Autumn sees the return of some of my favourite little bird species here in my part of the world. This little Robin and his mate are back for their nesting season. Their home is in our front native garden area. I love seeing them flit about and I also love seeing the vivid red on Mr’s chest.   

These autumn days have also triggered a small urge for me to do a bit of a tidy up. Mind you, it is not often that this little Unyoung has tidying up urges but last week, I blame the milder autumn days for it, one unexpectedly came upon me, so I decided to give my “little pantry house” a tidy up.

Starting Point.

The first shelf to catch my eye, probably because it had quite a number of books stacked on it was the recipe bookshelf, so that’s where the tidy up began.

It was clear by just looking at the pile of books staring back at me, that I own quite a large number of recipe books, many of which I can honestly say that I have not opened or prepared a recipe from, for quite some time.

I pulled them all out, wiped the covers over and set them in a couple of piles so I could go through them and decide which were staying and which were going.

A selection below.

Special Books  

I spent the next few hours flicking through some of them – especially the ones where I had stuck pieces of paper in to show where a good recipe was. [Just as well I had pretty much nothing else to do all day.]

I must have looked through those books lots of times given the number of papers sticking out but still I looked again. Why? Because I love recipe book trawling – not sure if that’s a legit phrase to describe my browsing habits but it is one I use for when I want to see if I can find something interesting to make. Not necessarily what I will make but could make if the inspiration strikes me.

I ended up making two piles – the keepers and the give aways.

The Keepers

I’ve definitely kept the two oldest ones I have – my Mum’s tattered but well used CWA cookbook [which I still use when I want to make a meat patties batter] and her handwritten recipe book – the entries of which are in my dad’s lovely cursive handwriting script. They are special mementoes of my many happy times cooking with Mum as a child, so they were the first to go back on the pantry shelf.

My oldest one, is the Margaret Fulton Cookbook which a young student of mine [Richard] gave to me as a wedding present many moons ago. [1970 in fact – definitely many moons ago!] I recall using it a lot when I was first married, especially when we were having friends over for dinner.

My favourite recipe from the book is on page143/144 the Cream Puffs et al. I made lots of batches of cream puffs/eclairs over the years and it was the one thing that I was not only ‘famous’ for but was always asked to bring to any party, family gathering, fund raiser, cake stall or dinner invite.

After some happy reminiscing of my good old Cream Puff making days, I continued the sorting. The remaining books were relatively easy to deal with. I just asked myself a simple question. Do they suit our current unyoung dietary habits? If I answered no, into the give away bag they went.

The Joys of Recipe Book Reading

I often spend time just looking through recipe books, not only to read the actual recipes but to also admire the many pictures that are scattered throughout the pages. I always have a recipe book or two displayed on my coffee table. Ones that I love the front cover pics of or ones that have inside pages showing some delectable delights which I like to see staring back at me. 

Room In the Pantry

So, my keeper books – Mum’s, the coffee books, and others – you know the ones that one day, I just might make a recipe from, have now been reshelved.

It took me almost a day, but I am pretty happy with the result as I have gained quite a bit of shelf space from that tidy up session. Plus, I have a bag of much-loved and used recipe books ready to be dropped off at my local op shop when next I venture into town. I hope that any new owner of said books will get as much enjoyment out of them as I have.

I am not sure when the next pantry shelf will be tidied – the urge for tidying up seems to have now deserted me.  Maybe that’s because I have found some other more exciting things to do – like finding new things that are appearing and lurking in the garden, here in my part of the world during these milder autumn days.

Until next time – I hope you enjoy this ‘Easter or holiday’ time of the year in your part of the world.

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