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Vintage Recipe Books
Recently I've begun to gather together a small collection of vintage recipe books, this is both by accident and design! My Gran's is one of my favourites because it includes some of her handwritten recipes and personal cooking notes in the front. This one is called Revo recipes, which came with her yellow enamel electric cooker. I loved my Gran's kitchen which looked out over a very neat garden, complete with extensive vegetable patch. Her kitchen units were homemade looking and a creamy yellow, and she had a white enamel deep sink. She used lots of pretty butter yellow Art Deco plates mixed in with funky orange Gaydon melamine in her kitchen - so at the time she was both trendy and old fashioned :O)
This rather fetching photograph of a salmon flan - looking a bit like an insipid 'spam quiche' is from the Stork Margerine Cookery book, which I had to purchase in order to take my O level cookery exam in the 1970s. This book has to be the most referred to cookery book I own, I use it all of the time and have written all over it! Quite interesting as over the years my handwriting has altered so much. It's a stalwart for scone and pancake recipes, it also has a great one for cheesecake, which I must get around to remaking!
This recipe pamphlet from the People's Friend, is a Baking Book and was given to me by a friend recently. Packed full of homemade biscuits and cakes this is one to dig out when all of the family are next home, I love the iced fancies on the front!
Back in the day recipe books often had drawings and illustrations and any photos taken were often in black and white (40s & 50s), or a lack lustre colour because of the printing methods (60s & 70s).
You would think because of this, the vintage books are not as appealing as today's slick colourful, carefully styled cookery books (think Jamie and The Hairy Dieters). Retro recipe books are cooking instruction manuals, not lifestyle books where cookery can be presented as a luxury hobby... These vintage books are a treasure trove of easy to make recipes using every day store cupboard ingredients.