When I was young, I used to love browsing through my mother’s rather tatty old copy of The Stork Cookbook. It had been published long before my time and had been well-thumbed, but I loved the pretty pictures of cakes and biscuits and loved to plan what I would serve at the perfect tea party.
As I got a bit older I actually got to bake a few of the recipes, although they never quite looked as good as in the pictures. Perhaps it was this early love of baking that encouraged me to take ‘O’ level cookery (or Food and Nutrition as the course was actually called) at secondary school.
As we prepared to start the course, my teacher announced that it would be necessary to buy a certain book, in order to have access to all the vital recipes – The New Art of Cooking, from Stork!
This was the 1978 edition, as opposed to my mother’s copy that must have been published some 20 years before, but it still contained similar photographs of finished dishes and many of the same recipes that I’d pored over in my younger days.
I still own my slightly yellowed copy of this book, which has stayed far more intact than my mother’s version, despite constant use. It is still a major source of reference for me when cooking today. Indeed, I have tried other recipe books but always seem to return to that trusted Stork Cookbook of all those years ago. Apart from the occasional recipe gleaned from the odd magazine, its recipes, along with the pencil-written comments added by my 15-year-old self, are truly the inspiration for most of the dishes that I make (with small variations) today.
What trusted tome do you swear by?
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