Bungalow Cookbook by Gwendolyne Appeldorf | Paperback
“Food, food, food and more food. Everything — animals, birds, creepies and crawlies – eat things that grow in earth or water. Even Adam and Eve must have liked apples. Since then we have made better and better use of foods that grow. Cooks are inventing new ways of putting more exotic things together. They bring new ideas and plants to combine from places all over the world, which Adam and Eve never knew about. It has all left me behind. My recipes have stood me in good stead for my 98 years, so please do not look for excitement in this old-fashioned tome of mine. I love my old meals of meat and lovely vegetables — potatoes are a must.”
So writes Gwen Appeldorff in the introduction to her book. It’s a journey into the past, to a time when eating locally produced food wasn’t a political and environmental issue, it was a necessity; to a time of wood stoves and expert cooks who knew what sort of wood to burn for fast and slow cooking; to a time of recipe collections passed on by family and friends, written by hand and accumulated over decades.
This book is one of those collections. It is a resource, much of it anecdotal, that library or search engine-assisted research would have difficulty matching. It’s a first-hand perspective of the past covering a complete subject area – the art, and artisanship, of home-cooking in Australia almost 100 years ago.
Like grandmothers, this book brings the past to life. And to top it off, like great icing on a cake, Gwen Appeldorff’s writing is as sharp as her memory.
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