Here’s another go-to book. I was given Maw Broon’s Cookbook one Christmas, and I resisted it. It looks like an old book, whimsically recreating the basic meals of the 1950s, complete with hard-to read hand-written notes, and styled-in splashes and old sellotape. The biggest Christmas gimmick, I thought.
But the recipes are really good. They cover all sorts of basic recipes for clapshot, Eve’s pudding, jams and chutneys, roasts and stews, dumpling and the rest. If I want to recreate a dish my grandmother used to cook, this is where I will look. The added benefit is that none of the ingredients are that hard to get locally, and there are some dishes in the book that are quite old-fashioned. The opposite of Jamie Oliver, no modern twists, or ingredients that you can only get mail-order.
The success of this book has spawned a whole series, none of which I have tried. On the basis of this one, though, I would be happy to give them a go.