Cooking Classes

My neice, C, is doing cooking classes this year at secondary school. I love hearing what she is cooking and I’m looking forward to her sending me the photos of one of her school projects, which was to bake and decorate cakes with a theme. C chose the sea as her theme and the last time I spoke with her she was brainstorming ideas.

At the beginning of the year, C sent me photos from her text book for cooking classes, The Food Book by Leanne Compton.

Cara's cookbook


Compare The Food Book with Cookery the Australian Way which was used by my sister in law, J, during the 1980’s when she was at school. The photos were probably cutting edge in their day and are very useful (pictures and names of basic meat cuts, anyone?) but do not compare well with the more modern book. Some of the recipes are quite dated too. I am quite sure J never made Stuffed Prunes or Jellied Lamb’s Tongues.

Cookery 3


Funnily enough, I actually use Cookery the Australian Way quite often. All of the recipes I have tried so far have good, basic instructions and easy to find ingredients, although I have to admit, the photos in The Food Book are so much more tempting than those in Cookery Australian Way. I might even cook my way from start to finish of the Cookery the Australian Way (Julie and Julia inspired, of course) once I finish working my way through the Magnificently Simple Marvelous Slice Recipe cook book.

My Favourite Recipe Book

Recipe book

My first recipe book was a big, A3 hard backed recipe book with sweet pictures of pony-tailed little girls wearing purple aprons and bell bottoms (don’t laugh, it was from the 1970’s) next to recipes that I never made. I don’t have this book any more, and I don’t remember what I did with it. Probably it went to my sister E, who is a real hoarder. Every once in a while when I’m visiting her, I’ll spot something she has saved from our childhood which brings back the most amazing memories.

My second was a fruit company promotion recipe book, and had recipes for sultana scones, sultana cakes, sultana slices etc. I don’t know what happened to this book either, but I think I got rid of it because I didn’t like the pictures, which were drawings in various shades of brown and orange (again, this book was from the 1970’s) nor did I especially like sultanas.

My third recipe book was a Western Star Butter promotion recipe book (photo below). The front cover was lost long ago.

Recipe book4

The Western Star recipe book was much more to my taste, and I made quite a few recipes from it as a child. Each recipe started with a cartoon and a little story about a character from children’s literature. My favourite was “Playin’ Hookey Cookies” which are peanut biscuits. The story for Playin Hookey Cookies has Tom Sawyer wagging school every time Aunt Polly baked them.

My favourite recipe book is the one below. Mum gave it to me when I left home, and it is the kind you write or paste your own recipes into. I started with a handful of recipes I cooked in class at school, a few family favourites from Mum and a handful of recipes which I thought would work for dinner parties (despite my good intentions, I’m in my mid forties now and have NEVER actually attended or hosted a dinner party. Nor have I ever cooked the recipe for Salmon and Tomato Bisque which I copied out on the first page in my best hand writing).

Recipe book2

Most of the recipes in this book I do cook regularly, and don’t need the recipe at all. A few pages have been splattered and spilled on (Mum’s Chocolate Pudding is hardly readable) and I’m out of pages in the Desserts, Cakes and Biscuits section.

Recipe book3

Not surprisingly, Honey-Bunny has already put dibs on this recipe book when I die…