I suspect most of us have cookery books that we hardly ever open, simply because they are precious and exciting when first bought but now just nestle amongst newer volumes on the shelf. I suspect, too, that I am not alone in reading not a novel but something culinary whilst in bed - before the lights are turned out – or sitting on the sofa with one eye scanning a recipe book, whilst the other is watching TV or, hands up, I confess here and now to taking the latest food magazine into the bathroom with me! Does this make me a ‘foodie’?
Anyway....I have resolved to actually use a recipe each month from a volume that I haven’t opened of late and, for National Baking Week in October 2012, I made some shortbread and ‘Dark Indulgent Chocolate and Walnut Brownies’ from Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book which was first published in 1994.
Mary’s book contains over 200 classic recipes and, on reflection, is just as ‘current’ and useful to me as it was when first bought. The recipes cover all areas - cakes, bakes and biscuits for every possible occasion – and you can almost hear Mary’s calm and authoritative voice when you read the easy and informative chapters on method, equipment, ingredients, etc.
And, finally, a note to self - shall I put Mary back on the shelf next to Paul Hollywood, or would she like to stay a little longer on the bedside table? What a dilemma!