Friday, 28 November 2014

Five on Friday

I have quite a lot of cookbooks - according to some people who shall remain nameless hubby - although, I think that compared to some people I don't think that I have that many.  They are all favourites though.  If I don't cook from them, if I don't like them, the recipes don't work or they just bug me I am afraid they go.  I need recipes that work for us.  They have to taste good, come out as promised and be relatively straightforward.

Of course there are also the books that I read like novels, never cook from and just have because I love them!

I thought that I would share five of them with you today.  First of all is this book.  The Good Housekeeping Cookery Book.

This is roughly the same age as me.  It has travelled far and wide and has seen a lot of action - the damage below was caused by being chewed by a puppy! - and also a lot of use.

It will always go with me wherever I go, despite the fact that quite a lot of the recipes are things that I would never cook.

You can see that the pictures have a very retro look to them.  Do you remember serving curries like the one in the picture above, with the obligatory shaved coconut and we also used to add slices of banana for some reason.  They never feature in my curries now!

There are also sections telling you how to freeze things, making massive meals for groups of people - beef casserole for 50 anyone? - and some very dated menu plans as well.  I love this book though.  It is comforting and I will always keep it and treasure it forever.

Second is a Delia Smith favourite, her Christmas book and the newer version.  I use this book every year to make my Christmas cake and some other things too.  I actually prefer the older book than the newer one.

It is interesting to see how times change though, the old book from decades ago includes game pie, which doesn't feature at all in the new version of the book.  Tastes and fashion change over the years and it is just the same for food isn't it.

My very first own cookbook is this one.  The Pooh Corner Cook Book.  I have to say that I don't use this one any more and haven't done for a long time.  Again I keep it for sentimental reasons mainly.  I remember receiving it aged about 9 I think, but I can't be sure!

There are recipes for such delights as the orange jellies above, basically jelly set in an orange half! and Upside Down Pineapple Cake which you can see that I tried to adapt to using cups for when I lived in the US and didn't have any kitchen scales to weigh things!

A few years ago now I came across the books of Australian Chef Bill Granger, and I have a lot of his books!  I use them all though and cook from them often.  In fact they are probably the books that by hubby and I are most likely to turn to.  There isn't anything that I have ever cooked from one Granger's books that hasn't turned out well or tasted wonderful.  These are books that I flick through and think, I want to make that and that and that and so on.  I think that is a sign of a good cookbook!

You can see that we use these books a lot!  This Baked Risotto is a favourite - you can see that by the state of this page.  You can also see of course what a messy cook I am!

Another of Grangers books contains this recipe for Fish Burritos and you can see that this page really has seen some action! 

 My final choice for today is this book by Nigella Lawson.  Again I have lots of her books, but I think this is my favourite.  Her writing style had relaxed a little from her first books, and I find that her more recent books aren't my favourites so much.  This one is just perfect for me though!

I make lots of things from this and I love all of Lawson's different recipes for ham's.  This one is especially good.  Her ones cooked in cola are also delicious, and there is another cooked in ginger ale which is scrummy too!

Although I have quite a lot of books, taking time to consider them I see that my range of authors is not that wide.  It does show though that we know what we like doesn't it!


This is my last solo Five on Friday post.  Next week lots of other bloggers will start to join in which I am really looking forward to!  I hope that you will enjoy reading the other posts too so join us again next week for more Five's!



  1. I have the pooh cookbook from when I was little too :o) Also the Delias which are my fall-back position every time. I make up a lot of recipes as I go but I do like an ancient Mary Berry puddings book I've had for ages for more inventive stuff. Lovely post today x

  2. My husband has a lot of cookbooks and I have a lot on knitting and crochet, see we are both ahppy.

  3. Amy, We seem to have similar taste, I love the cook books you have selected and look forward to posting next weekX

  4. Hello Amy,

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful range of cook books. My favourite is the old Bero Cook Book from my late Mam, it waways delivers.

    Like you I am so looking forward to Five on Fridays next week.


  5. I have a few of Nigella's books but not Feast, I shall have to look out for it. I've never heard of Bill Granger, another one to look out for then.

  6. Wow, you DO have a lot of cookbooks! I wouldn't have space for all of those. Your collection looks great though, and I really love the tattered, well-used look of 'Good Housekeeping'!! My husband cooks all our meals, so I don't have the same affection for cookbooks anymore. Wendy x

  7. I've no idea who Bill Granger is,but I see he is barefoot.
    I used to be barefoot in the summer,Chris went nuts when I cooked barefoot,he was afraid I was going to hurt myself. *rolls eyes*.
    Jane x

  8. Lovely to see what books you have, I too like cookbooks(well any book) many I have not used but just like to have them...
    Amanda xx

  9. I have a Betty Crocker cookbook that looks to be in just about the same shape as your first one. And it has been with me forever. I have a new version, but have to keep the old one for some reason. Nice selection for this post. We have way too many cookbooks and some I never look at.

