Tag Archives: recipe book

Book Review: Churchill’s Cookbook

Since I received my very first Delia cookbook when I was a teenager I’ve been addicted to cookbooks. I have a particular fondness for cookbooks with a bit of history in them. I am by nature a fairly thrifty cook, so the household manuals and farmhouse cookbooks which have been handed down through my family are fascinating and incredibly precious to me. When I got my hands on a copy of Churchill’s Cookbook by Georgina Landemare, I knew I was in for an historical treat.

Published by the Imperial War Museum, Churchill’s Cookbook by Georgina Landemare is a 160 page snapshot of wartime dining for the upper classes. Georgina Landemare was cook to the Churchills throughout WW2 and was engaged by Churchill’s wife Clementine as she felt she would be able to make the best out of the rations available. Georgina Landemare was an accomplished but untrained cook who was heavily influenced by her husband Paul Landemare, a distinguished French Chef at the Ritz.

Churchill's Cookbook

The Churchill’s, although subject to the constraints of the ration book where in the lucky position of having a farm on their estate at Chartwell, giving them ready access to eggs, milk, cream, chicken, pork and most vegetables. Churchill’s Cookbook doesn’t tell the every day story of the struggles of working class ration book Britain. It is a fascinating read, with a chapter devoted to setting the scene, introducing Georgina and discussing the favourite foods of the household.

The book is divided into sections; soup, fish, eggs, poultry, meat, sauces, salads, vegetables, puddings, savouries, pastry, biscuits and cake. The 250+ recipes in the book are brief and simply written. I like old recipes because they tend to work with fewer ingredients and are generally (though not always) simpler. 

I decided to try out some of the recipes myself, I liked the look of these “Bachelor’s Buttons” and I thought my son would enjoy baking them with me too. I’ve never really had much success with biscuits for some reason, I always either over or under bake them, so I put these to the test.

Churchill's Cookbook

The recipe was very straight-forward and it only took me a few minutes to whip up a batch. The recipe didn’t say when to add the vanilla essence so I added it with the egg and it didn’t say to set aside some sugar to roll them in prior to baking. I suspect during wartime they wouldn’t have just used the whole 3oz in the mixture and then rolled them liberally in another ounce or so of sugar, but that’s what I did. 

I also didn’t know what a “medium” oven was, put popped them in my oven at 200º until they were starting to brown, this took around 10 minutes. My top tip would be to get them off the baking sheet very quickly whilst they’re piping hot, otherwise they stick. They were very delicious and as light as a feather. I’d definitely bake these again.

Churchill's Cookbook

I was a little surprised at the range of rich foodstuffs in this book, especially considering it was a wartime cookbook, but I suspect the Prime Minister and his household may have had access to more than just his ration.

This book might raise a few eyebrows, with Georgina’s recipes including Cervelles Conought (curried brains), but there are some delicious sounding and fairly frugal recipes I’ll be looking to try out over the coming months.

Winston Churchill was well-known for his hearty appetite and love of food. Churchill’s Cookbook gives a fascinating insight into what he ate during the Second World War, indeed, Georgina was told by the Prime Minister on VE night that he could not have managed through the war without her. Fascinating stuff.

Churchill’s Cookbook by Georgina Landemare is available from the Imperial War Museum shop and is priced at £10.

Giveaway: Olive It! The Essential Olive Recipe Book

I love cookery books, I have shelves of them covering all different kinds of cuisines and cultures. I often settle down for an evening of devouring my latest recipe book and plotting what I’ll be making out of it. I love discovering new things, finding interesting recipes my family will enjoy and eventually tweaking them and making them my own.

The Olive It! The Essential Olive Recipe Book is one of those books, filled with gorgeous pictures and mouth-watering recipes which combine traditional recipes with a contemporary twist. Lovely things like roast baby peppers stuffed with olives and cherry tomatoes  and green olives with chilli lamb meatballs. 

olive it

Join celebrated Spanish chefs José Pizarro and Omar Allibhoy as they share their joy of olives and pass on tried and tested family recipes that have been passed down through generations. Having both grown up surrounded by olive trees and immersed in the Mediterranean diet and culture, their love of olives is deep-rooted and evident in these inspired olive dishes.

To find out more about Olive It! The Essential Olive Recipe Book and the nutritional benefits of incorporating olives into your diet, visit their website.

olive it

WIN A Signed copy of Olive It! The Essential Olive Recipe Book

To be in with a chance to win a signed copy of Olive It! The Essential Olive Recipe Book, simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below – and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only.
2. There is no cash alternative offered.
3. To enter, please use the rafflecopter widget above. Please ensure you leave some contact details or I will not be able to contact you if you win.
4. The winner will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries. The winner will receive a win a signed copy of Olive It! The Essential Olive Recipe Book.
5. The competition will close on 3rd January 2016.
6. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
7. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winners, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
8. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this competition.

Books: Easy Indian Supermeals for Babies, Toddlers and the Family

I’ve always been a cook from scratch kind of girl, I love cooking and creating in the kitchen and my shelves heave with cook books. Despite all this sometimes my well of culinary inspiration runs dry. I was sent a copy of Easy Indian Supermeals for Babies, Toddlers and the Family by Zainab Jagot Ahmed to review, which is just as well, it was high time I spiced things up in the kitchen!

This colourful, hard-backed book contains 65 easy, nutritious recipes “inspired by” Indian cuisine for children aged 7 months to 5 years. We have a four year old, so we’ve well and truly passed the weaning stage, however Easy Indian SuperMeals contains a good 20 or so informative pages all about family nutrition and weaning.

Quite often I’m put off cooking Indian food because the list of ingredients is intimidatingly long, this isn’t really the case with this book, the recipes seem to be simple in both ingredients and method, they’re also quick, easy and nutritious. Each recipe introduction highlights the nutritional benefits of the meal. We’ve never been big fans of cooking different meals for different family members, what we cook we all eat, so having this nutritional information is beneficial.

Easy Indian SuperMeals

One of our favourite home made Indian recipes we cook quite often is Matter Paneer, so we chose this recipe to see if it met our usual standards. The recipe seemed slightly easier, with fewer ingredients, most of the recipes suggest leaving out salt and any spice and adding it to the adult food at the end of cooking, which we largely did, though at 4 he likes a little kick to his food.

As you can see from the pictures above, our meal looked like the picture in the book and it was a very good curry, better than our usual version. The recipes in Easy Indian SuperMeals do seem to contain lots of healthy vegetables, which is great for me as a veggie and I look forward to trying a few more recipes, such as the Bhindi Masala Curry and the Super Quick Bombay Potatoes.

My only criticism really is that I’d like each recipe to state how many of the five portions of fruit and vegetables a day they contain per portion. I know it’s fairly easy to work out, but an at-a-glance indicator would be useful to me as a mum.

It’s a great book for families who want to tantalise their toddlers taste-buds as well as for those wanting to spice up family meals. It’s the kind of book I’ll use every week, experiment with, lend to friends and splatter the pages with bits of my cooking. Recommended.

Note: I was sent a copy of Easy Indian Supermeals for Babies, Toddlers and the Family free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.