The Glasgow Cookery Book

The Glasgow Cookery Book has just been reissued, hooray. With over 1,000 recipes, it has fed families in Glasgow and beyond for almost 100 years, becoming a traditional present for newlyweds and those leaving home.

There are 25 chapters going from Appetisers and Soups, through Meat and Offal, Poultry and Game to Hot Puddings, Ices, Baking and Confectionery plus other useful things like Sauces, Preserves and even Winemaking. Alongside the main recipes there are reference guides like a cookery glossary, a chart showing different cuts of meat, and handy measures. It really is invaluable.

It was originally produced as a cookery textbook by The Glasgow & West of Scotland College of Domestic Science which became Queen's College, Glasgow, now part of Glasgow Caledonian University. So legions of Scottish homemakers have learnt from it. Most Scots would have been raised on this sort of fare, but cookery has changed so much that the recipes are now quite hard to find. There's nothing fancy in it at all, but it's all good food.

First published in 1910, the last edition was in 1975 and has been out of print ever since. I worked at Glasgow Caledonian University from 1994-2003 and spent part of that time working with colleagues to try and get it back into print. It was a great job as I got to sit with the cookery lecturers and work through revisions to the book. I learnt so much about food and loved listening to them talk.

Even 10 years ago there was a real demand for it, as people wanted to eat the food their granny used to make - steak pie, Scotch broth, pancakes - that sort of thing. For various reasons it didn't get published at that time and it's great to see it in the flesh at last. The new edition, by Waverley Books, who also publish Maw Broon's Cook Book, is a real triumph. It has been a labour of love for GCU staff (especially my old boss John Powles and the Research Collections team) and former students of 'The Dough School' who made sure that the recipes still suit modern tastes and modern kitchens.

I'm going to christen mine by making a chocolate cake just like the one my gran used to make. One lick of chocolate butter icing can send me back 30 years. Yum. On sale at Amazon and other good bookshops.

I'm intrigued to see how it will sell given that Maw Broon's cookbook must surely have been bought by half of Scotland (or the families of expatriate Scots) by now.

Although my folks were always more religious followers of the Be-Ro cookbook. I think they may still have a 1949 edition just about hanging together with 60 years of sellotape!

Yeah, I know what you mean although as it's the same company presumably they know there's a market for it.

I think there might be a different market, as the people at the launch were Dough School alumni - lots of well-dressed older Glasgow women.

We used to get a lot of enquiries about it from USA, Canada etc so Scots abroad will buy it. It should do really well.

My inherited 1975 'centenary edition' (the first in metric no less) is indispensible along with that other Glaswegian tome of culinary endeavour the 'Shish Mahal Cook Book'. The lamb bhoona page is particularly creased in my version, easing my expat cravings for the Shish.

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