Monday, September 13, 2010

Modern Cookery Illustrated And A Red Car

Our house in Shillong is being renovated .While clearing things out of  her old-bedroom my mom-in-law found a lot of old things - most of them were dumped but few were saved . Knowing that i love reading old books she gifted me this book named 'Modern Cookery Illustrated ' written by a British writer Lydia Chatterton.It was first published in 1938 .Mine one (proud owner ) is a 1946 reprint.It was in a pretty bad shape .Before sending it for binding i clicked a picture of in the exact condition it was found.Now a days i spend a lot of time reading it-the book is fascinating .It is a book written almost 72 years back .Most of the kitchen gadgets featured in this book which were the' most modern thing' then are no where in scene now a days.Here are few interesting pictures and infos that i would like to share .
( In the picture:A thermostatically -controlled gas cooker and automatic water heater which can be used alternatively with the domestic fired boiler).
The writer talks very passionately about cooking.These beautiful words from her caught my attention -she says-"As a small child the kitchen was to me Aladdin's cave,where just ordinary things were turned into beautiful dishes.How well i remember my first attempt at cooking when i was allowed a piece of dough to make a 'Bunny Rabbit'.When Mr. Bunny was ready for the oven he looked sad and grey.But Oh !when he emerged from that 'cavern of mystery' with his lovely brown coat and fierce currant eyes.Not one of the most successful dishes I have created since then has given me a greater thrill nor tasted quite so good."
(In the picture:High Pressure Cooker)
She sounds very excited about Pressure Cookers and thinks that they are 'too good to be true' and suggests for gifts for the 'house proud wife' or 'a bride to be'.The design of our modern day cooker looks a lot different than its 72 yrs old version .Today even i consider it as a good gift option for friends and they are not always women.
(In the picture:a container of the Vacuum Freezer )
She tells that how the Refrigerators-once only heard of in mansions and hotels ,are now installed as a fitting in many of the new flats.Also on how the milk and cream never go sour,butter can be served in hard slices,salads are crisp,drinks are cold.How refrigerators can be run on electricity,gas or oil.Vacuum freezers were an excellent choice then because electric/gas refrigerators were possibly not within reach of the majority of people.
I got interested as it was the first time that i came across the term Vacuum freezer.There is a long description in the book explaining it.What i understood was that there were two sections in a VF where the the dish to be frozen was kept in the center section and the outer section was filled with three parts ice and one part freezing salt.Sounds very tricky eh !
Here is a vegetables chart -it is included in Marketing Chapter which consists of 15 good pages.There are many great shopping tips which i found are still helpful in modern days.She advices forethought,judgment and common sense while shopping (hmmm....) .
Here comes another story of this red toy car- 'it was' oh sorry' it is 'my husband's.It was gifted by his aunt when he was 3 yrs old.As a newly wed when i visited our Shillong house for the first time -after a guided tour of the house while i was busy unpacking things i saw my hubby looking for something inside the chimney above the fireplace of our room.After few secs i saw a very happy man holding this red car in his hands.It was his hiding place which only both of us knew until ma found it while cleaning.Unaware of its importance to him she gifted 'The Car' to my son .I will never forget that  expression on my husband's face .It was hard to decide if the situation was funny or sad.After we came back ,one fine day the car was nowhere to be found-sooner my son forgot about it.I found it this morning when i was arranging ironed clothes in my hubby's wardrobe.
Have a great week my friends !


  1. least the red car was found..very intersting post as usual..keep the cheers buddy:)

  2. The vacuum freezer is the old fashioned way to make ice cream. You pour the liquid concoction into the center and put ice cubes and salt in the outer portion of the freezer.

    I own an ice cream maker that is left in the freezer until I am ready to pour the liquid concoction into the center. Then I place the whole thing in the freezer again and serve the ice cream several hours later. No ice cubes or salt are used with this modern device.

    Interesting post, Kavita!

  3. Lol at the red car story!

    Very interesting book you found. How times have changed. Did you try to make anything out of the recipe book?

