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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
35
4.8 out of 5 stars


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on 2 March 2013
I originally bought a copy of this from the long-defunct Cookery Book Club back in the 70's, and my very battered volume was falling apart all over the place from constant use.
Classic English & French cookery clearly explained. Constance Spry was, of course, a product of her time so some of the recipes seem a little bland; we are used to having ready access to a range of ingredients she could only have dreamed of. But still a classic worthy of a place on the bookshelf on any serious cook (i.e. not one wanting lush coffee-table piccies).
Grab it while you can!
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on 19 September 2013
Best cookery book you can buy. Has everything you want to cook with very few exceptions. Sometimes listed somewhat obscurely. This is my third edition. the others fell to bits over the years
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on 24 December 2016
this book is all you need if you are a top cook abit to advanced for me but ok would suit a more advanced chef
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on 2 May 2013
Bought this to replace one that finally fell to bits through use over many years. Still the clearest and best basic reference book for recipes and methods for cooking that makes you confident to try anything.
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on 8 November 2012
This book has so mny recipes and interesting facts it's not true. Over 1100 pages packed with recipes. Maybe some are old fashioned and some require quite a lot of work. I was given a copy over 40 years ago and have just purchased one for my daughter who is delighted with it. A really good refernece book on how to make some of the classic dishes. Every good cook should get a copy.
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on 18 October 2013
When it says out of print go to this bookseller. It was a gift to my sister who accepted no!
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on 6 December 2007
My first cookery book, along with Elizabeth David, Madame Prunier and Escoffier and still used constantly and hugely regarded. Maybe not fashionable, but has all the techniques, and all the recipes you must have under your belt.
I have a huge quantity of other cookery books, but know I can instantly find short simple instructions here for such delights as crepes suzettes, profiteroles, red cabbage, creme brulee for which I just need quick reminders. My copy is now in pieces, with brown stains on the pages, and I am about to replace it with a pristine copy which no doubt my daughter will annexe. Try one of the Christmas puddings. Big quantities, maybe, but quite gorgeous, and they keep perfectly for years if you don't halve the quantities. Cleone Saise
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on 15 December 2013
Learned real cookery from their magazines in the 70s and eventually bought the book in paperback. Like other reviewers I used it so much it fell apart and I didn't manage to replace it for ages. I have a huge range of cookery books,including those of Elizabeth David but this is the one I would rescue from a fire!
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on 30 May 2017
I've used it for fifty years.

I don't live in a country house, I don't have servants, and I shall never serve boar's head in aspic, but the chapters on techniques, on sauces, on bakery are all timeless. Clear and comprehensive; if I could only have one cookery book it would be this one.
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on 7 May 2010
When I was young, we cooked a lot from Good Housekeeping's Cookery Compendium, but aspired to make recipes from Connie. Someone gave my Mum the paperback version in its tight fitting box and for the next 5 years I read it until it was falling apart without ever feeling I could afford to try the recipes. I'm not sure now why I was so intimidated because many of the recipes do not, in fact, call for trolley loads of expensive ingredients. At any rate, for the last 25 years or so, I have actually been cooking from this book on a regular basis. It is chock full of classic recipes that have been thoroughly tested and work reliably. There are still some surprises though, including the savoury plum sauce that turned out to be very much like Worcestershire sauce - very popular with my brother in law, who loves the stuff.

The book contains the following sections:

The Cocktail Party
Hors-d'oeuvre, First Course Dishes, and After-dinner Savouries
Kitchen Knowledge, including tables of weights & measures
Kitchen Processes
Soups and Soup-making
Sauces
Root Vegetables
Green Vegetables
Vegetables: Flowers & Fruits
Vegetable Entrees, Dressed Vegetables, and Simple Luncheon Dishes
Eggs and Savoury Souffles
Salads
Herbs
Rice, Risottos, Pilaffs, and Curries
Pastas, Pasta Dishes, and Batters
Fish
Meat - Beef, Mutton and Lamb, Pork, Veal
Meat - Les Abats
Pieces Froides
Poultry and Game
Force-meats, Farces, Stuffings etc
Rechauffes
Devils, Barbecues, and Marinades
Cold Savoury Mousses, Souffles and Aspic
Milk and Cheese
Bread and Bread-making
Cakes
Pastry
Patisserie, Petit Fours, Petits Gateaux, and Gros Gateaux
Sweets, Hot and Cold
Winkfield
Breakfast and Tea
Garniture and Presentation of Food
Menus, Parties, and Food for Special Occasions
The Store Cupboard
The Kitchen
Modern Kitchen Appliances

As you can see, it really is comprehensive. Although the list of Contents might lead you to suspect a preponderance of French dishes, the scope of the book is much wider than that, including the famous recipe for coronation chicken. There's also a surprising amount here for vegetarians.

Okay, a little bit of care and patience is needed to navigate the Index, but at least you can be sure of finding plenty of delicious recipes that have a good chance of turning out as expected. Even though it's vintage by cookery book standards, I'd still say this is a perfect book to give to someone setting up home for the first time - Ms Spry will even tell them how to wash up.
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