Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Elizabeth Craig

Until a few weeks ago I didn't think I possessed an Elizabeth Craig cookery book. I had heard of her, of course. In her day (1920's and 30's) she was probably the most well known and most published cookery writer. Her output was prodigious. She didn't confine herself to cookery either but wrote on many other subjects connected with homecraft and house-keeping; a pre-war Martha Stewart, and just as inspirational and unattainable for most of her readership I would imagine too. Then I obtained a copy of 'Elizabeth Craig's House-Keeping', a copy of 'The Housewives' Monthly Calendar' and found a copy of 'Economical Cookery' lurking, forgotten on a bookshelf. I'm hooked. Wikipedia has a few bald facts on her life - I would love to know more about her.

So, this year I'll be sharing snippets from 'The Housewives' Monthly Calendar', published in 1936. Each month she provides 'A Table Of Work', a menu suggestion for each day, 'Tea Bread For The Month', 'Table Decorations' and ideas for sandwiches and fillings. No recipes are given. I would imagine that the calendar was designed to be used with her other works, which would provide them if needed. The book is a delight. It would be fun to follow at least some of her suggestions for the month and some of the sandwich fillings sound quite delicious and far more imaginative than anything I have ever come up with. This was obviously a time when sandwiches were taken very seriously indeed.

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