The Complete Traditional Recipe Book is a hefty tome that will make you smile as soon as you flick through the pages. It’s a pure joy and Sarah Edington’s collection of over 300 recipes represents the best of British cooking. It’s from The National Trust and that always means a seriously good read.
There is probably nobody better placed than Sarah to write The Complete Traditional Recipe Book. Besides food writing, she is a London qualified Blue Badge Tourist Guide and she arranges London-based food tours, on foot or with wheels, historic or otherwise. These have included a walking tour in historic Southwark coupled with a visit to Borough Market, in-depth visits to the Tudor kitchens of Hampton Court, and a tour of the service quarters of Petworth House in Sussex.
Cookbooks are big business these days and there is the temptation to change traditional recipes just to update them, to make them seem modern and trendy. Perhaps we should consider that anything that has been around long enough to be called “traditional” has lasted because it was good to start with. Sarah has kept faith with the original recipes and they are everything that you would expect.
This is the cookbook you will snuggle down with when it’s cold, wet and windy (probably a Wednesday in August) and want some cheering. The recipes are mouth-watering and unadulterated comfort. They are familiar and the sorts of dishes our grandmothers would have made. Good tasty fare with not a sniff of an over-boiled Brussels sprout.
Let me tempt you with some recipes! At last, a recipe for Haslet, a delicious and simple loaf of pork, onion, sage and mace. Much tastier than the shop-bought variety. Maids of Honour are scrumptious little tarts (now, that sounds unkind!) which were originally baked at the time of George II and Queen Caroline. But my very favourite is Homity Pies. These lovelies are so flavourful that they would entice card-carrying carnivores onto the path of vegetarianism… at least for an afternoon.
The Complete Traditional Recipe Book even feels like an old-fashioned quality cookbook. The pages are open and uncluttered. The recipes are clear and straightforward and they work! You’ll buy this book for its practical instruction and classic British food. I have a large collection of cookbooks but this will be amongst the dozen or so that stay in the kitchen.
The Complete Traditional Recipe Book
Author: Sarah Edington
Published by: Anova Books
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018