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)
(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.
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.
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....) .
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 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 !