Posted by: tabliope | April 19, 2008


This time last week I was reading through a copy of the Radiation Cookbook.  This isn't something meant for when the bomb drops, but was produced for the Regulo cooker in 1924.  After lots of checking and discussion we worked out that it had originally belonged to Mr Pork's great grandmother who died a few years before Mr Pork was born.  By all accounts great granny Pork was a formidable woman and although there is no one now left who remembers her she has left her mark in this cookery book.  Apart from the heavy annotations to many of the recipes (made Gertie sick, but that might just have been Gertie being annoying) there were some blank pages in the back where one could copy out  recipes collected along the way.  There's a recipe for 'war time butter' which involves margarine, cornflour, milk and an egg; great granny Pork's note is: 'hardly worth the stirring – use meat paste on sandwiches then no need for butter'. 

One of the recipes is for a set custard to be served with bananas.  Great granny pork has scored out the sugar in the list of ingredients and stated; no one needs bananas AND sugar.  The recipe for coconut biscuits has 2 heavy lines drawn through it with NO GOOD  scrawled above it.  The mixed grill in granny Pork's book has been heavily filleted – scored through kidney, bacon and liver – because it encourages greed!.  She is a woman who loved the exclamation mark.  Having read this book from cover to cover I'm struck by two things; the first being that I'm glad that I don't live in time where I'd have been expected to boil calves feet in order to make a jelly for an invalid and the second thought is that I think she'd have been a woman who would have made a fantastic mark in blogland. If only for her comments:

Fish Stock – 'Why would you bother?'
Dundee Cake – 'is Dundee near Glasgow?  PD lives close by.'
Do not boil a pudding for 2 hours and expect the windows not to suffer!!
Raisins and sugar is  EXTRAVAGANCE!
Sprouts not especially good for soup.

For those of you who knew that I wasn't here,  I'm back and I'll be writing in the next few days.



  1. I was beginning to wonder if McKenna had made you so slim that you’d vanished completely.  Welcome back.

  2. Caps and underline? EXTREMELY impressive, she was.

  3. [this is good] LOL. My kinda cook.

  4. the book deserves to be published

  5. [this is good] I like the sound of her.

  6. That last comment is very measured compared to the others ‘not specially good’ is something of an understatement, don’t you think?

  7. [this is good] Brilliant.

  8. I wish I had something like this passed down through my family. Fantastic.

  9. [this is good] I wish I had one, too.  She sounds wonderful!

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