Monday 12 March 2018

Where do I get my recipes from?

Carol asked  'Where do you get your recipes/ideas from?'

Well - I freely own up to not being a cheffy cook.  I love watching the cheffy food programmes but prefer Nigel Slater or Our Delia to Michel Roux or Heston Bloomen-whotsit any day of the week!  I don't 'dress the plate' and I don't smear or foam or do any of those fancy, cheffy 'techniques' that people win Masterchef with!

In fact the nearest I get to being cheffy is that I am lucky enough to have a thermomix.  I LOVE my thermomix, just love it.  It, or rather, she gets used every day, sometimes several times.  I boil my eggs in her, steam my veg or rice, cook my pasta, make my soups, custard, sauces . . . and much more.

Anyway, to answer the question . . .

1.  I'm lucky enough to have been parented my a mum who cooked from scratch all the time and was happy to let me 'help' from a very young age.  I picked up a lot of basic stuff that way well before I needed to fend for myself.  Quite a lot of what I make is adapted from what Mum used to make - I owe her so much.

2.  Recipe books.  I have stacks but there are a few treasures among them.  I have an old Good Housekeeping compendium that has a story attached.  When I was at college, my mum used to drive and elderly gentleman to hospital every day so he could visit his very poorly wife.  After she died, he heard I was getting married so, as a sort of pass it on thing, he gave me his wife's old book as a wedding present.  It's the most precious book I own, for sentimental reasons, and surprisingly useful, for all it is so old.
Thank you, Google Images!

Another much used collection of books are my Delia Books.  I know she's considered a bit old hat nowadays and somewhat dogmatic, but her recipes really work and many can be frugallated!

I really love a little book I won in a Give away draw on Sue's blog.  It is very frustrating that I cannot use any of the recipes yet, being on this regime pre-gall bladder op, but as soon as it's all over . . .
It's a treasure chest of info, recipes and ideas, despite its small size.  A real treasure of a book.

What are your favourite cookery books?

(cont. in another post or this will be too long)


  1. Good Morning Joy

    I guess that's the way to do it - watch and read cookery books and programmes. Although, I think that learning how to cook from an early age got you interested in what to do with food - and you blossomed from there.
    I wonder how many people actually make the things from the tv programmes? If you don't know the basics, it's pointless making "a-la-something-or-other" which probably costs a fortune in ingredients.

    I'm off to seek out what the charity shops cook books have to offer!

    Many thanks for your time and the interesting story about your Mum.

    Have a good day.


    1. I agree, some recipes are way too complex and expensive. I tend to jot down the basic idea (which is often very simple) and substitute. I'll deal with that in the next post on the subject.
      J x

  2. My favourite cookery books that I cook from, are the old Dairy Diary books that you used to buy off the milkman. My Deliciously Ella trio of books, those by Jack Monroe and most of the River Cottage gangs books (Hugh F-W, Pam the Jam etc).

    My favourite cookbook to read is any by Nigel Slater, he has a way with words. He is the culinary worlds answer to Alan Bennett.

    1. Oh, I remember them. They were super, weren't they. I must have some, somewhere.
      J x

  3. Favourites are: A girl called Jack (Jack Monroe), The Good Housekeeping Book of vegetable cookery and my folder of all sorts of recipes cut from magazines, from friends, from blogs etc. I am good at improvising and substituting for things I haven't got to hand so the finished dish often differs from the original recipe in some way!

    1. How could I have forgotten Jack's book? Yes, I love that and I love Miguel Barclay's One Pound Meals too. You're like me - rarely do I complete a recipe the way it says. Subbing is the name of my game too - why go out and buy something special if it is not necessary?
      J x