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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely period feel to this pretty book, 23 April 2012
This review is from: The Gentle Art of Cookery (Classic Voices in Food) (Hardcover)
This is one of the Classic Voices in Food series re-issued by Quadrille in wonderful tactile cloth bindings that make you appreciate that these are books as much for reading as for cooking from.

Having said that, there is much of practical note to relish here. The chapters are grouped roughly by food group, and seem to be practical and easy to follow. They assume a knowledge of cookery that some modern cookbooks may not, so you will be told to "make a white roux" and add to milk to make a sauce. No detailed quantities of butter and flour are given, so it is obvious that the cook is supposed to be experienced enough to know how much he or she might need for the amount of liquid given.

But this is typical of cookbooks of this period (The Gentle Art of Cookery was first published in 1925) when most households with an income sufficient to merit an interest in their food, would have had a cook. It strikes me that this book is aimed at the genteel lady of the house who may want to dabble a little when cook had her day off. This isn't a criticism by the way, I love cookery books like this that evoke the time and feeling of an age now gone and unlikely ever to return. You just need a little more thought and understanding of your craft than you will find in a modern step-by-step recipe book.

Hilda Leyel was unusual in her time for her use of flowers, spices and herbs, and the chapter on the use of flowers in cookery is fascinating.

A useful and interesting book.
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