Monday, 3 December 2007


Today I baked a Christmas cake. It filled the house with the aroma of dried fruit, warm spices and brandy.

I followed the recipe from my battered old Good Housekeeping cookery book. I've tried others but I think this one's the best.

My mum had a Good Housekeeping cookery book. Hers was neatly covered in brown paper and plastic and we had to ask permission to look at it. I haven't taken such good care of mine. The dust jacket's lost, the spine and one half of the hardboard cover have fallen off and the pages are well thumbed and splattered with greasy marks (especially the recipe for macaroni cheese, my fall back when I can't think what else to cook). It's served me well since my final year at university when I bought it for 50p as an introductory offer to some book club.

The other cookery book my mum used was one by Molly Weir, a redoubtable Scotswoman who later appeared on adverts for Flash. I wonder what became of her?

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