In a my previous post about the iconic cookery program, Farmhouse Kitchen, I mentioned that there were books available which accompanied the series, and that I would dearly love get hold of these. Well I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve been able to do just that. I am now the proud owner of Farmhouse Kitchen, Book One – and I am thrilled!!!
WHERE DID I FIND IT?
I was just walking down a busy high road, minding my own business as I always do, when I saw a book in the window of a second-hand bookshop that stopped me in my tracks. On closer inspection, I realised it was the first book in the Farmhouse Kitchen series. There was no question of me purchasing the book. I rushed in and grabbed it before you could say rough puff pastry. And it was mine for the grand sum of £1.49. I just couldn’t believe that someone would want to part with a little piece of television history – not that I was complaining of course! And it was still in great condition – in fact it barely looked as if it had been used.
SO WHAT’S IT LIKE?
This A5 book which contains just under two hundred pages, has a scene from a nineteenth century Yorkshire Kitchen as it’s front cover. The old Yorkshire Television logo is also on the front cover- a logo I’d seen many times during my childhood and I was surprised to find that I actually miss it (I need to get out more!) The book’s synopsis explains that:
Farmhouse Kitchen Book One includes traditional country recipes for everyday soups, main courses and puddings as well as preserving and pickling for the store cupboard.
So not much for fans of pulled pork or Piri-Piri chicken then! And for those who are used to huge colour photos in recipe books, this one may seem a little stark as there’s not much in the way of pictures except for the odd few illustrations – and absolutely no colour at all. It might put some people off but I didn’t mind at all. It had a very nostalgic vibe and reminded me of many of the recipe books my mum used to own.
Open the book, and there’s a brief introduction from the show’s presenter, the late Dorothy Sleightholme. There’s also a footnote explaining that all the recipes in the book – over four hundred of them which have been derived from the recommendations of Dorothy and the show’s viewers- have all been prepared by Dorothy herself. Now that’s a lot of food prep!
The book is divided into twelve chapters with everything from pies and pastries to pickles and preserves to homemade wine, beer and pop. The culinary theme Farmhouse Kitchen is based on good hearty, country-style cooking and traditional British fare – and the book stays true to form. There are recipes for Lancashire hot-pot, Cullen Skink and steak and kidney pie. This book doesn’t necessarily do food trends but there’s a touch of the exotic from Italian inspired recipes such as risotto and minestrone.
Food trends may have changed over the years but there are still plenty of recipes in this book which are still relevant today. And I was delighted to see a recipe for good old Baked Alaska! However, there were a few I don’t think I’ll be trying: pig’s kidney stuffing, Kidneys in red wine sauce, stuffed hearts… no thank you!
Many of the recipes in Farmhouse Kitchen have been devised by Dorothy and there are even a few named after her. But there are also recipes by the lovely Mary Berry as well as, of course, recipes that have been sent in by the shows viewers.
I’m having a great time going through this book and will be making some of these dishes soon. I’m delighted to have found this book and so far have kept it hidden from my mum for fear that she’ll soon make it part of her recipe book collection. I’m on the lookout for Farmhouse Kitchen Book Two but in the meanwhile, here’s a recipe for another one of my childhood favourites, baked bananas, taken from my latest most prized possession!
2oz. desiccated coconut
2oz. little rum (optional)
- Lay peeled bananas in a lightly buttered, shallow, fireproof dish.
- Sprinkle with lemon juice, then with coconut and sugar mixed.
- Add shavings of butter and a sprinkling of rum (optional.)
- Bake at Gas4, 350ºF for about 15mins.
- Serve with custard or cream.
Love those old school measurements!