Friday, October 1, 2010

Mrs Beeton's Cookery in Colour

I confess that I have an unhealthy obsession with op-shopping. I can literally spend hours in an op-shop, hunting for my bargain fix. I get very excited when my work takes me to a new country town because it means a fresh hunting ground.

Anyone else who loves second hand cookbooks will know that for every great one you find, you have to sort through one hundred microwave cookbooks. If microwave cooking ever comes back into fashion the op-shops will be sitting on a gold mine. For me its part of the fun, crouched down (they always seem to be the bottom shelf) and flip, flip, flip, flip - ah-ha - a non-microwave book!

Lets be honest, I really don't need any more cookbooks. But when they only cost a dollar it is so hard to resist. And to even further justify my bad habit I thought I would start to share some of my treasures and the recipes they hold here.

So today it is Mrs Beeton's Cookery in Colour, purchsed for $1 from the Lifeline store in Tamworth.

Before I found this book I knew of Mrs Beeton from my dearest Scottish grandmother, who has an extremely dog-eared copy of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, and still uses it to make things like bread sauce (yum).

Isabella Beeton died in 1865 and my book was published in 1971 so its probably safe to say she didn't have much of hand in it. But I was drawn by the groovy color photos and the wide range of recipes.

I recently made this Banana Bread with Choc Chips and Crystallised Ginger from Orangette. It was really good and since then I have been craving another baked good with crystallised ginger. So the first thing I wanted to make in this book was the Rich Dark Gingerbread. It was very easy to make and came out well. The texture was maybe drier than your average cake - but all the better for slathering with some butter.

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