Thursday, 6 December 2012

An Antipodean Airmail

For a while now, I’ve been reading Carole’s Chatter – a blog written by a New Zealander who shares my love of crosswords, and wordplay. She recently mentioned The Edmonds Cookery book – it has sold over 3 million copies- in a nation that has only 4 million people. How popular is that? Amazon UK are currently charging £19 for used copies.

Carole kindly sent me a copy of the book [along with a pretty card]


As is right and proper, my copy is from a charity shop, having previously belonged to Liz H. It is spiral bound [how sensible, it opens flat for ease of use in the kitchen]


DSCF4968The story began in 1879 when young grocer Thomas J Edmonds [aged just 20] developed his own baking powder in response to dissatisfied customers who complained about the unreliability of most brands on the market. His was ‘sure to rise’ – and soon all NZ was buying the powder and in 1907 the first cookery book was produced. It has become the biggest selling book in NZ That's all books, not just cookbooks.

My copy is clearly well used, judging by stains on certain pages!


With 224 pages, and 29 chapters, and over 1000 [yes 1000] recipes, I am going to have such fun with this book. It covers basic recipes, nutrition, preserving, party food, confectionery…the lot. And there are few colour plates to whet your appetite further. This one was printed in 1992, the 33rd edition.

I am intrigued by some titles – Neenish Tarts, Tosca Cake and Munchkin Bars sound fascinating. I am not so sure about Uncooked condensed milk salad dressing though.

In the meat section is one of those glorious charts showing the cuts of meat from a cow and a pig, and another chapter is full of helpful conversion tables.

There are recipes for kiwifruit jam and chutney – and next to them in the index, Kumara salad and kumara soup. I had to look that up – it is sweet potato.

I shall try out some of these recipes when I can, and blog about them. Thank you Carole for this lovely gift – I feel very privileged.


  1. Looking forward to reading about the recipes you try. I have heard of Neenish tarts, but not of some of the other things you mention.

  2. What a lovely post, Angela - it was a pleasure! The salad dressing was how we always used to have it years ago! It was ok but I have to say mayo gets my vote these days. Cheers

    1. Jan at church says that sometimes people say 'condensed' milk when they mean 'evaporated milk'

  3. I made some little chocolate cakes for our guests yesterday. Must go and take a photo of the remaining few before we eat them all!

  4. What a lovely gift, and fantastic book! I feel that I really need to know more about Munchkin Bars, please....

  5. It's true most every household has a copy... I have 3! My earliest is a 1975 edition with Imperial and Metric. I'd be lost without it
    Kiwi Fi

    1. That explains the amazing sales statistics - I wonder how many other households have multiple copies?


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