Friday, September 6

Recipe Books

Two of my oldest recipe books date back to the 1960's - one being a book that I think I may have bought at some stage, and the other a gift from my parents on April 1st, 1966, when I learned I had passed my final nursing exams.

Marguerite Patten was a "famous" British cook at the time and the book was published in 1960 by Paul Hamlyn Ltd for The Australian Women's Weekly, which at that time was a weekly magazine.  Marguerite was born in 1915 - the same year as my mother, in fact a few days after my mother was born.  And according to Wikipedia " She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1991 for "services to the Art of Cookery" and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours. In 2007, she received the Woman of the Year award, Lifetime Achievement Award."
I doubt my mother knew of the connection she and Marguerite had, and oddly enough they are both still alive.
The Margaret Fulton Book has though been my favourite - always.  I preferred the layout, and it was a bit more modern.  The cover long ago wore out and many years ago I covered it neatly in plastic.  Inside the cover are clippings from magazines going back to the 1970's.
According to Wikipedia, "Margaret Isobel Fulton OAM (born 10 October 1924 in Nairn, Scotland) is a British-born Australian food and cooking 'guru', writer, journalist, author, and commentator. She was the first of this genre of writers in Australia.
Her early recipes encouraged Australian housewives to vary the Australian staples of "meat and three vegetables" and to be creative with food. She 'discovered' food from exotic places such as Spain, Italy, India and China and as Cookery Editor, 'brought these into Australian homes through her articles in the Woman's Day magazine'.
Fulton realised that chefs who did television shows tended to lose their audience. Accordingly, she remained a writer who regularly appeared as a 'guest' on various TV shows."

I don't recall that I have a favourite recipe from either of the books, but the Margaret Fulton one has been a reliable source of information for me.
I often feel blessed that despite being trained to be a wife and mother in "Home Economics" classes at primary and high school, I did learn the basics of cooking and have always felt confident in the kitchen.  So confident that I often "mess" with recipes and never feel that I need ALL the ingredients to make a success of a recipe and I rarely if ever have failures.   
The above books are only two of a very large collection of cook books - which remain with me though I have (with great difficulty) culled some of them. 

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