This is a treasure of a book, and works at so many levels. If you just want to buy / cook / eat, it is full of excellent and original recipes - from simple but delicious to blow-your socks-off party pieces. If you want to save money, it shows you how to take very economical ingredients and use them to prepare superbly tasty food. If you fancy a forage-fest, it shows you how to locate and prepare all forms of wild food from seafood to salads. If you're having a bit of an artisanal moment, it shows you how to prepare hams, breads, and yogurts from scratch. If you want to go Tom and Barbara, it covers everything from keeping chickens to making your own simple stove-top smoker from a biscuit tin.
It is also full of fantastic tips, and far too many to share here. However, one of my favourites is when preparing gravy, to spoon off as much fat as you can from the roasting pan, then add icy cold stock. This solidifies most of the remaining globules of fat, which you can then spoon off. So clever!
When I saw the title, I was afraid it might be a bit old fashioned and perhaps not relevant to the modern cook. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is set to be one of the all-time classic cook books, full of nuggets of wisdom and expertise that has come down from the generations before, and yet practical, unpretentious and absolutely relevant today. So much of modern life has become sterile and bland, and this is a wonderful antidote that celebrates food and life, and belongs in every home.