For months I have been thinking about our cook book collection. Mark and I have acquired over 201 cookbooks and our collection grows.

I have been thinking about cooking a recipe from each book and writing a blog post, but was paralysed by figuring out which book to start with. So last Saturday, as Mark bought a cookbook from a charity shop I said to myself “might as well just start with this one”.

Cookbook 1 : Rhodes Around Britain.

This book was published 20 years ago in 1994 (happy 20th anniversary Gary). In the introduction, Gary Rhodes reflects on what happened to Britain’s strong cooking tradition. “British cookery had always been simple. Rhodes argues that where other cultures developed new dishes alongside the traditional, Britain left her traditional dishes behind. Rhodes Around Britain revives some of the traditional British dishes that were lost, uses the best of British ingredients to create new dishes, and gives recipes for some classic Italian and French dishes. Rhodes claims that over 90% of the dishes are easy to make at home with ingredients easily found.

This book has over 100 recipes, they fall into the following categories:

Soups Starters and Snacks, Main Courses, Puddings, Sauces Stocks and Pickles.

Soups Starters and Snacks has simple, humble recipes such as Cabbage Soup with Dumplings, a mackerel recipe with an Italian twist, Grilled Mackerel with Stewed Tomatoes Pesto and Onions, and a salad made with traditional breakfast ingredients: Poached Egg Salad with Sauté Potatoes, Black Pudding and Bacon. In the mains you will find traditional dishes ranging from Braised Lambs Tongues and Braised Oxtail to more modern dishes such as Steamed Fillet of Turbot on Green Vegetables with Ginger and Lime. Desserts classics such as Bread and Butter Pudding.

I made the Poached Egg Salad with Sauté Potatoes, Black Pudding and Bacon for a Sunday brunch. I thought this was a lovely idea for brunch as it is lighter than a fry up.

Poached Egg Salad

Poached Egg Salad

I bought some beautiful, dried, cured, streaky bacon from Albert Rees in Carmarthen; who are revered for their dry cured bacon and ham. They had some free range organic eggs and I bought some of these as well. I had some nice Pembrokeshire new potatoes. I substituted a French sausage called “saucisse de Morteau” as that is what I happened to have in my freezer.

I love the traditional recipes in this book and the little blurbs Rhodes includes, telling a little story about the recipe. If you want to discover some traditional British recipes and some modern British recipes that are easy to make at home, give this book a try.

You can find this book on Amazon or maybe you can find it as we did in a charity or second-hand book store.

*If you want to know more about Carol’s adventure with food or even join her on one then check out Food Adventure Ltd.