Monday, July 23, 2007

Good Things...

This is the book of the pie. You remember? The one I made earlier? Hot water crust with a pork and game filling.......'bristols'?
Come on, keep up.

All I know about making a raised pie comes from this book: Jane Grigson's 'Good Things'.

Here is food writing at its best - eminently readable, knowledgeable, earnest and sound. This is a re-issue of the original 1971 edition, so no glossy primped studio pictures here - just simple line drawings and pictures drawn by good prose. Here I discovered the alchemy of turning the ordinary into the extraordinary - carrots, herring, walnuts, kippers. Along the way references and histories, reminiscence and practical advice; for a temporary escargotière, for example, you will find that an up-turned bucket does very well when pierced with small air holes and weighted down - the collective lifting power of a gang of snails is apparently a thing to behold.

This is where I learned to put gooseberry sauce with mackerel, to make Gâteau de Pithiviers Feuilleté, about eau de vie and marc, to brine meat, kippers from Craster and salted spiced herring. I flick through the pages and am reassured to find them the same as in my old paperback copy which met its end in the mouth of a young dog some years ago.

Jane's daughter Sophie holds the copyright. I'm glad it's in those good hands.


Mopsa said...

Come on M'ear - name the breeds of chickens that laid those glorious eggs (I don't expect you to tell us who laid the lemon).

Wipso said...

I have been on the receiving end of some of those eggs and believe me they taste as good as they look.
Its celebration time for me mountainear as I have just had my 500th customer so look out for the balloons as you pass.

Elizabethd said...

I too have always enjoyed Jane's recipes, though sadly my copy of her book disappeared in one of our moves.

Zoë said...

I have really enjoyed catching up with your blog and reading a few entries in one hit. Love the pie, reminded me of Christmas by my Grandma's Aga and helping her prepare the feast. I am now off to try and find the book on ebay and amazon!

sally's chateau said...

I like a good honest straightforward cookery book, His Lordship swears by La Cuisine de tous les jours, circa pre 1920's by the look of things, 900 cordon bleu recipes but I love a few pics myself. Love your weather link, dare I put one on too do you suppose ? x