Kitchen Memories by Elizabeth Drury and Philippa Lewis The National Trust, Paperback, £8.99 BUY THIS BOOK
As the television beats our brains out with one cookery programme after another here is a timely reminder of what kitchens were all about.
From the Victorian days when the cook ruled the servants’ roost to the more austere days prior to the Second World War this is a glorious book packed with contraptions and contradictions.
The progress of the equipment is carefully documented – often with the colourful old-time adverts and the more modern equipment is also identified. From guides to gadgets, refinements to refrigerators this is a wonderful kaleidoscope of the old and the less old. Even the shape and style of the kitchen is examined along with the progress of electric cookers, Pyrex glassware, and all the other domestic appliances which made the work easier.
The alternatives for breakfast, changes in bread, and the way milk has developed so far removed from the cow, all is covered in an easy-toread format making it the ideal coffee table companion.
Here is a book you can pick up even if you only have a few minutes between chores. Different waters, soft drinks, and even the eternal Bovril, Oxo and Marmite get pages – oh, and that former mainstay of the table, blancmange with all its many different moulds gets a mention.