- Honey from a Weed: Fasting and Feasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades and Apulia by Patience Gray
Prospect, 374 pp, £17.50, November 1986, ISBN 0 907325 30 0
- A Table in Provence: Classic Recipes from the South of France collected and illustrated by Leslie Forbes
Webb and Bower/Joseph, 160 pp, £12.95, April 1987, ISBN 0 86350 130 3
- The Joyce of Cooking: Food and Drink from James Joyce’s Dublin by Alison Armstrong, foreword by Anthony Burgess
Station Hill Press, 252 pp, $18.95, December 1986, ISBN 0 930794 85 0
I bought my first cookery book in 1960, as part of my trousseau. It was called Plats du Jour, or Foreign Food by Patience Gray and Primrose Boyd, a Penguin paperback with a seductive pink jacket depicting a large family at table – evidently not a British family, for its members, shirt-sleeved, aproned, some of them children, were uncorking bottles, slicing bread, eagerly tucking their napkins under their chins, faces aglow with the certain knowledge their dinners would not disappoint, which was, in those days, extremely rare in this country.