Digitizing Cook Books          - 30/5/2013      <--Prev : Next-->

Move Over Nigella Lawson.

It is so very sad that our daughters will not experience many of the special things that their mothers and grannies have experienced over the years.

One example of course is the cookery book that has been handed down from generation to generation.

My Mum left me the family cookery book, hand written in beautiful copperplate, decorated with delicious looking hand drawn pictures of cakes and casseroles. All neatly titled with the name of the particular cousin, aunty or friend who had passed that recipe down over many decades.

These days if I am looking for a recipe, I seldom page through my many delightful cookery books - I head straight for Google......

Amongst the many recipe books I have in our bookcase are all of the Shearly Cripps annual recipe books and diaries. I have the Cavalcade Golden Jubilee Book published by the Women's Zionist Council, I have a Texas Braggin' Rights cookbook and of course all the modern Nigellas, Delias and Gordon Ramseys (complete with the swear words!!)

I have all the cookery books produced by the various schools the children attended and also the original Stork Beat n' Bake Cook Book, PLUS I have an original Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management !

So many memories, so many lost friends' names, so many years have passed by as 'water under the bridge'.

This week as I was looking for a file to use, I came across an old tattered book that quite took my breath away and reduced me to a blubbing mass.

It was the Morton Family cookbook, passed down to the oldest daughter for generations, inscribed in faded ink and suffused with yellow stains that still smelt of that tangy old granadilla and lemon cake mix. You know the mix that one would always squabble over to lick from the bowl at the end of the beating?

There were recipes dating back to the ox-wagon days, beautifully and laboriously written in faded writing, possibly even done with a feather quill.

Some of the hand writing was familiar still, especially Mum's firm but spidery scrawl, there was a recipe from Aunty Poppy for our very favourite Folkstone Pudding Pies, and that all time tasty Dampfndein pudding!!

There was Aunty Corynne's recipe for Christmas Cake and heaven forbid, that Sago Delight and Spotted Dick that they used to think we really loved ! There in that heart wrenching script was the recipe for Mum's Apricot Jam Squares she would make every Saturday come rain or shine, and of course Aunty Mike's Jugged Hare !!

In the back of the book under 'Miscellaneous' was 'Mrs Beetons Soup for Benevolent Purposes' .....

In the same section was the original dreaded Cactus Cough Elixir that cured everything from warts to fevers, I am sure Gavin only took it because it had a semi-tequila base !!

As I said, sadly these days when I look for a recipe, I do not dig and delve into the magical realm of recipe books, I flick open the computer and go straight to Google for any and every recipe under the sun.

Those glorious days of precious family recipe books is almost over, and our offspring will never know the delights of poring over a gloriously musty tome, pen in hand, with all the favourite recipes evoking haunting memories of our wonderful Southern Rhodesian Childhood.