Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Cooking is like love ...............

...... it should be entered into with abandon
or not at all!
Julia Childs

And so with this sage advice in mind 
here are some of my favourite and well used
recipe books on my kitchen shelf!

Some books have messages
and are so special, just because of the
beautiful words!

These first two books are written by a favourite couple
in South Africa, Jeremy and Jacqui Mansfield ... each recipe is accompanied by a funny anecdote or photo and the first book titled Zhoozsh (the cover photo in the kitchen) 
was a Mother's Day gift from my children in 2008
and has a looong message on the first page!
The book incidentally finished in third place at the
International Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in London. 

The second book titled Zoozsh! Faking it
was a Mother's Day gift from my children in 2011 ..
and as you may guess, is "all about delicious and trendy dishes that aren't heavy on the pocket" and that don't take hours in the kitchen to produce... just up my street!! 

The next wonderful little recipe book is also by a
South African lady called Annabel Frere ... 
this was a Christmas gift from my youngest son Richard
in 2013 and is one of my favourite go-to books for
fast, easy meals.

Are there any passionate cooks out there who do not have  at least one of Jamie Oliver's cookbooks in their collection?
From the first time I saw Jamie as just a young lad in
The Naked Chef, I was kinda hooked on his enthusiastic approach to cooking and his Kinda Spaghetti Bolognaise is a firm favourite in our house! 

Another very popular cookery writer and teacher in
South Africa is Ina Paarman.  I was lucky enough to meet her at one of her cooking demo's where I bought this
lovely book.  She inscribed a message on the front page for me!

Maya Angelou .... words cannot describe how much I love this inspirational writer and poet .. but did you know she also loved cooking?  
Hallelujah! the welcome table .. A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes not only has dishes evoking memories of her Southern upbringing, there are wonderful stories in chapters titled 'The Assurance of Caramel Cake' and 
'Potatoe Salad towers over Difficulties!' 
It is a truly delightful and much loved book on my shelf. 

I retired in 2011 after working most of my adult life ..
On my last afternoon, after I had left the office, 
I found myself at one of our large bookshops nearby,
sort of just wandering around, not quite believing that I was at looong last, unemployed and very happy about it!
I bought the next book in celebration of my new freedom, and I love it! .. both the book and my 'retired' status!


Who remembers the Two Fat Ladies?  They were crazy gals weren't they!  I loved their adventures in the TV series, and although I have not used this following cookbook much, it is very special to me. 
My late mother-in-law gave it to me on one of her visits to South Africa from the UK.  

Many, many years ago, my husband and I had a brief spell owning and running a small Italian restaurant!  Gosh it feels like it was in another lifetime now, but anyway ... I bought this book hoping for much needed inspiration!  It actually has some very nice recipes in it which I still make today!

And so to the final two books ..
I have been following a sugar-free eating lifestyle since February 12 this year.  No mean feat for me .. I am a chocoholic of note, love biscuits and cake, sweet and gooey is my fix.
Fortunately I love vegetables, only eat chicken and fish and have always partaken heartily thereof .. and we also enjoy having fantastic fruit available all year round.
These two books actually belong to my daughter Stellie, who has kindly lent them to me on a 'for-as-long-as-you-need-them' basis .. 
I am happy to report that I am coping well, lost a little weight, but most important of all, feel enormous benefits to my general health already.  Now that I have broken through the 'craving' barrier, I am not going back to my very bad snacking habits, ever.

And on that note, I'm off to have a small glass of very dry Blanc de Noir wine .. not too far off sugar-free but still delicious!

I have so enjoyed writing this post ..
 Julia Child's has the last word ..
"Life itself is the proper binge"
Pat xxxxx


  1. What a great selection of cookbooks! With all of those you must produce wonderful meals. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. I have a thing about cook books, hmm, very hard to pick. One of my oldest is Delia, the cover got in such a state I made it a fabric cover. I love Nigel Slater's hard back books they are a thing of beauty, plus Nigella Kitchen, and a good cake book is a Mary Berry http://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Kitchen-Table-Cakes-Bakes/dp/184990149X/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1432057759&sr=8-9&keywords=mary+berry

    1. I also have Delia 1, 2, and 3! I especially love books that have comments and stories as well as recipes .. one of my oldest books is More Food with Flair ..this is one of several little preludes .... The Welsh serve a lovely roast duck with onion sauce called Hwyaden Gymreig A Saws Winiwns .. that duck must have a hard job living up to it's name. This duck, called Duck, is easier to pronounce and is given a slightly unusual treatment ....... and then she goes on with the recipe. I chuckle every time I page through the book! I shall have to look out for the Mary Berry book, thanks Shirley xxx

  3. I could read about other peoples' cook books and the stories behind them all day, so I have loved this post Pat. I have Nigella's Christmas book too, and make the Poinsettia Cocktail from it every Christmas when we have friends over- very drinkable!! Well done for changing your eating habits, it's a hard thing to do and stick to, sounds like you are doing really well X

    1. I could also Penny ... I have just looked up Poinsettia Cocktail .. must try it! x Pat

  4. What a lovely collection of cookbooks! I'm have a thing for them too, and over the years have collected way too many. I have to stop myself when I reach for new ones now! ...I also eat only chicken and fish, but I still have to cook red meat for the guys every few days who think I'm a little strange! xoxo


Thank you so much for leaving a comment ~ hearing from you makes my day ~