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Music – “How to Cook” from My Monster Friend by Jason Goodman.
In my cookbook collection, I have a number of “vintage” cookbooks. Although in the advanced year of 2015, we tend to think of ourselves as “progressive”, “worldly”, and “know-it-alls”, some of the advice and hints from “vintage” and antique cookbooks almost a hundred years ago still apply today.
For example, in a vintage cookbook published by The Daily Telegraph and Morning Post, London, 1967 and titled “Sociable Cook’s Book”, the author “Bon Viveur” shares all kinds of tips for the cook, often tongue-in-cheek and amusing. “Never forget that eggs go on cooking even on a warm plate and the synonym for “dry” in scrambled eggs is “ruined”!
On pineapple, the author says that “If you are faced with a whole pineapple, your hostess should be shot”.
As for pomegranates, “…their pippy flesh makes them completely anti-social, so grab one and retire to the garden or the bathroom to chew, suck and spit in decent isolation”.
“Half a grapefruit with a cherry stuck in the middle is just about as depressing as a British Railways Hotel breakfast room” says “Bon Viveur”.
Referring to the sad state of Britain’s butchers, the author says that “Here and there you can winkle out some elderly man who is a master at his trade but in the main they do not know a tournedos from a toadstool…”. Such harsh words!
And as to advice for leftovers, etc. “….one basic Rule For Cooks….Inspect everything in your refrigerator every day, lest the lurking menace of overlooked corners defies economy with verdigris”.
Should anyone be able to afford caviar, it might be a good idea to learn how to eat it correctly. Says “Bon Viveur”, “Once we saw a little mound of superb Russian grey caviare being chased around a plate with a knife and fork. The correct way is to eat caviare like jam – spreading a little at a time on to hot toast…” So, be reprimanded.
The author has several pithy comments about eating spaghetti (you must use a fork and a spoon), as well as a plethora of other sage cooking advice.
Vintage cookbooks may be “vintage”, but they are packed with information, which was just as tried and true then as it is now. Have a look at some and you might be surprised!