Oh!

I did have to hoover up some of the ingredients for the ‘turkey’, but other than this annoying break in the cookery proceedings, I am pleased to announce I’ve made the turkey. (One thing less on the list of things to do.) Though scraping semi-ground cashews off the sofa is an unusual part even of my turkey assembly line.

This is an organic kind of home, where many unlikely foodstuffs are made from scratch. And from cashews. Our turkey is an almond and cashew nutloaf, complete with stuffing, and very nice. But the last thing you want to do is stand there on Christmas Day spilling powdered cashews all over the living-room, so it gets made in advance. ‘Advanced turkey’ as it might say in the ad.

But it was cookbooks I wanted to talk to you about. There are all these fancy recipe books, but they are nothing. Then you have those enormous basic cookbooks that cover everything you need to know. Almost. I have a Swedish one, and as you may recall, Daughter now has one, too. Picked up from the kebab place in Sweden.

And I have the British (or should that be English?) equivalent, for all those local specialities that I don’t know how to cook. The Good Housekeeping Cookery Book. But it has made me despair on occasion.

When I discovered parkin for bonfire night over twenty years ago, I thought it’d be good to make. But could I find a recipe in the GHCB? Nope. It’s there, though. After years of frustration I became more methodical, and found it under O in the index. O for oatmeal parkin.

I had encountered trifles even before meeting the Resident IT Consultant (I’m not saying he is a trifle, btw!), but never had much interest in them. Then Esperanto Student informed me that trifle is something you ‘must’ eat at Christmas. Which I had omitted to do for years, so I looked up the recipe with a view to making amends. And trifle. Not there.

It also turned up under O after some searching. That would be old English trifle.

Fish pie does not have pastry in it. That was another thing I never knew in my alien past. So, recipe for fish pie. Traditional fare. Not under F. Older and wiser I now knew to go straight to O in the index. It’s called old-fashioned fish pie. Why didn’t I guess?

I have a perfectly good Swedish recipe for scones, but wanted to check something in the GHCB. Do you want to have a go at suggesting what they are? Oven scones.

The treacle tart is also old-fashioned. And have you heard of the One stage fruit cake? You have now.

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11 responses to “Oh!

  1. One of my favourite vegetarian cookbooks:

    Cookery genius – probably far preferable to literary!

  2. Sorry, I just realised I should have given you the UK link:

  3. Ah, I have this chap down as a bit weird, what with the often outlandish recipes in the Guardian Weekend. Maybe not, then?

  4. I, too, make a nut roast with stuffing at Christmas but I make it on Christmas eve usually. Are you now telling me I could do the whole thing next week AND PUT IT IN THE FREEZER?? My recipe is from Rose Elliott who is wonderful and who also has a reasonably civilised INDEX! Please advise Bookwitch! It would save me lots of trouble if I could do that!

  5. PS. Ottolenghi is supposed to be the Bee’s Knees. I gave that book to my son-in-law who is a veggie foodie and he says it is terrific.

  6. Yes, mine is Rose Elliott too. Of course you can freeze it! (Sometimes we make two and save one for next Christmas…) I tend to part cook mine before freezing, say 30 minutes. That way it gets properly heated and cooked through when you do it on the day, with another 30 minutes in the oven.

    Rose Elliott says to prepare the meal on Christmas Eve, but that’s because she can, and doesn’t have Christmas Eve to celebrate, with no time to cook ahead for the next day.

  7. Ooh, don’t go there. For all those tricky technical sauces and pastries and doughs the GHCB is unequalled, but yes, whoever indexed it wants a good talking to. There’s little alternative but to know where the sections are and flick through every page. That and the ever increasing number of bokmark post-its I have in mine

  8. I have been with Delia in the kitchen all day! Another Christmas cake has just been taken out of the oven. I have progressed from the original book (pages all stuck together) to the latest edition in metric. 6 puddings coming off the hob at 11.30pm tonight after 8 hours steaming! I must remember to pack some for my next Stockport “holiday” ! Delia book also!

  9. Which edition of the GHCB do you have? I don’t think mine is as bad as that.

    But then I did grow up with it, so mostly I go by sections, rather than the index

  10. 1989 Marjorie.

    And Carol, you had the Resident IT Consultant all excited over what you’ll be bringing him!

  11. Pingback: Den konjaken… | Bookwitch på svenska

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