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Mostly Food & Travel Journal

The Great British Storecupboard Cookbook

Guinness

The HP Sauce Cookbook

The Lyle’s Golden Syrup Cookbook


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Cookbook Collection:
Paul Hartley

On this page:

The Great British Storecupboard Cookbook

Guinness

The HP Sauce Cookbook

The Lyle’s Golden Syrup Cookbook


The Great British Storecupboard Cookbook

cookbook review storecupboard This is a jolly book and it’s not often a cookbook is described in that fashion. It almost has the feel of an old-fashioned Christmas Annual. It’s vibrant with bold colour and iconic images of products which have stood the test of time for taste and package design. It’s penned by Paul Hartley who has already a clutch of ‘brand’ books under his culinary belt. This is a compendium of some of the most celebrated products.

The Great British Storecupboard Cookbook starts with Marmite. This will encourage my British reader to either exclamations of unadulterated horror or no sound at all – the reader having instantly headed for the toaster and a jar of that savoury and black nectar of the gods. Tuscan Picnic Loaf has the air of Continental sophistication and includes a dessertspoon of Marmite. A little goes a long way, which makes this product an economic flavour-enhancer.

Colman’s Mustard is a classic. Its distinctive tin has graced larders for generations. It’s the key ingredient in Piccalilli, that yellow and warming companion to many a platter of cheese or cold cuts. Fillet of Beef Romanoff is perhaps a classier dish which makes liberal use of this powerful condiment.

HP Sauce is another British standard found on cafe tables, in burger wagons and store cupboards throughout the land. It is the shake of choice for many who could not possibly eat a meat pie without it. There are those who prefer it with fish and chips. Its strength is, however, that it adds balance and richness to so many dishes. The Great British Storecupboard Cookbook offers Oxtail Soup which uses a dash of HP. No, one doesn’t taste the HP, it just adds a certain je ne sais quoi.

This is an amusing but practical cookbook. Its use of bygone advertising imagery is charming. It is most definitely a book from which to cook. The recipes are well written and sensible. Yes, they use readymade products but let us not feel ashamed to use those bottles and jars. They have endured for decades because they are good. We have more food choices now than ever before but there are brands that we still reach for. The Great British Storecupboard Cookbook has a selection of the best branded products and reminds us that a soupçon of Bovril will perk up a rabbit stew, a drizzle of Lea and Perrins’ Worcestershire Sauce is essential for many meat dishes, and a syrup Sponge Pudding could never have anything other than Lyles Golden Syrup as its crowning glory.

The Great British Storecupboard Cookbook is a winner. It will be appreciated by both serious home cooks and the novice who would like to be introduced to simple, flavourful dishes which use common ingredients. There are more than 200 recipes to tempt every palate and temperament.

Cookbook review: The Great British Storecupboard Cookbook
Author: Paul Hartley
Published by: Absolute Press
Price: £25.00
ISBN 13: 9781906650117


food and travel reviews Paul Hartley

Guinness

cookbook review Guinness Paul Hartley has penned several brand cookbooks including the Lyles Golden Syrup Cookbook and the HP Sauce Cookbook (both reviewed on this site), Marmite Cookbook and Heinz Tomato Ketchup Cookbook. It’s probably safe to say that Paul has an eye for iconic and popular products.

Guinness – An Official Celebration of 250 Remarkable Years offers us firstly the history of “the black stuff”, “Girder”, “Liffey Water”, and it is indeed a story worth telling. Any product that has lasted two and a half centuries deserves a volume celebrating its longevity. There can surely be only a handful of brands that have endured while the world has changed so much.

Sake is synonymous with Japan, Whisky with Scotland and tea with England, but Ireland has Guinness. It’s available around the globe and is recognised even when poured. The distinctive dark brew with the clerical collar has decorated bars on every continent and has tickled the taste buds of almost every nationality.

This beer is in fact porter. No, dear reader, it doesn’t contain Port. It’s named after the men who hauled vegetables and other foodstuffs in London’s many markets. From 1799 the Guinness that we know today was the only beer brewed by the company. Its association with food might have started in Covent Garden Market and the like but it continues with recipes using Guinness, and there are 18 or so fine and traditional ones in this volume.

Steak pie with ale has been tempting diners for many a year. This has become a classic dish because it works, so it’s no surprise to find Beef and Guinness Puff Pastry Pie. Paul has added dried figs to this version which helps as a foil for the slightly bitter beer.

A must-try from Paul Hartley’s collection is Guinness Honeycomb Ice Cream. This recipe doesn’t need an ice-cream maker so there is no excuse not to make it. It’s a simple dessert using Guinness and those familiar chocolate-covered honeycomb bars. You know, the ones that are a bit crunchy.

The section in Guinness that charts various advertising campaigns is fascinating. We no longer consider Guinness as Good For You although that was used as a persuasive slogan for a while. The Guinness for Strength poster proved so popular that frequenters of “the local” would ask for a pint of “girder”, making reference to the iron-beam-carrying chap on the ad.

Guinness is a book full of evocative images and a story of vision. It would be a great gift for anyone who enjoys the drink, who enjoys cooking or who has an interest in advertising.

