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Good Things in England: A Practical Cookery Book for Everyday Use (Persephone book) Paperback – 22 Nov 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Persephone Books Ltd; New edition edition (22 Nov. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903155002
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903155004
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 3 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 330,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

'Ever wondered how to cook Thomas Hardy's frumenty, make Izaak Walton's Minnow Tansies or pickle elder buds?' asked the "Sunday Telegraph". "Good Things in England" is a collection of 853 regional recipes dating back to the C14th. First published in 1932, it was written by Florence White, the country's first ever freelance food journalist, and, like all classic culinary works, it is a pleasure to read. 'A marvellous compendium of recipes' declared Matthew Fort in "The Guardian"; 'one of the most influential cookery books of the C20th' said the "Church Times"; and in "Saga" magazine Derek Cooper wrote about 'a remarkable woman called Florence White...who believed that "we had the finest cookery in the world but it has been nearly lost by neglect.'"'The book is a classic,' said Elizabeth David, 'in that the author's collection of English recipes is unique and their authenticity unquestioned. The book is also a lovely one to read, full of fresh ideas and appetising descriptions of English specialities.'


Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
If you enjoy cooking and reading with some history thrown in, then this book will keep you happy for hours. A collection of traditional recipes dating between 1399 and 1932 gathered together by the editor,Florence White and first published in 1932,it is as Miss White herself said in the introduction "a practical cookery book for everyday use" and herein lies its charm. Not only do the recipes provide a marvellous read with such evocative names as "The Judge's Circuit Soup", "Stoodleigh Rectory Stew for the Hunting Season", "Colonel Kenney Herbert's Madras Chicken Curry" and "Camp Treacle Pudding" but they all work when cooked. So far I have cooked a dozen which have all been eaten with great speed and enjoyment by my family. We are a bog standard nuclear family,two children,two working parents with not a lot of time to prepare meals but "Good Things In England" has yet to fail us. Florence White was concerned even in 1932 that English cooking was dying out,crushed by "foreign cookery and modern fads". The book was her attempt to preserve the individuality of England's cuisine. This edition has been printed by Persephone Books as a facsimile of the original edition and also includes an end-paper taken from a fabric designed in 1932."Good Things In England" is well worth buying;reading;enjoying and above all using as an everyday cookbook just as Florence White intended.
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Format: Paperback
In 1932 when this book was collated, the reputation of English food was non-existent, and the idea that traditional recipes had anything to teach the modern cook almost laughable. When written it was profoundly unfashionable; so influential was it that a new fashion grew out of it. This is the starting point of the renaissance of English food, and one later authors have drawn on extensively; some of the recipes look very familiar.

Florence White assembled the book by asking for contributions from interested amateurs; thus it is a hodge-podge of recipes from all times and all regions. Brief annotations set things in context and are useful to the cook. However the recipes are tricky for the novice to follow as they do not have the level of "idiot's advice" we may be accustomed to from TV chefs; they assume a certain basic level of knowledge.

I would suggest that this is a follow-on book for those who already like traditional cooking as interpreted by the likes of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and want to extend their repertoire and venture further off the beaten track. If you want something similar, but more organised and with the recipes more carefully selected, do go for the utterly excellent but little-known The Cookery of England
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ok, so there are a no pictures, terse methods, and hardly any ingredients that are impossible to find. And this book does feature a lot of fare that was the staple of the lower orders, if not the downright poor. Also, some pages (slightly bigger than half A4 size) have four or five recipes on them! So, since we're all middle-class now, with lots of coffee tables to cover, what possible interest could it hold for us? Also, darling, we simply don't eat offal, do we?

Well, back in the good old days (that's the 1930's to you and me), the upper and genuine middle classes ate offal too, and why? Because they knew it was good for them, and it tastes just great! But, don't run away with the idea that this book is simply a list of delectable things to do with pig's trotters. Oh no, it has eel pie too, plus scores of great cakes, pies, roasts, puddings - literally hundreds of recipes that cover virtually everything worth eating in England between 1430 and 1930. Which, since the revival started by Elizabeth David, built on by Jane Grigson, and lately developed by the likes of Mark Hix, means that we can see why those that know a thing or two about food think English cooking is something to be very proud of.

Most recipes have at least a date, many a full source, and a little anecdote to get you into the swing of things. Did you know, for example, that England has been eating curries since Richard the Lionheart? I bet you thought they came with Hongkong Chinese and Indians in the 1950's. So, instead of shooting the King's deer, Robin Hood probably sent a couple of the lads in Lincoln Green down to the nearest Balti House. However, I digress! This book is an absolute must for anyone who appreciates the subtleties of English cuisine.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd been looking for a copy of this for my cooking reference library and was pleased to find it so inexpensively on Amazon.

The book was published in 1932 so not exactly nouvelle cuisine. The recipes are interesting and of their time but don't expect this to be the one cookery book you've been searching for to feed your family in the 21st century. However, it is very interesting as a culinary historical document which is why I bought it.
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