Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Cooking The Books

Liz and Jon are now cycling the Norfolk Coastal Path – on our bikes! We strapped them to the roof of the car [the cycles, not L&J] and went up to North Norfolk this morning. Having satisfied ourselves that all was well with our intrepid pair, we drove off in the opposite direction towards Hunstanton.


Seeing a large sign saying “Book Sale” we stopped, and went back to a house whose front drive was full of plastic crates of secondhand books. They were all sorted into categories, and the lady explained they’d inherited the libraries of 3 maiden aunts, and they had their own books, and they wanted to downsize. We spent a little money, then went into Hunstanton for lunch.

After lunch, we looked in a few charity shops, also a Discount Store, where Bob bought a large crowbar for £2.99 [explanations later!] then pootled back to Cornerstones, via Swanton Morley Fishing Lakes, where we picked a couple of pounds of blackberries.


I bottled some, and then made a double-crust blackberry and apple pie, using the remaining berries, and the last of the windfalls.

Then we had a rather explosive evening meal.


Inexplicably, one of the glass tablemats suddenly shattered – I had just taken the plates from the first course into the kitchen, and was about to return with the pie, when it just…went!


It was rather like the effect you get when a car windscreen goes. But it was quickly cleared up, and nobody was injured. Here are our bargains


On the top, a red retro Pyrex dish [20p] and a slim blue volume “Good Puddings and Pies” [10p] both charity shop finds.


The book was published in 1947, and includes delights such as Herodotus Pudding and Boiled Angels! I plan to try some of these when I get back to Leicestershire.

For years Bob has lamented the loss of his mother’s “Radiation Cookbook” [I was always suspicious of the name, it sounded like something to use in a Nuclear Fallout Shelter] But an outlay of 20p this morning got him a copy of the 17th edition [pub1934] “That came from one of the aunts” said the lady


This series was produced for owners of New World Gas Cookers, and is a wonderful ‘basic’ cookbook produced between the wars. The final book “The World Guide To Cooking With Fruits And Vegetables” is quite modern in comparison – from 1973.



The green cover is decorated with asparagus spears. Inside, it lists almost every fruit,vegetable and herb you can think of [and many you have never heard of], and gives an appropriate recipe. There are hundreds listed, including

ackee, alecost, carambola, fra-fra, guarana, huckleberry, jackfruit, kudzu, locust beans, manioc, mugwort, persimmon, quandong, quinoa, salsify, sapodilla, thimbleberry, ugli, wampi, xuxu, yam and zucchini.

Bob is growing some salsify this summer – it was a crop his Dad always grew for Mum, as it is very popular in Belgium. The book was a little more expensive, at £2 – but it is so informative!

This evening, Bob’s made another loaf – and Liz has texted to say they have arrived safely at their first overnight stop. I went for a short run, and it started raining – on one side of the road I could see the most beautiful sunset, and on the other, a brilliant rainbow. A lovely end to a glorious day!


  1. Will you still use your remaining glass table mats...or will you issue safety goggles to guests?
    Jane x

  2. You are such industrious bees! Don't you LOVE old cookbooks? It sounds like you are having a nice time.

  3. Wow, good finds. Glad the exploding glass didn't hurt you.., my mind went off a search as to why that might have happened - sounds a bit like a creep or fatigue effect.

    Glad the recipe is boiled angels not boiled Angelas though. You must post that at some point (tne angels recipe not a boiled Angela)

  4. What a shock to have a mat explode like that, but glad you werent hurt.
    I remember buying Ugli fruit years ago, a little like a very large grapefruit.

  5. thanks for the comments - we have carefully checked all the mats. We bought 2 boxes of 4 back in 2009, and three of the remaining mats appeared to have faults - so we have binned them, in the interests of safety. Perhaps those 4 were from the same faulty batch?
    Yet again blogger is refusing to let me post as myself [if I get annoyed, Catriona, I may become a Boiling Angela!] But this is definitely me - love and blessings to you all xx


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