  10. I enjoyed seeing your cook books.....I have the same Good Housekeeping one and used to use it a Christmas I made a lot of festive biscuits from it for a party......Like you I enjoy using Delia's books too
    Thanks for an interesting post. Happy weekend, Amy.
    Helen xox

  11. I have a lot of cookbooks too. Some of my favorites are the ones put together by groups of women in churches or schools. Those recipes tend to be family favorites.
    I see you have the Pioneer Woman cookbook. I love her recipes!

  12. I LOVE LOVE LOVE cookbooks. IN this house and the last one we lived in my husband had to build special bookcases in the kitchen for "most" of them. A worn out favorite little cookbook is one I got from a cooking demo at VEPCO (Virginia Elec. Power CO.) many years ago... when we lived in Virginia Beach. And the Betty Crocker cookbook I got at my wedding shower continues to answer questions when I get stuck.

  13. I am just the same Amy I have so many cookbooks it's unreal, I very rarely cook anything out of them but I do love looking at the recipes. I have lots of old one's too and the Delia's Christmas, we have bookmen that leave discounted books in the Day Unit so there's no hope really, the worst offender is my boyfriend he always buys me the lasted Jamie Oliver for my birthday whether or not I want it I got two this year haha. Have a great weekend. :) xx

  14. I was almost afraid to read this post. The problem is, I have a cookbook addiction, and sure enough, this just fed into it. :-)

  15. That Good Housekeeping cookbook is my favourite :-) ! If even a puppy tried to chew it, it múst have good recipes in it ;-)))... It looks a bit like a belgian cookbook I have, "Our Cookbook", a cookbook that exists in Belgium for ages and ages (I still have my grandmother's and mother's version of it, and of course mine). It is re-edited every couple of years and is considered as thé principal cooking "bible". And like you say, the recipes change through time, just like fashion changes....

  16. I have cookbooks that I like to browse through to inspire me, without actually cooking an actual recipe! I still turn to Delia's first book when I need a basic recipe - she rarely lets me down!
    Have a good weekend!

  17. Same here Amy, I've got that many cook books I have to keep some in a box in our garage. And I still buy them! P x

  18. I also have lots of cookbooks and turn to the same ones quite a bit, though as there are only two of us now, some aren't used much any more. Fun to see an Aussie chef in amongst your favourites. Take care.

  19. You do have a lot of cookbooks! I have a couple but I never even open them. I'm a fussy eater (and a veggie) and Dave can't eat wheat so cookbooks don't really work for us! We tend to just invent our own meals!

  20. Great post Amy. I too love cook books and have lots. It's a sort of addiction, isn't it? Bee xx

  21. Oh I LOVE cookery books. I see a few on your shelves that I have too. I'm going to have a look on Amazon for that Winnie the Pooh one, I think the littlest boy would like to have such a thing. He is a great for for a little smackerel of something to tide him over. I hope you have a good weekend. CJ xx

  22. I have that Good Housekeeping book too! I got it before we were married so it's more than 35 years old. I still use it too. I confess I have a whole bookcase full of cookery books and often sit and stare at it thinking I need to get rid of some. Then I'll take a few down to go through and, you've guessed it, fall in love with them all over again and put them right back on the shelves! :oD

  23. I can tell there are many treasures in your cookbooks! Thank you for sharing them with us!

  24. I 'think' I must have a cookbook or two somewhere....! I am not the greatest cook unless I take a notion to do it and sometimes it works out, other times.....well, interesting is probably the best adjective. You've really inspired me and I just love your tattered and beloved Good Housekeeping one, that's exactly how a cookbook should look. I love watching telly chefs then go totally off piste and do it 'Generation Game style' from my hopeless memory. Ach it keeps me amused!

  25. I love cookbooks, and always have a couple on my bedside table. I've been sifting through them for Christmas ideas. When in op shops, I always have a good giggle having a browse through the retro ones....will have to stop by for more Fives next Friday xo

  26. Hi Amy,

    always good to see others cookbooks and you have some lovely ones. I have one of Nigella and Delia's which I often use and have one that looks a lot like your Good housekeeping one, that is much loved and used a lot.
    I really love the look of the Pooh Corner cook book.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend

  27. I have that Good Housekeeping book and it is brilliant for referencing all sorts of things. I have the more up to date version too. I alo have a well used edition of Delia's Christmas but no longer use her method for cooking turkey. For that I use Nigella's Feast. I love cookbooks!

  28. We don't have any of the cook books you have but still have two shelves full on the book shelves. Like yours our well used ones are comming apart at the seams and splattered over the favourite recipes:)

  29. we have the pooh cookbook too x I read cookbooks like novels all the time, there's always a pile of them next to the bed x

  30. Interesting post. I love cookbooks and when we could travel, I enjoyed collecting them.

  31. I love cookbooks Amy:) and you have someones I love!
    I love Delia's recipes and Nigella too!

  32. Hi Amy....
    Not much of a cookbook gal....
    I have a very old Betty Crocker cookbook.....from when we got married....that is very worn, and held together with a big rubberband!
    I find I turn to the internet nowadays....and tweak recipes to suit me!
    Linda :o)

  33. I have a couple of those cookbooks too. My most special cookery book is one that my son produced for me and had printed.


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