  4. loved the red car tale and the story about the book is amazing!

  5. Wow! What a wonderful gift you got! It's a treasure!! Interesting to know about pressure cooker and vacuum freezer.
    Lol @ the red car story!
    Cheers :)

  6. how fun to see how things change in cooking. I just bought a pressure cooker but don't know how to use it have to take a class! husbands have their toys too. lol!

  7. I see that you had a very satisfying day today.
    It is fortunate that the old book was intact and was not consigned to the scrap heap.

    Guess your husband will enjoy the red car even now- 'a Porche?

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  9. wow...the red car ...a sentimental story......... I can understand since I have emotional attachment to many such things from childhood.....

  10. I've never had a pressure cooker and now I'm intrigued.

    I love the story about the red car. I'm glad your husband got it back. My husband would do the exact same thing. Either that or he'd have gotten another "new" car and traded it with Jon. This is such a sweet story.

  11. What a wonderful git. And what they called modern back then looks so out of date now. Loved the red car story. I guess men don't quit playing with toys as they grew up and get older. Apparently the car holds a lot of happy memories for him, so glad he has it again.

  12. Your hubby had hidden the car,good.Kids don't know the importance and they spoil it.Now i am at mom's place and when my kids play with our childhood toys,i shout at my mom why she is giving those to them,they will spoil it.We attach so much memories to those little things no.

    Even i love to have old books and other stuffs.Loved the old pcs with the old cooking things.Those are antiques which are priceless.

  13. very nice. Quite quintessential. Loved it.This also reminded me of a old oven my mother in law had since her wedding 1974 (though not as old as the once you described.)

    Till today I feel old is gold when you think of the quality these things had, be it the Godrej fridge we have almost 20 years old now, or the old pedestal fan almost 37 years old.

    Really nice blog.

  14. Trust u to let us know abt such interesting things Kavita. So wish I can lay my hands on that book somewhere. I am so curious abt more of its contents now :)

    Loved the car titbits too :) :)

  15. Interesting book. How much things have changed! What seems fascinating today might appear a relic tomorrow.

    And the lost and found red car is now safely tucked away in your hubby's wardrobe? I guess those days are gone, where even the smallest thing was a treasure. Kids are spoilt for choice these days, that even an expensive thing ends up in the trash in just a few days or perhaps hours!

  16. WOWOWO ... what a post and that red car, I can tell you this much put it on ebay you will be surprised how much you will get for it .. seriously try it :)

    but then its a gift so its much more worthier ...

    loved the story :) thanks for sharing

  17. I am not much into cookery but the excerpts you provided sound really interesting. The last time I went to my ancestral home I found some really exotic looking utensils there. I guess, I should put up those pictures on my blog. :)

    The red car story: what goes around, comes around ;)

  18. You could see my mouth turning cavernous, reading about the cookery book. K, it is an invaluable one! Kudos to you for taking care of the book and thanks for the post!

    I could see your husband's face so well!!! :D

    At 53, I still hold on to some of my old toys - ( and some new ones too, which belonged to my son!)

  19. That’s the advantage of clearing things out once a while :P

  20. It was very interesting to read through the cookery book. The pictures seem to be nice pieces of history. But Refrigerator was not common to even our household a few decades back. Our generation was the saw the country develop one step at a time... The post nineties generation of India will never realize that!
    Men will be men or rather boys will always be boys and I have a feeling that the red cr did not end up in the wardrobe by chance!

  21. wow!! so fascinating...the book. thanks for sharing this, i too love precious moth eaten books :)

  22. A personal thanks to all of you from my husband .

    - Thanks !cheers :)

    - Great that you don't need freezing salt or ice cubes for making ice cream in your modern VF.Thanks for sharing Gigi :)

    - because there were very less appliances available then,the recipes in the book are very simple.I tried cakes and pancakes and they turned up yum .Thanks.

    @Magic eye
    -thanks a lot.

    @Shilpa Garg
    -to me this book feels like a treasure in hand .The car story ,lol :)Thanks.

