shelf by shelf 13 – cookin’ the books

I’m not much of a cook to be honest, not that that would surprise anyone. Cooking for one a few nights a week worked fine, cooking for two one or two nights week also works ok. I have cooked for 4 once when I hosted a dinner party but that’s the exception that proves the rule. I’m certainly reluctant to cook for 5, though no doubt will cross that boundary one day – so far they’ve been happy with me buying pizza :-) I’ve been given a few cook type books and Margaret Fulton’s Encyclopedia of food and cooker has been one of the more useful ones, simply because it covers almost everything. I can look stuff up and gain useful clues.

This is the shelf of childhood memories upon which we move on from series toward individual works and authors. Near the start is one of my favourite books, Palio, about a horse race in Italy. Ah, the Mushroom Planet books, which I read a few times and still trigger good memories. Also present are The Tripods by John Christopher, good SF for kids. Speaking of which, G.R. Kesteven’s The Awakening Waters was another big favourite set in a post apocalyptic time when life has returned to basic farming and most folk are kept drugged as a means of control.

When I was in primary school, there was an occasional dinner held with authors and illustrators of children’s books. I don’t remember much about them but they seemed to be held irregularly and kids from several schools would attend, each group seated at a table with an author or illustrator randomly allocated. I was usually included as it was well known that I had a voracious appetite for books. I adored book clubs and reading catalogues of titles; I even scored a merit certificate in 6th class for library participation – because I’d borrowed the most books. The only author dinner I can remember was being seated with NL Ray and reading her books “There Was This Man Running” and “The Everywhere Dog“. Needless to say, such dinners were also great for getting autographs.

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