Monday, 24 March 2014

And to finish....

It is with a heart as heavy as the stodgy Corned Beef Fritters I cooked in entry 5 that I announce this to be my final entry on Marguerite and Me.

Talking about Marguerite with my Mum in the video above has shown me that the reason her writing is so interesting to me - the easy methodology and simple language - is exactly why my Mum likes it too. Passing on the gift of cookery is something that I really appreciate my Mum doing for me, and she clearly feels the same way about my Nan passing that gift along to her all those years ago.

I still think that Marguerite Patten is important in the cookery canon for the entirety of the British nation, and that her ethos of using the "minimum of time and expense" is one that we would all do well to adopt. However it occurs to me that the personal experience of Marguerite's work, and the way it has let me explore the social history of my family, is what I truly take away from this blog as being her "importance."

The cohesiveness of three generations using the same cookery book is incredible and I really hope that in 20 or so years time I can send my children off to University with a copy of Step by Step Cookery, albeit it a slightly crumbling one.

Marguerite Patten will continue to be important as long as she is being used within the kitchen, and it gives me hope that women of my age are still using her work, as well as women of my Grandmother's generation. Whilst not all her recipes will remain relevant, I believe her methodology will for years to come.

And that's what I know about Marguerite and Me.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Foods the Family need.

In the "Before you start to cook" section of Step by Step Cookery Marguerite Patten offers information to do with the basic rules of cookery, time management and, as in this chapter "Food the family need", instructions on how to stay healthy.

These sections are reminiscent of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management in that they aim to teach you just that - how to a manage a household.

Marguerite Patten tells her readers to "make sure" that they "provide" (14) their family with such things as a "reasonable amount of fat" - this commands makes it clear that Patten feels it is a woman's role as a mother and wife to maintain a healthy household. She also goes beyond simply making suggestions about what food to serve in order to remind her reader that "Children should be encouraged to clean their teeth." This fairly obvious statement fits with the identifiable tone of Marguerite Patten's work - easy to digest information that all women should know, offered in a way that doesn't seek to patronize - and is in many ways, utterly timeless.