Top positive review
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An early Grigson classic
on 17 September 2012
I use this book all the time. As the title will tell you, it's not intended as an encyclopaedic review of a particular subject like many of JG's later works (The Fish Book, and the wonderful The Vegetable Book), but it is aimed at celebrating the diversity of particular ingredients which have under-exploited qualities that repay thought and love. Chapter titles include: Kippers and Other Cured Fish, Meat Pies, Sweet Carrots, Parsley, Gooseberries, Apple and Quince, Five French Cakes.
The recipes are of international origin (though grounded in British and French cookery) and all aimed at family cooking, though this doesn't mean they are in any way reduced in elegance. JG's style is friendly, informative and informal, gently guiding you so that you get it right, with her own very special knack for concise instructions that precisely and exactly describe what is going on. You immediately understand the point of a recipe, and how to get there. The book also contains the first version of JG's famous curried parsnip soup.
This edition is a lovely one, as are all of Grub Street's hardback reissues of classic volumes in facsimilie of the original typesettings and illustrations. It, like the others in the series, is chunky, robust, made from good quality paper and crisply printed. It is easy to use and hollandaise sauce can be wiped off the pages, if this is done rapidly!
A modern classic from one of the great 20th century cookery writers.