Thursday, 25 December 2008

Review – Ruth Binney – “Wise Words and Country Ways for Cooks”

Publ: 2008; David and Charles
Pensby Library
ISBN: 978-0-7153-3008
Genre: Non-fiction – Cookery – 641.5
Pages: 208
Found by Serendipity
Rating: ***** ***

This was on the New Books shelf in the library and I love anything that suggests its going to have useful little cookery (or household) hints. My immediate reaction was how appropriate the cover was to such a subject. The layout of separately headed pages / half pages / and tips and the delightful black and white sketches did the final ‘selling’ job.

The book ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’. The style is easy to read and the whole thing is so informative I eventually stopped taking notes and simply added it to my Amazon Wish List.

Unlike many similar books Ruth Binney quotes her sources for old advice and ways of doing things and at the same time is quite free with simple explanations as to why the old ideas have been proved by science. Beating egg whites in a copper bowl is really better than beating them in a glass one!

The book’s one flaw is the arrangement of the chapters which means that implements and ingredients are at the beginning. I appreciate these may be the most important things but not only are they comparatively boring but we all know that stale herbs are less good than fresh. There was a danger at one stage of me thinking – I know all this and giving up on it. Getting further into the book I realised I didn’t know it all. (And it’s not often I admit that!!!)

RUTH BINNEY has been interested in old ways and sayings since her Devon childhood fifty years ago. she now lives in Dorset and gets pleasure from cooking the vegetables she has grown on her allotment. To complement the homespun background she has a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge and is an experienced editor having had a career in non-fiction publishing. She has also written ‘The Gardener’s Wise Words and Country ways’.

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to look into this one and the gardening one. I love that cover. What is it about those women that makes me long for-I know not what. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.


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