I was once given a handwritten recipe book that had belonged to a departed friend of the family. It was much smaller than a school exercise book but had a similar card cover and was filled with neat cursive script recording recipes that had been collected, I assume, over time and from a great many sources. I never tried to recreate any of the dishes and the book has now been mislaid...

The world must be full of these recipe books, recording local foods, family favourites, shared notes from acquaintances or as an aide mémoire for inspirational ideas from Mrs Beeton, housekeeping magazines et al. I want to try them all; not just the identifiably Jersey recipes such as mervelles, bean crock or conger soup, I want to recreate the preserves, the roasts, the cakes... I want to trifle with trifles and sip the summer wine.

If you have one of these marvelous hand written books, I really want to hear from you. I would like above all to visit your kitchen for a chat, and share the experience of recreating a dish that may have been forgotten for some time.

With me I will bring £20 to cover ingredients and a camera to record events. For the time being, I intend to blog our efforts but maybe the results will be worth compiling into a book in due course.


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