I’m back!

Hello. I’m back.

Thank you so much to everyone who has commented here, on Facebook, or sent me e-mails after my Mum’s death, I really appreciated your kindness. Thank you once again. Now the funeral is done, I can breathe for now, although sorting out her affairs will be a priority over the summer. Luckily school broke up for both my daughter and me this week, and we have a couple of quieter weeks before the state schools break up and our holiday in Cornwall to get back to some normality.

I have been reading though. At first I couldn’t read novels as every book I was tempted by seemed to be one I would have passed on to Mum to read. A week on and I changed my plan – to only read novels she wouldn’t have liked (mega-quirky, vampires, bad language, rock ‘n’ roll – you get the picture!). That’s worked – so you can expect an eclectic mix of reviews soon!

I was idly looking through her cookery books the other day though, and I found these from the mid-60s by one of the first British TV chefs – Fanny Craddock.

It’s not the recipes that tickled me – they’re standard fare with nods towards classic French cuisine mostly – it’s the notes on techniques for presentation and garnishing.  Now I know how to fold a water-lily napkin, make a savory swan with a hard-boiled egg, and, should I wish to give it a go, create a butter pagoda; all delivered in her clipped, bossy, schoolmarm style.  

Not surprisingly with my Mum, on opening the books, aged newspaper clippings fall out – so I also have the 1966 Radio Times pull out supplement of Fanny Craddock’s guide to your Christmas table – including homemade decorations for your table, and a plan to make the most of your cooker and worktops so everything will go smoothly. Priceless!

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12 thoughts on “I’m back!

  1. I’m so so sorry for your loss , I had to hit “mark all as read” a couple of times after getting too far behind on blog reading, so I’d missed your previous post. Sending hugs and warm thoughts your way.

    • I can feel a campaign for retro food garnishing coming on. Nope! I was imagining it. :)

  2. Glad you are feeling ready to come back, Annabel, you have been missed!
    My late mum was not a keen cook, bless her, so although there were hundreds of books to clear out, there weren’t that many of the cookery variety.
    The cook books that were there looked mostly to have belonged to her mum, my Granny Edith, (who was a very good cook) because there were Yorkshire WI recipe books, an edition of Mrs Beeton dating back to 1912 and Granny’s own handwritten recipe book which included cakes requiring 15 eggs and vast quantities of butter.
    The only ones that my mum actually bought were by a 1960’s TV cook called Zena Skinner, who I think was local to Luton where I grew up and who had visited the local WI that my mum attended!
    Typically they are absolutely pristine!

    • Hi Liz – I’m glad to be back, with a little room in my brain cleared to think about other things again.

      I think I’ll uncover some gems as I work my way through Mum’s books. I didn’t dare pick up her bulging cooking file though. I particularly love the fact that in the older cook books meals like Spag Bol are seen as exotic whereas that’s an everyday meal for us now. The amount of butter is totally artery-cloggin though!

  3. Lovelyto have you back Annabel and thank you for contributing to todays post iver on Savidge Reads despite all that was going on!!

    I think Fanny Craddock is amazing, did you see the bbc biopic thing they did, was hilarious!!!

    • Thanks Simon. There’s some good recommendations from the other contributors on your blog – what a good initiative.

      Fanny Craddock on TV was so repulsive – a dreadful woman. That was a great programme they did!

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