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First cookery book

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by lapinrose, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    What was the first cookery book you owned? Did you buy it or was it a present?

    Mine was The Robert Carrier Cookery Book, bought for me by my father for my 12th Birthday present. I still use it!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  2. primarycat

    primarycat Star commenter

    I don't know what my first book was. Might have been Ken Hom's Chinese Cookery or Fay Maschler's eating in. But I certainly grew up surrounded by cook books as dad was a restaurateur. He had all sorts - anything from Larousse Gastronomique to a book called Saucy Ladies featuring sauce recipes next to vintage nude pictures!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    "The Pauper's Cookbook" Jocasta Innes (First Edition). As a very pauper student I learnt the, to me, novel idea that you could plan your meals for the whole week to minimise waste and eat well for very little instead of beans on toast every day :) Taught myself to cook from it. And the aphorism 'paupers can't afford to be squeamish' resulted in me still loving offal dishes much to the disgust of my children!

    It's still in print (in an extensively re-written Third (?) Edition)
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
    Lara mfl 05 and primarycat like this.
  4. friedgreentomatoes

    friedgreentomatoes Lead commenter

    My grandmother bought me this when I was about 7 or 8. I have very fond memories of it and I don't think there was anything in it that I didn't make at least once.

    EDIT: I seem to have failed miserably at uploading the image! It was the My Learn To Cook Book, still available (at a price) on Amazon.

    Lara mfl 05, nick909 and primarycat like this.
  5. primarycat

    primarycat Star commenter

    We had both of those.
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Readers' Digest The Cookery Year. I have actually re bought it two or three times over the years because the spine detached with repeated use, being textile bound and quite broad.
    When I was at school I used the apples page for an art project. Moving on,I learnt to cook from it.
    It remains my favourite cook book because there are more facts than flourishes, and because I am a staunchly seasonal cook.
    Lara mfl 05 and nick909 like this.
  7. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Lovely idea for a thread, Lapin.

    Like PC, I was surrounded by my mum and dad's cookery books growing up, but I didn't really get my interest in cooking until after university. I remember my parents buying me a student cookbook when I went away, but can't remember much of what was in it! I had a Sophie Grigson book as well, that was all about cooking for one or two, on a budget. I did alright for food at uni, and remember cooking a great deal for just myself or housemates and friends too, but it was often fairly perfunctory stuff! I remember coming a lot of things with minced beef, like most people on a budget I suppose, and my signature dish was egg fried rice, with whatever I had to hand thrown into it!

    The first book I bought that really got me going though was Nigel Slater's Real Fast Food. I'd left university, had some money suddenly, and a girlfriend I wanted to impress, so between that and Jamie Oliver's first book, that came out around the same time, I was sorted! Definitely those two books that got me really excited and interested in cooking. I've still got both, but I have a particular love for the Slater one, as it's in such a well loved state. Battered, spattered and scorched and pretty much falling apart, but I'll never replace it!
  8. bizent

    bizent Star commenter

    Like you @nick909 I think my first book was Jamie Oliver, possibly Jamie’s Kitchen.
    Stiltskin, nick909 and primarycat like this.
  9. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    The Hamlyn Cookery book. I bought it when I was a student.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  10. sagesund

    sagesund Occasional commenter

    My Mum bought me The Hamlyn Cookery Book when I bought my first property in the early nineties. I still use it today!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Agreed a lovely idea for a thread.
    My first bought cookbook was a cheap 'bedsitter cooking for one for when I started Uni, but I soon bought a Hamlyn cookbook, which became my 'go-to' cookbook, along with my Mum's old standby Jackson Cookery book.
  12. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    My mum gave me her copy of a Delia Smith cookbook when I first had my own flat.

    First one I bought, if i remember rightly, was the Momo Cookbook.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  13. grandelle

    grandelle New commenter

    Did anyone subscribe to a monthly magazine issued years ago, possibly 20! I gave mine to charity a few years ago & now wish I’d copied some old favourites. The mock roast recipe was in volume one. Does anyone have a copy, please? A long shot I know!
  14. grandelle

    grandelle New commenter

    Sorry I forgot to say that my first cookery book was one issued by my local church containing parishioners’ favourite recipes!!
  15. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    The naked chef (still have it, also splattered and well used).
  16. lynneseptember

    lynneseptember Senior commenter

    Perfect Cooking by Marguerite Patten. A Christmas present from my brother about 40 years ago. It's still on my shelf, and I still use it occasionally. The next one was Delia Smiths's Complete cookery course which remains my bible!
    freckle06 likes this.
  17. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I think I was sent off to University with How to Boil an Egg. I didn't cook much there. The catering was excellent so I don't remember making much. The first books that I used when I settled into my first flat were Delia's Summer and Winter collections. The book that has inspired me most has been Nigella's How to Eat.
    freckle06 likes this.
  18. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter


    My mum bought this for me when I did my GCSE in Home Economics. I used it today for the recipe for damson jam (yum!). I frequently use it for pancake batter and scones. It's also where our Christmas cake recipe comes from.

    It's brilliant for the basics. I've used it so much that the cover has come loose and there are scraps of paper all through it.

    Plus the party food is just funny - an orange for a head with an ice cream cone for a hat. But I bet a child in the 1960s was delighted.

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