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Sounds interesting and I will look forward to your posts!


I think it will be a fun read--hopefully I'll stick it out and work my way through the whole set in a timely manner! :)


I'm tempted to join you, I was thinking about a project based on these lovely little books but with a twist. I thought it would interesting to choose one recipe per book, try it and see how it tastes. I'm only reluctant to turn my blog into cooking blog as it's so far from what I usually write about.

Christine Harding

Lamb's roast pig essay is one of the funniest things I've read, though his ancient Chinese method of cooking the animal is not to be recommended! And the Elizabeth David is excellent.

It sounds an interesting project to read them all, especially if you try a recipe from each.


Such beautiful looking books! I'm sure you'll enjoy this project, Danielle, but you might have to be careful not to read when you're feeling hungry! :-)


A Little Dinner Before the Play is such a delightful little book, thank you SO much for thinking of me, Danielle! Now if only I could enjoy cooking as much as I do reading about it...just what is that about?


This sounds like quite a longterm project as it probably will involve more than reading. It looks like such a lovely series and I hope it will give you much pleasure.


What a fun new project! Are there recipes in each book then that you could try? Maybe you will find some interesting new dishes. Looking forward to following along!


Now that sounds like a really fun reading project. I agree with Litlove, though--be careful of reading while you're hungry!


This is such a lovely project, Danielle - I'm so looking forward to hearing your favourites.

Liz F

I have a book of Lamb's essays which belonged to my dad and I know that the one about cooking roast pig is among them because I remember him talking about it and saying that he had thought it was almost as funny as Three Men in a Boat (which he adored)
That's another book to look out from the boxes in the attic!

Currently reading John Saturnall's Feast by Lawrence Norfolk which would tie in with the Gervase Markham as it is set in 1625 and about a young man who must create a feast from legend. It was highly recommended by Cornflower and although I am only 50 or so pages in, I can see why she likes it so much.


That would be fun! We could compare notes. I like to bake but not cook so much, but I think in my case I would just share the finished product rather than the steps--unless it ends up being funny. Since the book I've just started reading is from the 1600s it could be quite entertaining to find a recipe to try. Since the recipes come from books it would be related to the content you already have on your blog, but I know what you mean by veering off your normal path. We'll see if I actually do the cooking part--it sounds like it would be fun.


So glad to hear that--something to look forward to! I have a feeling that a good many of the things they cook or how they cook will not appeal to me, but it's fun reading about how kitchens were run and what food was eaten--puts things into perspective. I need to see what I could make out of the Jekyll book--I think there were some cookie recipes that might not be too difficult. Could always try one of those sandwiches she mentions that she makes for children on train journeys! :)


Aren't they lovely? Penguin always does such an exceptional job on cover design--I like that they take time and effort to produce such nice books--it makes it a pleasure to handle them--something a Nook or Kindle will never be able to achieve! Some of the recipes do sound pretty mouth-watering I must admit. May have to read these while walking on the treadmill to offset the desire to eat! :)


Isn't it great? I knew you would like it and I am so glad it has found a nice home on your bookshelves. I agree--cooking (for me anyway) is work, though I most certainly enjoy sampling the end product. Maybe it's the cleaning up afterwords that is such a drag?


I know better than to put any kind of a time limit on something like this. If I could read one book a month I would be happy, I think. It would be fun to try just one recipe--only if they are easy, though, as I am not such a daring cook. The books are really lovely though--I need to find a good place to keep them and display them--more shelf space, please!


Yes, there are loads of recipes along with the text--the Jekyll was essays that appeared in the London Times, though the explication of how the food was made is not like a recipe I am used to so baking/cooking from them could really be an adventure. If I do attempt to make things I will share the outcome here.


I should maybe have tried to get the set of Penguins journeys--travel lust is not fattening! :) The Jekyll was such fun to read, I hope the rest are equally good. I think these are going to make me hungry though! :)


I'm looking forward to it. It will be interesting to see how cooking has changed over time--will certainly share about my reaidng here!


I have never read any of Lamb's work--but didn't he rewrite Shakespeare's plays for children? Need to look him up--I'm glad to hear there will be humor in some of the books. I'm looking forward to that one already. I will have to look up the Saturnall--it sounds like it would make a good companion read. Hmm. Dangerous to know this, but if you and Cornflower like it then I suspect I'll be buying a copy, too.


But then you'd have a hankering to travel...also dangerous!


These books are stunning and you're so lucky to have them all, Danielle! I've seen them in Foyle's and been sorely tempted...I shall await your reviews with great anticipation as you shall be helping me choose which one to put on my christmas list!


You're right, it could be tied in.
Since I've bought them I'm really tempted. I'm not the baking type at all but cooking yes, and especially trying out new recipes. Let's think about it some more and discuss via e-mail maybe it would be fun indeed as a project for next year.... I'm already hungry. Others might want to join as well.


I will send off an email to you about it! I'm the opposite--I like baking more than cooking, so it might work well reading in tandem. I've started the Markham, but I don't expect to read more than the one title before the end of the year now--time is moving too quickly and I have a number of books I want to try and finish before the year is out.


I know--baking a few cookies is much cheaper! At least I'll still get a treat--if my abilities of translating old recipes measure up!


Since you have seen in them in person you know they are indeed such pretty books! You're going to be able to stop at just one or two? Not tempted to splurge on the whole set! ;)


Penguin does release very nice editions of books!


I know people collect Penguin editions, and I can easily see why! I wouldn't mind collecting them myself!


I really need to buy more of these. I think I own four or five now!


I had planned on buying them whenever I came across them, but then I found a great deal for the set and so had to have them all at once--now I'm glad I splurged!

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