Cookbook review: Guinness
Author: Paul Hartley
Published by: Hamlyn-Octopus
Price: £9.99
ISBN 978-0-600-61988-8


food and travel reviews Paul Hartley

The HP Sauce Cookbook

We are talking “serious” condiment! These distinctive bottles have been an indispensible addition to tables of greasy spoon cafes all over Britain and beyond. They have been gracing homes where the tangy taste made bland food more appetising. The sauce has garnished innumerable cheese sandwiches and made the perfect accompaniment to meat pies at football matches.

The HP Sauce Cookbook The author, Paul Hartley, has a wealth of experience in the food industry. He has run a European- style Cafe-bar in London and an award-winning country pub in Somerset. He is a major contributor to Breakfastandbrunch.com. Paul also has a clutch of other store-cupboard cookbooks to his name.

HP sauce has been around in its present form since the turn of the century... the previous one, that is. The British Houses of Parliament have always had pride of place on the label. A bottle of the celebrated sauce was spotted in that building and so the name was adopted: “H”ouses of “P”arliament. Short, to the point, memorable, and iconic.

This flavourful sauce was the element that was said to have made the unvarying menu of “bully beef” palatable for the First World War troops. The label, at that time, was in French as well as English. It was rumoured that it was in French because so much of the sauce was shipped to France; or that it showed solidarity with our French allies. Truth was that the manufacturers thought it made the sauce seem upmarket and posh.

The HP Sauce Cookbook is a history but it’s also, as the title suggests, a cookbook and the dishes are savoury, comforting and warming. Slow-cooked Barbecue Pork Belly is going to be a regular on many BBQ’s this summer. OK, so the marinade uses Coca-Cola and that might raise a few eyebrows, but remember that it contains lots of sugar to help caramelise the meat, plus flavourings, and it is a common ingredient in American kitchens. HP sauce is used to good effect to produce a tangy glaze.

Paul has a Brunch Wrap that will be popular with weekend guests. It’s an ideal dish for those days when time is at a premium but you still want to spoil people. Make the filling the night before and make the wraps in the morning. Great for any lover of an English breakfast. This is like “the full Monty” in pastry.

I must admit, dear reader, that I would not choose HP for my fish and chips as promoted in this book. I am a dedicated tomato ketchup girl and that won’t change. But I could never make a Welsh Rarebit without a good dose of HP. It’s a classic snack which you could describe as an elevated cheese on toast. Buy the best cheese and bread, and success is assured.

The HP Sauce Cookbook is a book full of nostalgia but also contemporary recipes. There can be few in the UK who have not tried this sauce but it might come as a pleasant surprise to overseas cooks. Try it and you’ll find it to be a handy addition to your larder. The book will give you pointers to make the best of this British staple. Enjoy!

The HP Sauce Cookbook
Author: Paul Hartley
Published by: Absolute Press
Price: £7.99
ISBN 9781904573869


food and travel reviews Paul Hartley

The Lyle’s Golden Syrup Cookbook

There are some products that evoke memories. Dr. Pepper root beer reminds me of my friend Carolyn in the US, HP Sauce reminds me of my husband and Hoola Hoops remind me of our boy Peter. Golden Syrup reminds me of treacle tart while watching Sunday Night at the London Palladium (I was very young!) It’s tooth-achingly sweet comfort food.

The Lyle’s Golden Syrup Cookbook The author, Paul Hartley, has a wealth of experience in the food industry. He has run a European- style Cafe-bar in London and an award-winning country pub in Somerset. He is a major contributor to Breakfastandbrunch.com.

The Lyle’s Golden Syrup Cookbook is a stylish volume full of iconic graphics and recipes, both traditional and modern. The cover is emblazoned with tins of syrup and those tins represent one of the most recognised brands around. In 2007 Guinness World Records recognised Lyle’s Golden Syrup as having the world’s oldest packaging for a brand. The company has been around since 1883 so I guess that says it’s a popular product. This is one of the British staples that can be found in food stores from Toulouse to Timbuktu. The locals might not know what to do with it, but the tins always decorate the shelves so nicely.

I have already mentioned treacle tart. It’s a classic and this book wouldn’t be credible without a good recipe. Syrup Sponge Pudding is another family favourite. Note that the name of the syrup is not specified because it was only ever made with Lyle’s Syrup. This is rib-sticking winter gooeyness. Rich Parkin is a Victorian cake that remains a favourite in Yorkshire tea rooms to this very day. Great with a nice cup of tea.

That’s got the nostalgia out of the way, so on to some new ideas that take a tin of Lyle’s to new heights and probably help to give it a broader appeal. How about Mango and Ginger Chutney. Might not be authentically Indian but good all the same. Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lemon is a marvellous combination. Chicken and garlic always work well together and lemon will take the edge off the distinct sweetness of the syrup.

The Lyle’s Golden Syrup Cookbook is charming, well written and thoroughly entertaining. The recipes are all that you would hope but with a few contemporary additions. I, once again, look forward to Sunday night teatime.

The Lyle’s Golden Syrup Cookbook
Author: Paul Hartley
Published by: Absolute Press
Price: £7.99
ISBN 9781904573791


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