Gransnet forums


Favourite Recipe Books.

(103 Posts)
Calendargirl Wed 23-Sep-20 13:15:32

So many recipes online, but my go-to book is Delia’s Complete Cookery Course.

It’s a big paperback, my version 1992 so nearly 30 years old, very tatty, stained, but very precious.

My mum gave it to me as an ‘extra’ Christmas present, and every time I use it, which is quite often, I picture her standing with her specs on in our local bookshop, perusing the recipe books and deciding on this one.

Thanks Mum, it was a really useful and much appreciated gift.

Wish you were still here to see me making such good use of it.


grannysue05 Wed 23-Sep-20 13:19:19

I have Mary Berry's original Cookery Book.

Quite a large tome but as its published by Dorling Kindersley, the pictures are glorious.

Although I have bought many, many cookery books since then, I always return to this one for a definitive answer.

I love it .

WOODMOUSE49 Wed 23-Sep-20 13:32:26

I think it's the same one I turn to but I got the later version as well. Picture for every recipe.

One other well used book is Mary Berry's Baking Bible. So many gorgeous cakes etc.

Fast becoming fav is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's VEG book

phoenix Wed 23-Sep-20 13:32:51

I've got the Delia one too, Calendargirl very good one indeed!

Also quite like the Readers Digest "Cookery Year".

Whitewavemark2 Wed 23-Sep-20 13:36:34

I like Good Housekeeping, Nigel Slater, Delia, Jamie, mary Berry.

It depends on what I fancy as some are less complicated than others.

Good Housekeeping usually has the most ingredients but I think the end results are always good.

B9exchange Wed 23-Sep-20 13:38:55

For my sins the only prize I won at school was the housecraft one, and I was allowed to choose my books, one of which was the hefty tome 'Good Housekeeping Cookery Book'. I still pull it out for ideas.

kittylester Wed 23-Sep-20 13:41:42

I use Delia too but I mostly use Nigella - various ones but Nigellisima is my current favourite - and Nigel Slater's 30 minute cookbook. I use Madhur Jaffray quite a bit.

But, it's the cut out ones in my loose leaf binder that I rely on. Though those are usually well adapted and bear little relation to the ones on file.

phoenix Wed 23-Sep-20 13:44:06

B9exchange got that one too! My edition was published in 1978, still go to it for Mr P's favourite chowder recipe, but I do adapt it a bit.

Jaxjacky Wed 23-Sep-20 13:46:48

I too have Delia, love her Christmas book, Madhur Jaffrey, Keith Floyd, Jamie and an old Hugh Fearnley, to mention a few. Have favourite recipes in each, rather than one favourite.

kittylester Wed 23-Sep-20 14:04:22

Isn't it annoying when you only use one or two recipes from a book? I keep thinking I'll photocopy them and put them in my folder but never quite get round to it.

TerriBull Wed 23-Sep-20 14:48:03

Delia's complete cooking course trilogy from ages ago and her Christmas books, Madhur Jaffrey for curries again from a long time ago. More recently a couple of Jamie's and Nigella's and lovely Nigel Slater, Tom Kerridge.......and even Gwyneth Paltrow's first. I got given many of these, some of the family work in publishing, there's no way I'd have bought GP's book not in a million years shock I refer to some of them occasionally, more often than not I find myself Googling recipes these days, Mary Berry for cakes is a popular choice for me, have even been known to consult GN for such purposes.

Grandmabatty Wed 23-Sep-20 14:51:00

I have a Good Housekeeping recipe book from 1957. It was given to my mum as an engagement gift and I use it sporadically. The Bero book in its many reincarnations is used by me, dd and ds on a regular basis and Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without Delia.

Ladyleftfieldlover Wed 23-Sep-20 14:58:18

Delia’s complete Cookery for basics - apart from the egg chapter. She can’t cook eggs! Nigella is great for cakes. I have a variety of Nigel Slaters, loads of Simon Hopkinson, Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Book is a treat, as is Elizabeth David’s. So, among the 100 odd cookery books I have, there is also Diane Henry ( her chicken recipes are brilliant), Ina Garten, the Cordon Bleu Cookery Book, Mary Berry, Smitten Kitchen (an American blogger who is really very good) and any number of one-offs such as a book of ice cream recipes which is one of my most used.

jusnoneed Wed 23-Sep-20 15:22:32

I use Delia's book too, and I also have a set I use from a TV series that used to be on at lunchtime back in the 70's - Farmhouse Kitchen. Good simple recipes.

