Tag Archives: bay leaves

Coq au vin

Commonsense cooking, 384pp. edited by Jane Price Murdoch Books Australia, Millers Point NSW, 2010 Cooking on page 132 We’ve had a few cold summer days so I went searching through my cookbooks to find something easy-to-make and warming, and that … Continue reading

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Lamb and sweetcorn curry (makai ka soweta)

Curry: fragrant dishes from India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, 352pp. commissioning editor, Jeni Wright Dorling Kindersley, Melbourne, 2006 Cooking on page 32 We love curries from all over the world, so I was delighted to receive this as a gift … Continue reading

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Braised beef cheeks on a celeriac puree

Tastes of the outback, 30pp. compiled by Tanya Buchanan RM Williams Classic Publications, Mosman, 2006 Cooking on page 132 I feel so lucky to have this book. It’s out of print, but I got it for the bargain price of … Continue reading

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Cold baked silverside of beef

Light meals cookbook, 93pp. by Kim MacDonald Treasure Press, London, 1971 Cooking on page 32 This is a cookbook that I will release into the wild. I’d never cooked from it until I gave myself the page-32 challenge, and I’ll … Continue reading

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Bone and vegetable soup

Where to next?


I have cookbooks—hundreds of them, bookcases of them. I read them like novels. Today, there are 10 cookbooks and food magazines lying on the floor beside my bed. Another 10 are on the kitchen bench, and still more are stacked on a chair in the dining room. A little while ago, I tripped over a few propped up against a cupboard in the hall.

Do I cook out of them? Sure! But not nearly as much as I should.

So I’ve set myself a challenge, a plan to get me—and you—into my cookbooks.

To get me started, I ran a pick-a-number competition. Emma Bickley won—oven mitts down—with her choice of the number 32 (in conjunction with 33). See why!

So that’s where I’ll be cooking—on page 32 of my many cookbooks and magazines.

But, I hear you ask, what if there is no recipe on page 32? Sometimes there are pictures, or explanations of ingredients or background on a country’s cuisine.

Not to worry. I’ll move on to page 132, 232, 332 or beyond.

If all those pages have no recipes, or if a cookbook doesn’t go up to page 32 or 132, I’ll try page 16 (half of 32) or page 64 (32 doubled and also Poor John’s age). I might also try other pages because I’ve already made too many recipes of the same type, such as appetizers (a common dish in the front of cookbooks).

Fortunately, I like almost all foods, so I don’t plan to back out of making a recipe simply because of the ingredients.

That said, there will be ingredients I simply cannot find. For example, I bought a 48-page cookbook in Kyrgyzstan. The recipe on page 32 calls for airan (a beverage that I’m unlikely to find). The recipe on page 16 calls for grease from a fat-tail sheep!

Plenty of American recipes will have me struggling. I can’t get refrigerated biscuits, concentrated orange juice, Bisquick, Cool Whip,

When, after all attempts, there is no recipe to make, I’ll write about what I find on the relevant page or pages. Heck, it may be too good not to share. 

An entry will include the name of the cookbook/magazine and publication details. I’ll transcribe the recipe as it appears in the book (but will remove any errors I detect), and will explain what, if anything, I did differently. I’ll also add a verdict—namely, what we thought of the end result.

I plan to include a photo of the book/magazine cover and of the completed recipe (unless the quality is sub-standard). I’ll add interesting notes too.

So I hope you will have fun getting to know my cookbooks. I think I will.

In addition to posting recipes here, I will re-post the best ones to Food.com, so they get even wider exposure. When I do that, I’ll add a link to the recipe.

Feel free to add comments and questions. You can even ask me to try my hand on certain cuisines or ingredients. I’ll do my best to accommodate.

And if I ever run out of cookbooks, I can always go to the library or get you to submit recipes from your page 32s.

Happy cooking
Peggy Bright


P.S. Please check out my other blog. It’s on my overland travels.

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