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Cooking In A Bedsitter [Paperback]

Katharine Whitehorn
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

4 Sep 2008

There is one powerful smell closely associated with the making of coffee in bedsitters. It is the smell of burning plastic, and will go away if you move the handle of the pot away from the flame.'

Katharine Whitehorn's classic handbook of quick, simple meals - including Swedish Sausage Casserole, Lamb Tomato Quickie and Shrimp Wiggle - became the essential survival manual for the busy single person living in his or her first rented room and remained in print for forty years.

Now brought back into print, Whitehorn's trademark intelligent, practical and fabulously funny writing shines as brightly as ever, addressing the problems of 'cooking at ground level, in a hurry, with nowhere to put the salad but the washing-up bowl, which is in any case full of socks'. Delightful, entertaining and utterly indispensable.

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Cooking In A Bedsitter + The Pauper's Cookbook
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (4 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844085686
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844085682
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Humorous and bittersweet' OBSERVER ** 'Katharine Whitehorn's long-awaited and beautifully achieved autobiography, the best present you could give, a book to treasure for its wit, honesty, good sense and warm laughter ... What she writes is timelessly intelligent, agelessly elegant' TELEGRAPH ** 'Dry, aphoristic, keenly intelligent' TIMES ** 'One for flagging feminists everywhere' DAILY MAIL ** 'Her lively, witty autobiography is a highly entertaining read' THE GLOSS

Book Description

* The famous book - in print for over 40 years - in a new Virago edition

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This little cookery book was first published, I believe, in the early 70's and as a non cooking person it was absolutely vital to my survival as a student. It's basic, in simple english, and assumes you know nothing. Everything can be cooked on a single ring and there is no need for a huge larder and/or freezer to back up the recipes, and yet the meals are interesting and tasty. With so many of us not receiving 'cookery' lessons at school any more and a greater dependence on pre-prepared food, this little book is a godsend for anyone wanting to learn how to 'do it yourself'. Oh yes, and I still have my battered, gravy stained copy!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If only it had an index 31 Dec 2010
The publisher has, unbelievably, omitted the index, making it hard to find a recipe. This completely ruins this reprint unless you only want to use it as a nostalgic read, not the practical cookbook which of course it is.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem for beginners and anyone on a tight budget 12 Feb 2009
This is the book I took to college in 1973 and it taught me to cook on a very small budget and limited equipment. It still sits on my kitchen shelf and is used regularly even though it's now falling apart. I have been checking regularly over the last few years for a re-issue so that I can replace it. I have also bought it for my 22yr old niece who's just moved into her own place and who never learned to cook and another friend recently mentioned that it was her first cookbook too. Creole Sausage is one of my favourites as is fish spaghetti and I use the Ratatouille recipe all the time. This little book assumes that you do not have a vast store of speciality ingredients or clever cooking gadgets and provides tasty, nourishing meals from basic ingredients. Well recomended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful Book 5 Sep 2005
By Phil
I purchased a 1968 edition in a second hand book shop in Fremntle Western Australia for some ideas for some quick receipes at home. Little did I know that I would be taking it away in my caravan for a trip to Darwin and back.
I found this book excelent for use in the caravan as your traveling most of the time and cannot have too much food in the fridge.
It look like I now need another copy one for the caravan(then I will not forget to take with me) and one for home.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still useful after over 20 years 20 July 2009
I first encountered this book over 20 years ago when I was a student - and it was over 20 years old then! I've never lived in that kind of bedsitter but when you're sharing a kitchen with a horde of other students, only taking up one ring of the cooker helps. Today I live alone and recipes for one are still a vital need. There are a lot of us! - a point recognised by Delia Smith when she did a whole TV series and book called "One is fun" - but this book contains simpler more practical recipes. Some are even quite improbable - the fricassee of veal sounds very weird but trust me, it's quick and surprisingly tasty even done with beef mince! I'm still trying new ones. Just this weekend I tried the lamb rissoles, which were a definite success, as I happened to have some leftover diced lamb. (Hint: buy a Kenwood mini chopper as recommended by Delia. For recipes like that it cuts out an incredible amount of work as most of it is mincing/chopping the ingredients.)

Highly recommended for anyone needing ideas on cooking for one.

Why does the Product Description refer to Whitehorn's autobiography? This is a cookbook, not her autobiography.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book my father bought us all when we left home 11 April 2009
An excellent book of easy, mainly one pot dishes. With advice for basic budget meals for yourself to entertaining others (always fix your hair before the potatoes, you can excuse yourself to see to the potatoes...). Being the oldest in the family I inherited the 1960's edition that was my father's, my sisters own more updated copies. It is a treasure that I will purchase copies of to send away with my own children when they fly the nest, although at 10 the youngest has already made the spag bol during our family "come dine with me competition" - he won!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best how to cook book. Take it from an italian. 24 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This little book taught me how to cook when I was actually living in a bed-sit as an art student in London in the 70s. I still use it. All recipes and cooking hints are ace. Buy it, you'd love it- You or your guests won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cooking in a bedsit 3 Oct 2010
By mtjhaa
I learnt to cook from this book 30 years ago and bought it for my nephew going to university. Excellent.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This book as useful today as when I read it when I was young
I bought this book when I was young and lived in a bedsitter. So delighted to buy it again as a way ofremembering thpast. But fund I was usingthe recipes! Read more
Published 5 months ago by breakdown
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic - good read whether or not you cook
This cheerful, practical book is full of basic foolproof recipes, most involving only one pan. It is also a glimpse of life fifty years ago in a past generation when young people... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Lenore
5.0 out of 5 stars Be Sure to Get a Vintage Edition
All the ideas here for cooking in a bedsitter are ingenious. These ideas apply to any situation where you need to eat with minimum time and fuss, and with limited cooking... Read more
Published on 16 Jun 2012 by vintner
4.0 out of 5 stars special request
I was asked to use my knowledge of the web / amazon to acquire this publication.
A friend wanted to give it to a teenager before he went off to uni. Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2012 by Ellie Mae's grandad
5.0 out of 5 stars Coking in a bedsitter
I've used this excellent and witty book since I was an undergraduate and wanted to give it as a gift to a young US student going to the UK to graduate school. Read more
Published on 24 Oct 2011 by Eric Binnie
5.0 out of 5 stars Good service
Bought this to send to my mother, who moaned it was a later edition than she wanted, but that's just her moaning, overall good service and would definitely use again.
Published on 18 Oct 2011 by Mr. J. Woodcock
4.0 out of 5 stars Actually very useful!
I adore this book. I have my mum's ancient, singed copy from the late 60's, and took it to university. Read more
Published on 12 Mar 2011 by Philip Beaman
5.0 out of 5 stars One on its own
I was given a copy of this classic when I was a student. It has now fallen apart, so when I discovered it had been reprinted, I bought one for my nephew and treated myself to... Read more
Published on 8 Jan 2011 by tephie
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly entertaining
I purchased this book nearly thirty years ago as I started out on university life. I ended up dipping into it off and on at bedtime as a fantastically entertaining read on how to... Read more
Published on 30 Dec 2009 by Lulu
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