fond of retro cookbooks with amazing images.  

I cannot resist buying a cookbook with some dodgy looking food in it - okay, I'm never going to cook it but it's the social history aspect of it that fascinates me. I often wonder - did people actually make these creations? 

One of my most recent purchases was this book,

The Wonderful World of Cookery, filled with delights such as the most obscene club sandwich ever, a bolognese/crepe concoction and some kind of swiss roll made out of gelatine and liver. Yum.

Then there is this beauty, which is actually a great cookbook for the basics and the classics, don't let me put you off.

The Hamlyn All Colour Cook Book with a rather flamboyant way of serving a pineapple salad and more fish/mousse combinations that one would ever need in their life.

A trip through my cookbooks is like a journey through Mary Berry's personal photo album.

Hasn't she changed? She seems to have found herself a good stylist and dresses a bit younger these days. She's also a lot thinner?

Never a judge a book by a cover is what people say - I say hell to that - I judged these by their cover and they were awesome.

Just look at those illustrations. They don't make them like that anymore.

Have you got any vintage cookbook gems? I'd love to see or hear about them so do tell me about them!

In the meantime I'm off to make dinner. Unfortunately, it's not going to be "Lamb Cutlet Royale" with "Mandarin Delight" but maybe one day if Mr M plays his cards right (or wrong) it will be!

Bon appetite!


  1. The Readers Digest Cookery Year which I blogged about here is an absolute classic.
    My mum also has a partworks series of 72 Cordon Bleu Cookery Course Magazines from the late 60's which are fantastic.
    I wish I still had my brownie cookbook from the 80's. Must scour ebay for one.
    I will blame you when I next go into a charity shop and emerge with an armful of cookbooks!

    1. Ooh yes, I recently bough the Readers Digest one. Actually, it may have been you that inspired me.

      Ha, at least we live a long way from each other so they'll be no fighting over that 30 year old Delia book in the corner of Oxfam...

  2. My mum still has the Reader's Digest Cookery Year and I used it a lot when I was living at home. It's a classic.

    Two words for you: Fanny Craddock.

  3. PS: Did you have this as a child?

  4. I grew up with the Hamlyn All Colour Cook Book! I keep meaning to rescue my grandmother's EPIC collection of old cookery books - I should really get on with that.

    One thing I'd really like to get my hands on is her massive collection of Robert Carrier's Kitchen magazines which was just completely amazing back in the eighties and, I should imagine, beyond all belief now.

    1. I have a set of Robert Carrier's Kitchen magazines number 1 to 88 (number 60 is missing). If you are interested, make me an offer!!

  5. I have two Hamlyn cookbooks from the 1970s - The Best of Baking and The Best of Buffets and Salads. Also Good Housekeeping's Good Cooking. All very dated and quite funny to see the pictures now. However, my Florence Greenberg's Jewish Cookery Book, first published in 1947, my edition 1972, is the one i go to for basic pastry recipes and other things no one makes from scratch anymore e.g. custard. I had thought to give the big cookbooks to a secondhand bookshop but your post has made me want to keep them now.
    I also had almost all the 1970s M&S cookbooks that I collected as a teenager but I left them at home with my mother when I moved out as we couldn't remember which were hers and which were mine. I don't think she kept them all when she eventually moved - shame.

  6. My goodness, I have both the Hamlyn All-Colour Italian Cookbook AND the Hamlyn All-Colour Indian Cookbook. I had not realised there was a basic version to compete the set.

  7. I'm still inspired by my first cookbook!
    Great post.


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