2017 Cookbook Challenge - Week 1

My new cookbook shelf!

My new cookbook shelf!

One of my favorite things in our new kitchen is my cookbook shelf.  It was something I wanted when we were first designing the kitchen.  Previously, I only had a few cookbooks out on display and the rest were hidden away in cabinets and boxes.  We actually had two shelves made.  One holds all of my vintage and retro cookbooks and the other the more general books, that I use more frequently.

I have a hard time passing up vintage and retro cookbooks, especially if they have kitschy illustrations or photos. As I was loading my cookbook shelves, I realized that I’ve never actually used most of them. On my vintage/retro cookbook shelf, I have 52 cookbooks displayed and I have only made recipes out of 11 of them.  What a shame!  

Since we are trying not to collect things that we don't use, I decided to challenge myself to try to make something out of every book, in 2017.  I happened to have 52 vintage and retro cookbooks, so I've decided to make one recipe per book, per week.

My rules are simple.  Each week, I'll make one recipe out of a different cookbook.  For cookbooks that I have used previously, I will not use a recipe I've tried before.  I will photograph and post about each one. (This will probably be the bigger challenge, for me.)

For the first week, I decided to make something from "The Primrose Bakery Book", by Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas.  The Primrose Bakery is located in London.  When we were visiting London in 2011, I got breakfast there quite often and loved it.  A few years ago, Chris purchased their cookbook for me.  I have made one thing from this book, but haven't used it since.  For my first recipe, I decided to try their "Chocolate and Banana Loaf".  This decision was largely due to the fact that I had 4 very overripe bananas that needed to be used.

The Primrose Bakery in London

"The Primrose Bakery Book" by Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas

"Chocolate and Banana Loaf"

The recipe was pretty easy but since this is a British book, there were some challenges.  You do have to convert the oven temperature from degrees celsius to degrees fahrenheit.  This recipe called for 180°C, so I had to set my oven to 350°F.  Most of the ingredients were measured by weight rather than by volume (which is more common in the US, at least), so I had to pull out my trusty kitchen scale.  This recipe called for something called "golden caster sugar", which is not commonly found here.  I substituted it for Turbinado sugar, which may have not been exactly the correct thing, but it turned out just fine.  The bread was delicious and moist. I did undercook it a bit, so it was a bit more gooey in the center, than I would have liked, but it was a hit none-the-less.


The final result.


Week 1 Roundup:

Cookbook: "The Primrose Bakery Book"

Recipe: "Chocolate & Banana Loaf"

Difficulty: Easy

Alterations: Substituted Turbinado Sugar for Golden Caster Sugar 

Result: Tasty, although I needed to cook it a few minutes longer

Make again?:  Yes