Somebody asked me this weekend if I knew how many cookery books I had. I was smiling dreamily over a new purchase at the time (‘The White-Watson Menu and Recipe Book’ circa 1930). I couldn’t give them an accurate answer of course. Does anyone ever truly know how many books they have. Answers to such a question might range from “none” (unthinkable) through “a few”, “some”, “a lot” to “way too many to count” (which for a true bibliophile might more accurately be translated “not enough actually”).
The follow-up to this question usually is something along the lines of “and have you read them all?” Now this is easier to answer truthfully, at least as far as cookery books go: “No, of course not”. Some recipe books can be devoured like novels, others are more prosaic. As I thought more on it, however, I realised that some of the books in my collection had barely been glanced at, let alone read. I had bought them (from charity shops and boot sales in the main), exclaimed over them, shelved them and forgotten them. Shameful.
So, to rectify the situation I am thinking about doing a post for each of my recipe books. At first I thought of a daily post. Ha! Who am I kidding? But it is something to aim for. I thought I would take the books in the order they come in on the shelves (which is no order at all). If the book is out of print (and I would say that at least a third of what I have would qualify as ‘vintage’) I’ll include a recipe plus an Amazon link for as many as I can, in case you too are tempted.