My sister and I were reminiscing recently about a cookbook that featured prominently in our lives as we were growing up…or at least featured prominently at the dinner table.
The Five Roses Flour cookbook was the main go-to resource in our household. And no wonder! From the perfect vichyssoise to the Spencer method for fish fillets, this cookbook covered it all. I tried my first standard rolls (‘buns’ in modern parlance) as a teenager. They were quite the failure! Last year I attempted them again since I’ve learned a thing or two about cooking over the last decade or so. Alas, they were more like pucks than fluffy spheres. Even though the introduction to the book exclaims, “No wonder the Five Roses Guide to Good Cooking has become a popular gift for the new bride”, it was my dad who was the baker in our house. I still remember his homemade buns and loafs…the sweet freshness of ‘from-scratch’ bread is just not found in today’s supermarkets.
Maybe I can get Darwin on this baking thing, since he eats a lot more bread (and peanut butter) than me. Growing up, tea biscuits, pancakes and waffles were also very popular pages. The pancake page has long since detached itself from the coil binding and is at great risk of venturing out on its own someday. Quick question: pancakes or waffles?
This cookbook has seen some hot, greasy days in the kitchen. I confess to a secret but passionate love for butter, chicken fat, bone marrow…the more savoury the better! Back in the day, lard was not a four-letter word and it was used frequently in baking and cooking. I think the solution is not to eat less fat necessarily but to get off our lazy butts, work less at the computer and spend more time outside with family. Oh, and make our food from scratch rather than settling for the over-processed, nutrient-deprived pap that passes as food for too many of us today. I may not be able to make buns rise, but I do make a mean oatmeal cookie!