I believe that you can tell much about a person from their recipe book collection. The quantity, the cuisines, the celebrity writers and the fading spines or dusting of flour reflect how a person eats, or aspires to.
My dinner party guests wouldn’t be shocked to see A Year of Family Recipes by Bettys Cookery School founder Lesley Wild on my kitchen shelf. After all, I did host my wedding reception at Bettys, though this book arrived in my life by a very welcome coincidence.
A Year of Family Recipes is seasonally organised according to which foods are at their best according to the time of year, therefore being a fabulous accompaniment to a fruit and vegetable garden. Sumptuously designed with classic endpapers and a satin ribbon, and stacking up to 254 pages, this isn’t your average recipe book. Everything about its design has the reader in mind, from use of colour to being set at a large point size, so it’s easy to glance at while cooking. Recipe books age quickly so Bettys have tried their best to create a perennial book to be passed from one generation to another, rather than focusing on cooking trends.
I don’t like to review cook books until I’ve tried a decent number of recipes for myself. However, the few I have cooked haven’t disappointed yet. The recipes don’t require specialist ingredients, nor Michelin-standard cooking skills. Most of the recipes are illustrated with attractive colour photos.
This book would make a much-welcomed gift, and is available to purchase now for £25 from Bettys website.
This recipe book has a very personal approach from the writer. The variety of recipes has clearly been built up over a lifetime of cooking.
I’ll return for a more detailed review of the recipes later this year. Until then, you can find me snooping at a kitchen bookshelf near you.