Tuesday is Book Day

Welcome to what will become our regular look at new (and maybe not so new!) books that have got us twitching to click on our Wishlist button…

Embroidery Companion: Classic Designs for Modern Living

I don’t do a huge amount of hand sewing or embroidery – I’d really love to, but all those different threads and fabrics and styles are pretty flipping daunting. Judging by the reviews that Alicia Paulson’s Embroidery Companion: Classic Designs for Modern Living has got after its release in the USA, this could be the book that would calm my anxieties. It’s out here in the next couple of days. You can seen Alicia’s work and designs on her wonderful blog.  Her embroidery style is modern but it has a very endearing vintage quality – it’s extremely inspiring.

Kitchenella

The theme in cook books at the moment seems to be speed and simplicity – a couple of books that I might be tempted by are Thirty Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver and Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Easy. These two are both out this month, but what’s much more likely to get me clicking the Buy button is Rose Prince’s brilliantly titled Kitchenella: The Secrets of Women: Heroic, Simple, Nurturing Cookery – for Everyone. Prince’s argument is that in spite of the popularity of cookery programmes and aspirational cookery books, we are creating a generation of ‘kitchen orphans’ and traditional home cooking and economy skills are in serious decline. Her aim is to pass on the ideas, advice and recipes of women that are in serious danger of being lost.  I was taught to cook by my mum, and she gave me confidence and encouragement to experiment – I was cooking family meals from my early teens (clever mum!). I also inherited my godmother’s collected recipes, which have been a huge inspiration, so I’m already convinced by her argument. I’ll be intrigued to see what Rose Prince has gathered together here.

I feel so lucky that my mum, and my school to a lesser extent, taught me about cooking and baking, and helped me feel really positive about home cooking, because I know it’s not something that comes easily to everyone.  Do you enjoy cooking with and for your family, or is it just a chore?  Do you think a book like this one cold make you feel better about it?

12 thoughts on “Tuesday is Book Day

  1. I like Rose Prince’s book ‘The New English Cookbook’ and it was this book that got me making stock again – which in turn increased my soup and such-like output. I credit Rose with dramatically increasing variety of lunch contents and confirming my commitment to buying meat at a butcher.
    Will be interested to read this book too – thanks for bringing it to my attention Ali!

    1. Let me know what you think of it Kate. I really wanted to get The New English Cookbook, but couldn’t justify it at the time…! But I must try and get it out of the library. Making stock is such a sensible thing to do and makes such a difference to homemade soups.

  2. We’ve (eldest, almost 5, and 10wk old asleep in the sling) just baked our second round of your gingernuts, yum. Yes, I love baking and like you I’m very lucky my mum gave me that love and the knack, even though I’m a bit of a bucket chemist with it. But I had this romantic notion that she’d learnt to bake at her mother’s knee, and I cherished her battered brown recipe book full of my childhood favourites. I found out last week that it was the Be-Ro recipe book that had been given to each girl in her school kitchen as a kid – commercial sponsorship from the 60’s!

    As regards daily meals, I do enjoy cooking but it’s all so rushed at the moment balancing both girls’ need for bed with their dad coming in late due to the traffic that we’re stuck with a dull round of boring staples.

    1. But at least you have the dull round of boring staples to turn to at tough times when you don’t feel like doing anything complex. I bet a lot of people don’t even have the knowledge to whip up a quick pasta sauce or whatever..

  3. Ooh, that embroidery book looks lovely! I think I had her first one out of the library a while ago, off to see if they have this one in stock…

  4. I really love to cook but the end result is a bit hit and miss. I try and involve my almost 6yr old and the baby sits in his chair and watches. The book you described looks like one I’d be interested in as I definitely think children should learn how to cook from their parents and also enjoy the experience.

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