    @Lin Floyd- Please do join the class,i just can't do things faster in my kitchen without a pressure cooker. The one we get to buy here are very simple and convenient to use . Thanks.

    @Anil Kurup
    - yes,indeed !And you are right about 'Porsche'too !I kept back the car the same place where i had found it.I am sure just the sight of that car is enough to make him happy .Thanks.

    @Bhavya B
    - i can understand how precious those things are .He gave his brand new car(real one)without bating an eyelid to his friend for test drive who is not a very good driver .But to ask him to share this red car...well,now you know !Thanks :) one,i am sure you and your mom will love it,it saves lot of standing time in the kitchen.Very convenient thing to have if you have back problem .I find too many similarities between Art and Chandan .He loves to buy toys for kids but at the same time is very careful that they learn to value them.

    @Patty- i remember reading about stuffs like this in Abe's blog ,where he talks about his childhood.My husband is very attached to this car because he associates it with his happy childhood.

  23. This was such a lovely read. Enjoyed every word of the post.

  24. @Varunavi
    - i realized that the mistake is in getting them too many things randomly.Before they fall in love with their old things we throw a new toy at them.Most difficult thing was to control my own urge to buy a new thing for them.Thanks for your nice words about the post:):)

    @Jyoti Joshi Mitter
    .-Welcome,its so nice to see you here and you know why .:)

    -- i am sure you will love the book.Such sweet words ,thanks :):)

    - like in my reply to Varunavi's comment,i think we as parents need to teach them to love and value their things.Thanks.

    -- ebay,wah !brilliant suggestion !right now i am in love with this book-can't think of selling .If i ever do it ,i will let you know.Thanks.

    @Destiny's Child
    -Please write a post soon ,its going to be very interesting.We have community bell metal utensils in our village which are used by people when they have a function at their house.Thanks.


  25. @V.Balachandran
    - the book is in family for almost over five decades-it is special and invaluable ! So its not only him,there are more like him.I read out your comment to him,he thinks that you are a very sensible person just "like him".Says his Hi to you.Thanks.

    -i think i was in 6th standard when a fridge made its introductory entry to our house followed by a land line phone (kala and fingers ghuma ke dial karne wala).Touching fridge and the phone was restricted for us kids.Now my almost seven yrs old daughter knows how to handle a laptop .Thanks.

    - it was good for the house and for me too.

    @Overturned Blue Shoes
    -nice to see you here after such a long time.Old books are charming to me always .Thanks.

    @Sujata -thanks dear ,coming from you that means a lot to me :):)

  26. very shows how the advancement in the technology till now..we are Blessed with all these ..Gadgets,think about those ages where nothing was available...
    Gr8 ..

  27. thanks thanks thanks....multiply by a million...

  28. it is amazing how technology change with time ... i wonder how it will be after 50 years ... a wonderful post with superb pictures


  29. Its an interesting read presented very nicely. Hey thats a priceless cookery book, keep it close always.

  30. Wow! this is a treasure. This gives us glimpse of how the life was in those days.

  31. This is such a interesting post. The information in the old cool book was fascinating. Have a nice weekend.

  32. Very interesting stuff, especially the cooker and freezer. As always.

  33. Memories to treasure. It is fun looking through these old things and books. That book is really interesting.

  34. Beautiful post. The book appears to be more a book of literature than a book on cooking.

  35. the recies as well as the red car seem amazing!

  36. also need ur comment on 'Sainthood' on my blog. do visitand leave ur valuable comment. thanks!

  37. always nice to hear fm ya:) keep up the cheers buddy:)

  38. I loved seeing these treasures, Kavita

    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral

  39. hey bhago mat come u dint end up marrying a dentist..??lol..

  40. Hello Kavita, many thanks for visiting me over at Pen and Paper - I very much appreciate your stopping by. Nice to meet you, I've enjoyed my visit.

  41. that book looked class. hope to see it some time. did you look for the piggy bank he used to hide there too ??? lol!!!!!