My Vintage Kitchen: a handwritten Edwardian recipe journal, a 1950's AGA Rayburn and me
Upstairs or downstairs? This is often a question I ask myself when visiting a country house; where would I belong in a grand country home - upstairs or downstairs? The answer is always the same. I feel drawn to the walled kitchen gardens and the interiors of large country kitchens. Give me a large scrub top table and trugs full of fresh fruit and veg any day. I love the functional styling of country kitchen interiors and utilitarian beauty of all practical kitchen and garden ware. I think in a past life I may have been a head house keeper, making sure everything was as it should be and that the house worked like clockwork and the masters were well looked after and comfortable in their own home. I'd be Norfolk's equivalent to Downton Abbey's Mrs Hughes, maybe working in one of the local big houses; Raynham or Blickling Hall maybe.
A few years ago I was rummaging through an auction box at my local auctioneers when I happened upon something very special. In among general tat was a little black book filled with carefully handwritten recipes. I recall the feeling of excitement. To think someone hand-scribed this recipe journal in excess of a 100 years ago. I felt compelled to buy it and stepped out of my frugal comfort zone to ensure it came home with me to live among my cookery book collection. Although I had no idea who it belongs to it felt as though it was coming home.
Since moving home many of my cookery books have remained packed away in boxes waiting for a new home in a yet to be built kitchen extension. It was only over a cuppa and chat a couple of weeks ago on my Instagram live - Elevenses with Louisa that I started to think about this little black recipe journal once more. The minute I opened it I felt compelled to bring the journal back to life.
So this is where the journey begins; one handwritten Edwardian recipe journal, a 1950's Rayburn and me. I'm going to cook my way through this recipe journal and creatively document it on You Tube, Instagram and here on my blog. Using some kitchen ware props from my vintage business Sugden and Daughters I hope to get a true feeling of what it may have felt like to cook in an Edwardian vintage kitchen. Thank heavens I'm married to Oven Cleaners Norfolk, after cooking up a storm I may well need his services.