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January 25, 2018

Wow! I have a small collection of cookbooks, one dates back to 1942 – “500 Food-extender Wartime Recipes.” I use my Betty Crocker cookbook the most often. It’s at least 40 years old. ~ Connie

Annika Perry


It is easy to imagine cookbooks being the preserve of the last few decades following the massive success of chefs and their books such as Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Mary Berry to name a few. However, food and its preparation have always been of interest to people and over the centuries chefs have sought to bring their recipes and wisdom to a wider audience.

One of the world’s outstanding collections of cookery books is currently on display at the University of Leeds and although I am unable to visit it in person I am happy to bring part of the exhibition of ‘Cooks and their Books’ alive for you (and me) through four of the fantastic books currently on exhibition.

1024px-ScappiThe oldest cookery book dates back 1570 when Michelangelo was still completing the ceiling on the Sistine Chapel in Venice. Not far away a chef named Bartolomeo Scappi (c.1500-1577)…

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  1. Connie, thank you so much for the reblog and I enjoyed learning about your cookbooks. The one from 1942 with the wartime recipes sounds interesting and wow, Betty Crocker seems to be the stalwart in American homes, rather like Mrs Beeton here, I guess!

  2. I plan to do a blog using that cookbook. Some of the recipe titles are quite interesting to say the least! I learned to cook using a pressure cooker and all of our meals were from scratch. I got away from that when I married. It was easier to buy frozen. Now I’m going back to scratch again. The pressure cooker has become foreign to me! I’d forgotten how to make Salisbury steaks and Spanish rice. I found a recipe for Salisbury steaks we like, but still don’t have one for Spanish rice. I love Zataran’s, but I’d like to find our old one for a family recipe book I decided to put together. I hope my sisters can help me remember our recipes.

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