Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Cookery Year

I must share with you a family secret. I most highly recommend this book to you. I have been using this book since it was first published in the early 1970s. Quite simply it is a fantastic cookery book, Readers Digest 'The Cookery Year' is a comprehensive guide to food. Month by month the book will tell you which food is in season and give excellent recipes for almost every classic dish you have ever heard about. February for example, will give you a number of different marmalade recipes - useful because I have just bought a large bag of Seville oranges!!
Beautiful illustrations and information about every single fruit, vegetable, meat, poultry, game, fish and cheese complete with preparation and cooking instructions.
If you don't know your entrecote from your fore-rib, your shank from your knuckle or your rump from your elbow.. this book will show you.
There are still a few second hand books available on Amazon (at a price!!phew!) Matron suggests that you snap one up. Indispensable for those of us that like to eat food in season and grow our own! Has anyone come across it?

20 Comments:

At 7:35 PM, Blogger VP said...

I usually dismiss RD books because of all that dreadful junk mail my parents used to get from them when I was a child. That one looks a real gem though - funny how trends come and go and seasonal food is currently trotted out as a great 'new' thing!

 
At 9:16 PM, Anonymous easygardener said...

I notice the aubergines, peppers and courgettes are "less common vegetables".
How daring we gardeners have become since the 70's!

 
At 9:18 PM, Blogger Anna said...

I have not come across this book before but will look out for it. I have the Readers' Digest 'Food from Your Garden' which has a lot of vegetable recipes as well as hints on cultivation. It also has a good section on food preservation.

 
At 10:34 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

Hm, I'm fairly sure I've seen this book on my mother-in-law's bookshelves. Will have to see if she'll let me 'borrow' it. Haven't seen the Seville oranges in the shops here yet, but I'm planning to make lots of marmalade this year - can't wait!!

 
At 12:34 AM, Blogger Emily said...

I came across a similar gem at a local used book store, though not with the wonderful illustrations. It's called Home Gardener's Cookbook by Marjorie Page Blanchard, published in 1974. It's even written in my neck of the woods (Vermont) so I don't have to be frustrated that they are telling me my tomatoes will be ready months earlier than they really are.
I enjoy your blog. Keep it up!

 
At 2:05 AM, Anonymous Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

I had this book - but come to think of it I haven't seen it in my bookcase for a while - I bet I lent it to someone ... it was such a handy book
K

 
At 8:40 AM, Blogger Magic Cochin said...

I'll have to look out for that one in the charity shops ;-)

Like Anna, I can recommend Readers' Digest 'Food from Your Garden', it was the first gardening book I bought and it's still the most useful.

Celia

 
At 12:52 PM, Blogger lilymarlene said...

I hae had mine (a present from my youngest sister) for years. As you say a VERY useful book.

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger Captain Tongo said...

Had it years ago.
Fantastic tome with really useful illustrations.
Captain Tongo.
(Happy New Year by the way.)

 
At 7:16 PM, OpenID jenniepowell said...

I've got this book and my mother in law has it. She has the 1970s edition, but I was lucky to find a more recent edition in a discount bookshop, and it is really interesting to note the differences between the two volumes!

I use my copy regularly, whenever I go to try something new I always look in my 'cookery year' to see if it's in there first!n I'd really recommend this as a brilliant book for anyone who wants to cook, from beginners onwards.

 
At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mother has a 70's copy that is held together with sellotape. I bought mine (early eighties) when I set up home properly. I bought my sister a copy when she did the same (very late 80's). All are slightly different as time moved on, but all are tatty, food stained and the reference book of last resort. Everything in it works ... some of it is a bit dated, but now you just call it 'retro'! :-)

 
At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Chicken Lover said...

I recommend Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook, also A Cook's Year by Gregg Wallace (the bald one off Masterchef).

 
At 12:32 AM, Blogger Peggy said...

Hi, I am visiting from Ireland. I have 'lurked 'here on a number of occasions, cannot remember if I have ever left a comment. Do you mind if I link to my own blog as I find yours has a wealth of advice and information. Allotments are enjoying a bit of a rennaisance here but are hard to come by. Most of them including ours are on private land.There is a lot of pressure being put on City Councils etc to provide land for municipal allotments, but as usual it will take time.

 
At 8:22 AM, Blogger Matron said...

Chicken Lover - I enjoy watching and listening to Greg Wallace, someone who really knows his veggies! I'll look out for this book.
Peggy - please do put a link to this blog. That's a great way to make blogging work.

 
At 2:06 PM, Blogger Tattyanne said...

I too have this book Matron, very useful it is too. I got mine through Ebay, postage and packing was a bit expensive, because it is a heavy old book, but well worth the money. I also have the other one Food from your garden.

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger Chiot's Run said...

What an interesting book!

 
At 12:12 PM, Blogger this is my patch said...

I bought this cookery book from Readers Digest in 1986, the year we moved in to our first home. It is a really lovely book, I shall never sell it. x

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger BilboWaggins said...

Thanks for the reminder, this is a wonderful book. Must go and find my copy, it will be lurking at the back of a shelf somewhere!

 
At 6:39 AM, Blogger Tessa said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ruth

http://muffinsnow.com

 
At 11:53 AM, Blogger Greensheen Blogger said...

I have this book and it is amazing. You have to adapt some of the recipes to suit modern equipment and tastes, but it remains an essential part of my kitchen.

You're got to love the ever so slightly sexist language implied throughout, as there are more than a few occasions where the reader is assumed to be female and cooking for husband and children. We really have come a long way.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

>