Many, many years ago a dear friend gave me Cook as I say, Not as I do.
I have never cooked anything from this (well, not yet) but I will never get rid of it. Partly because of its provenance and partly because it is just so funny; I really want to be able to share it with the young people in my life (ok, mostly girls, because the characters are mostly girls and it deals with girl issues).
There are eight separate chapters. Each chapter is a vignette of a daughter’s life, in correspondence with a maternal figure in her life. Sometimes the relationship is good, sometimes a bit wonky, sometimes non-existent. Sometimes the relationship is like Saffron and Edina in Absolutely Fabulous. Sullivan introduces the collection as being a set of found documents, “apparently abandoned by their original collector” – and while the found footage idea can sometime be a bit dubious, in this case of such domesticity I think it works.
Every double page has a letter from the mother-type on the left (very occasionally the daughter speaks back) – they’re in a wild variety of handwriting, and many of them go in for a species of guilting. The righthand side has a recipe of some sort, and these too reflect the mother’s personality: to whit:
Divide the raisin bran in half. If you had to share everything the way I did when I was young, this part will be easy.
I love it.