Mainly look online for anything else now and if I find something we really like I write it in a hard cover notebook. Latest addition Spring rolls, they are yummy!

Beauregard Wed 23-Sep-20 15:30:23

At the moment it's Pinch of Nom and Slimming World books. I've found quite a few nice low fat dishes which are surprisingly good.

Many years ago I photocopied some recipes from a book at work and I have never been able to get hold of the book since. It is a large book (like Hamlyn) and in it are recipes for Chicken Marengo, Beef Carbonnade, Vegetable Soup, Potato and Leek Soup, Tiramisu amongst others. I know they are pretty common recipes, but if anyone recognises the book they come from please can you let me know what it is.

Callistemon Wed 23-Sep-20 16:03:18

Good Housekeeping and Delia
I have quite a lot, some not heard of and use occasional recipes from most of them.

I don't have any Mary Berry cookbooks but I do look up her recipes online.

geekesse Wed 23-Sep-20 16:35:17

Reader’s Digest Cookery Year - the early edition. I asked for one as a school prize in the 1970s because my darling aunt who taught me to cook used it. When I asked my son what he’d like as a gift for graduating as a chef from a very good cookery school, he asked if I could get him a copy. I still think it knocks spots off any other for basic how-to stuff, even if the showy monthly recipes seem a bit dated.

lilypollen Wed 23-Sep-20 17:19:05

WOODMOUSE49 My most used recipes are in the same Black and Red Hamlyn books. Again from the early 70s my reference book is Marguerite Patten's Every Day Cookbook. These 3 books have a lot of food marks in them, testament to 45 years of use!! I have quit a few Celebrity chef books but many recipes I try I never repeat.

Chewbacca Wed 23-Sep-20 17:37:40

I've got dozens of recipe books but the ones I go to most are Farmhouse Kitchen recipe book (from the tv series); Mary Berry Cooks The Perfect...., Lorraine Pascale's Cooking to Entertain and Mrs Burton's Everyday Cookery. The recipe book by Tom Kerridge is just useless and I've never used it at all! 28 ingredients for one recipe!

Greyduster Wed 23-Sep-20 18:32:25

I have the Hamlyn All Colour Cookbook (the black one in Woodmouse49’s photo) that Mary Berry co-wrote with Ann Body and Audrey Ellis. I still dip into it from time to time. I cut my teeth on Marguerite Pattens Cookery in Colour, which is still on my shelf, though I don’t use it now. I learned so much from that book. I have acquired a lot of other cook books over the years that are gathering dust now. Like others, I have a file of cuttings and hand written recipes that I tend to use a lot, my trusty Be-ro book, and a very useful book called The Tin and Tray Bake Cook Book by Sam Gates which contains sweet and savoury recipes.

Chewbacca Wed 23-Sep-20 18:45:02

Mrs Burton? Who's she? Mrs Beeton did a very good recipe book and it's hers wot I have.

Callistemon Wed 23-Sep-20 19:08:47

Audrey Ellis

I have her freezer cookery book, very useful even now.

Chewbacca Wed 23-Sep-20 19:14:31

Does anyone still have the series of recipe books that St Michael used to do in the 1970s? I had the whole series, including the freezer recipe book, cake decorating book and quick meals for supper. Wish I'd kept mine now.

ayse Wed 23-Sep-20 20:00:46

Elizabeth David, Italian Cooking; Elizabeth David French Provincial Cooking; Claudia Roden Middle Eastern Food. All paperbacks bought in the early 70s when I needed interesting cheap food that I could cook. This was my passion for Mediterranean food. I also had Good Housekeeping for basic British food. Before I had these books I couldn’t even boil an egg!

Following these books came Indian and Thai food then Cajun and it goes on. Good Housekeeping did a whole set of smaller paperbacks and I still have the one about jam, sweet making and preserving

Sainsbury did some lovely little books about Mexican and Spanish food as part of their range.

These days, I do use online but I still prefer a good cookbook but not the big glossy ones with pages of pictures. I still can’t help myself sometimes for buying small books for just one recipe.

Blondiescot Wed 23-Sep-20 20:15:37

Ooh, I love a cookbook and have many favourites including Nigel Slater's and Jack Monroe's, but if I had to choose just one, it would Ozlem Warren's Ozlem's Turkish Table. I absolutely adore Turkish food - which is very under-rated, by the way - and Ozlem's book is fantastic, with recipes which are easy to follow and stories which bring them to life and help me enjoy a true taste of Turkey when I'm not there!