First up: ‘Food for Flatters’. A colleague at the Whakatane Beacon recommended this to me when I was 18, flatting for the first time, and just getting my head around
this whole complicated cooking lark.
It was aimed at culinary morons like myself. It began with how to boil an egg, and went on from there.
I added my own refinements, as you do: I liked boiled eggs hard on the outside of the yolk, but runny in the middle.
I found the best way to achieve this was to put on The Rolling Stones ‘The Last Time’ just as the egg started to boil, and hoick the egg out again when it finished.
Second cookbook – Rowan Bishop’s ‘The Good Health Adventure Guide’. (no picture, sorry: my copy is too blotchy to scan).
This was recommended to me in the summer of 1989/1990 – I had gone down with a particularly vicious bout of glandular fever and hepatitis in Winter ’89 and it was taking me a long time to get over it. This book helped, teaching me some healthy but enjoyable stuff to eat. At the time was surviving on steamed veggies, boiled rice and smoked fish.
It has some marvellous recipes which I still use: the sweet and sour zucchini and chick pea dash is very good. I was to use the rolled oats hotcake recipe, some years later, when I was running half marathons. (those days are now long gone, sadly).
Thirdly, the Yates Garden Guide. Which is, at present, helping me construct a veggie garden, for the first time in my life.