..is that they can set you off on a journey of exploration and adventure.
My old kitchen journals have done just that.
Max and I are still busy working on trying to get Miles and Poppy's cottage fit for habitation (they return from China in just six weeks) and spend the rest of our time wandering around wild-eyed, clutching lists entitled 'Jobs To Do' and 'If We Have Time'. They are constantly being amended and adjusted according to whether we feel energetic and optimistic, or the more usual state which is too tired to sleep, brain on overload.
I have still found time to fit in some reading - of course!
I read one excellent detective story by James Oswald, but apart from that I have enjoyed exploring the theme of food in history.
My recent birthday meant that I have had a clutch of gift cards and book tokens burning a hole in my pocket..... of course they almost all went on books, which are allowing me to explore historical recipes and social history.
You just wouldn't believe the time-travel I am able to indulge in from the comfort of my desk in the conservatory. I haven't made these journeys by myself for I have been in the company of some wonderful writers.
It will take me years to work my way through all the books, so far I have merely dipped in and out of them, snippets of information being about as much as my brain can cope with as we race towards the finish line with the cottage.
Of course I have also fitted in some cooking and baking, people still have to be fed, no matter how tired the cook. No 'new' recipes tried out for a while, but I have found myself baking the Victorian Chocolate Cake, the Rhubarb and Custard Cake and the Ginger Cake (with Cayenne pepper!) for these have become firm favourites and are easy to make as well as being delicious.
I shall be spending this morning painting the final coat on the kitchen walls and ceiling (at the cottage) but after a snack lunch, and a snooze, I must do some baking for we have a glut of eggs.
Besides which the cake tin is empty and I feel in the mood to explore another old cake recipe.
Wish me luck.
This is where I note my efforts as I try to recreate some old recipes. Most are taken from my small collection of handwritten recipe books which date from the late 1700's to around 1922. I also have a collection of old tatty old recipe books, well thumbed and heavily splashed from years of use. I love them all!
The old-fashioned very stylised handwriting writing is sometimes difficult to decipher, measurements and cooking instructions are minimal, no tin sizes given. Luckily I enjoy a challenge. Just to complicate things I cook and bake on my wood-fired Rayburn, which can be... unpredictable.
I suspect this blog is less about the food and more about my passion for these lovely old books and the wonderful women who wrote them.