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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

PHYLLIS' FIRST COOKERY BOOK

Good Morning to you,

I was looking for a recipe in Phyllis' cookery book and it occurred to me, that I had forgotten to share  her book with you.

The reason I wanted to share Phyllis' cookery book, was to show you the transition from Ivy's, to Phyllis' to mine. It is really fascinating to compare the books.  

Ivy's Cookery Book had 4 colour plates and the method was written for someone who actually knew how to cook.  I think if you were a novice this book would have been no help at all. 

Now Phyllis' Cookery Book is much grander as it has 17 colour plates, and the Method is easier to follow and more detailed. 

Whereas mine, well, it is just bursting with colour photographs and information. I think I said that mine was a "peacock" compared to Ivy and Phyllis' cookery books.


Does this book look familiar?

It does doesn't it. Do you know why? Well it is  because it is similar to this one, but if you look closely at the motif, there is a difference. On this book cover, you will notice there is a rolling pin and wooden spoon, instead of a spool and needle. They are a set, the first one is a sewing book and this one is a cookery book.

Let me introduce you to Phyllis' first cookery book.
I almost feel there should be a fan fare.... tadaaah!


You open up the book and this colour plate is the first one you see. I think this plate is to entice you into the book, to see what other delights are hidden inside. How do you fancy "Roast Pheasant with  Accompaniments".  


... and how about cooking the pheasant in this oven,
The caption reads,

"Cooking the Modern Way. This roomy modern cooker has a door that drops at the front.  This is an advantage when basting meat, as the tin can rest upon the door". mmm not so sure about that.

Whilst this lady  is elegantly stooping, I think I would get a bad back after a day's cooking, with having to stoop so much.

The chapter begins with the sentence, 

"The housewife probably spends more of her waking hours in her kitchen than any other room in the house.  It should therefore be a pleasant room and a well-appointed one".

Hands up everyone who agrees that we all need, a pleasant and well appointed room.... my hand is up, well actually, both my hands are up.  

....but seriously, so much time was spent in the kitchen because all the food had to be freshly prepared. There were no easy frozen or ready cooked meals for our mothers.


There was an alternative cooker.  This is a small table cooker and the caption reads, 

"For a small household this type of cooker is convenient and economic.  It boils, grills and bakes just as efficiently as the larger models."

I look at my large cooker, with it's six gas rings and it's double oven, and I wonder if I could cook as well on this little stove.  Actually I know I could, it would take a little while to adjust though.

I remember watching a programme about cooking in Greece.  The presenter, visited an elderly lady, who lived in a little village house in the mountains. For her cooking, she only used an open fire.  She made the most beautiful looking baklava which she  baked over the open fire. Where we would put the baklava in the oven, she just placed it in a pan and cooked one side, then she flipped it over onto a plate and slid the uncooked side back into the pan to show us the beautiful, golden brown, baklava. I have never forgotten her as she was in her 80's and had cooked all her life over an open fire and produced such lovely food. I was, and still am, full of admiration for her, but to this lady, it was normal, as she had always cooked that way. 


How about this deep freezer.... a little different to the huge fridge/freezers we have today.  Do you see the small compartment on the left hand side. The caption reads,

"This refrigerator has a deep-freeze compartment on the left, and in this foods can be stored for many months. Fruits and vegetables can be gathered in the summer and stored in perfect condition until Christmas." 

Actually it does remind me of the fridge Phyllis had when I was a little girl.  We lived in Cyprus at the time and the only way to get ice, was to buy it by the "chunk", yes you read correctly a chunk. A man would ride his three wheeled bicycle through the streets of Famagusta.  The bike had a container attached to the front and inside he had a huge block of ice.  He would shout to tell people he had arrived, and everyone who wanted to buy ice, would take their dish out to him, and he would chip off a chunk of ice for you.


I thought it a shame that we could not enjoy this beautifully laid table, in colour, with the crystal glasses shimmering in the light, but alas this was a black and white photograph.

The caption reads,

"Cutlery is laid from the outside and is used towards the plate.  If desired, the sweet fork and spoon can be laid at the top of the cover."

This beautifully laid table is at the beginning of the Home Entertainment section,

"Entertaining can be a pleasure or a strain; much depends on how it is tackled.  If meals are planned beforehand there is no need for a single handed housewife to forgo the pleasure of having her friends to luncheon, dinner or tea, a fork supper or any other type of entertainment within her means and within the scope of her household.

If domestic help is out of the question, and if economy must be studied, entertainment should be simple.  To strain after effect is to court disaster.  Simple meals can be as charming and as satisfactory as the most lavish ones.  One secret of success is to prepare as much of the meal as possible beforehand."

.....This section sounded very Downton Abbey to me.


As you can see, this table is laid for a birthday tea. I love the style of tea plates as they are very delicate. The birthday cake I would imagine is a fruit cake, oh, just a minute and I will check. Yes, it is a fruit cake.  


Before I go, I thought you would like to see a closeup of this lovely embroidered tablecloth which I have been using as a back drop.  

A good friend of mine knew that I collected embroidered tablecloths and gave me this one as a gift.  There is so much beautiful embroidery in this tablecloth. This is a good quality linen which I lightly starch  after washing..... oooh, I had another Downton Abbey moment!

This is just a little selection of photographs and information from the book. This is a comprehensive book which is broken down into sections, with advice about your kitchen, home entertaining, preparation of foods, seasonal menus and so much more. There is so much useful information, that for a young wife it would have been such a very useful book. 

I will show you more of the contents of Phyllis' book at a later date.  I think you will find the section on Home Entertainment interesting.  

On Sunday I will be making Lemon Curd from Phyllis' Cookery book, so I am going to sort out my store of jars as I love Lemon Curd..... oh yes and so does George.

Take care and I will see you later in the week.

This week I will be joining,














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