The Vintage Cookbook Trials came to us as all the best ideas come – in the pub. Over the years the contributors here have amassed a range of cookery books of various vintages – from kitschy 1950’s leaflets produced by the Bacon & Ham Council to musty Edwardian tomes with instructions on how best to prepare ptarmigan for the pot, to recipe cards from the 70s with some godawful sounding concoctions for children’s parties on them (Turkey Men or Walnut Cheese Balls anyone?).  Half the fun of gathering this collection has been to compare and contrast the attitudes and foodstuffs of the past with our modern experience of it and up to this point the books have been used solely for entertainment. It’s out of a desire to actually use these resources for the purpose they were created that this blog has arisen.

Our definition of ‘vintage’ is anything first published more than 25 years ago.

You can contact us at vintagecookbooktrials@googlemail.com or on twitter @TheVCBT

If you’re looking for an Alison Burt Recipe Card, we might have it – leave a comment on this post and we’ll see what we can do. No promises made though!

31 responses to “About

  1. Can anyone give me the recipe for CURRIED TURKEY under Poultry in the Alison Burt’s cookery cards? The puppy found it on the floor and demolished. I am lost without it!


  2. vintagecooking


    I’ve scanned and uploaded this recipe to my flickr account here http://www.flickr.com/photos/fathands/3060165002/in/photostream/

    It’s not a great scan, so let me know if you need me to transcribe the recipe..

    thanks for reading!

  3. This is brilliant. Your Haricot Bean soup made me laugh loudly. Will be signing up for more recipes and experiments. Keep it coming.

  4. Thank you! Good to have you here

  5. We just want you to know, over at LLGB we love you guys and your blog. We need to find a way to collaborate, one of these days! Are you all in the UK, by the way?

  6. I stumbled across your webpage and have been totally engrossed and fascinated with your trial dishes. I couldn’t stop laughing over the recipe that called for a salamander. I would have been just as perplexed. I am from a little town in Texas, USA. Awesome stuff here. Your postings are very funny and I was so intrigued by one of your posts that I just purchased Taglienti’s “The Italian Cookbook”. Go figure.

    Can you try something from “The White House Chef Cookbook” by Rene Verdon?

  7. Hello T Cobb, Glad you’re enjoying our blog! Older US cookbooks are in short(ish) supply in the UK but the Whitehouse Chef Cookbook sounds great – I’ll buy it, if I see it.

  8. Rev. Roxanna Sparks

    I Love Cookbooks , the Older…The Better
    This is A Wonderful Website…What A Find…
    I Look Forward to Many Adventures in Cooking and Sharing and Enjoying All Who are Doing the Same. Much Love from California.

  9. Thank you for your kind comments – it’s a pleasure to have you here!

  10. travelingwilbury


    I just discovered your blog and it’s been a pleasure reading it so far… I have made a few vintage recipes, the one below if you’re interested comes from El libro de Doña Petrona, an Argentinian classic, unfortnately oop now. The copy I used is certainly over 25 years old since it was at home before I was born! The recipe I made was for Bifes a la Criolla. Not a funny post since everything turned out exactly as it should (it’s a very reliable book) but you’re more than welcome to link to it if you want.


    Keep up the good work!

  11. Hello and welcome Gabriela! Glad you like the blog. Thank you for posting this recipe and links to other things you’ve tried- it’s always great to get new ideas from commenters.

  12. I’m so glad I’ve found you! I’ve tried some things on my blog you might enjoy. 🙂

  13. Jane Cumming

    Looks a fantastic blog!

  14. An excellent idea for a blog. Love it!

  15. Aged Home Economist

    I just sent you an email, but had my name in email address incorrect please see above – I do hope it arrived, as it was about my time working for Cathy Kirkpatrick.

  16. lynda franklin

    Lost my card for lovely chocolate fudge cake it has a cooffe icing topping any chance of a copy please. 1980″s

  17. Lynda, I’ll have a look and let you know!

  18. Hi Lynda – I’m afraid I can’t find the card for the fudge cake recipe…sorry! Hope you find it somewhere!

  19. I love vintage cookbooks and have a ton of them, so I am delighted to discover this blog. I started a short-lived “vintage feasts” series on my blog, but I think I’ll just give up now 🙂 You have achieved what I was dreaming of!

  20. Okay honestly, I’ve just spent far too much time on this site – I love it, and I especially love your style of writing. The idea of cooking out of only vintage cookbooks is fantastic and I can’t wait to try some of these myself.

  21. Sydney – thank you! Glad you enjoyed.

  22. Just found your blog. I’m becoming a blogaholic. Have to stop this. Anyway, I’m in Wisconsin. Born, raised in UK. Was making some sausage rolls w/ leftover US sausages and flaky pastry, and it made me think of Russian fish pie, which I learned to make in grammar school including the flaky pastry!! Decided to look online for recipe and voila! here I am. Love the site, love the humour. And thought you might find it amusing that I was making “Amish Friendship Bread” the other day, which I decided would work better as a coffee cake. After I dumped the fermented starter in the bowl (which was actually on day 11 or 12 because I’m a busy procrastinator) and began adding ingredients, I realized I had forgotten step #9 where you add stuff, and then split it into four. Unwilling to throw away everything, I continued on, hoping not to poison everyone at church (which is really not very friendly). We are all still here, and the coffee cake received rave reviews……….

  23. Welcome Nicola and thank you, it’s good to hear your cake didn’t lose you any friends…

  24. Rosemarie Macoy

    Just looking on web for recipe for Gainsborough Tart something I use to make when my children were young (45 yrs ago) and found here, so pleased. I also luv the old cookery books and have one that my mother-in-law gave me, its very similar to the book here and has photos of the old cookers.

  25. Thank you for your kind words, Rosemarie.

  26. Can’t find the Alison Burt’s super saver cookery card for tomatoe, cucumber and onion salad, with a dill dressing, would appreciate any help, thank you Jean

  27. Jean – I’m so sorry, we don’t have that one. Good luck in your search.

  28. looking for And-so-to-bed milk drink recipe. mum used to make it for us when we were young and cant find her recipe card for it. now i want to try my kids with this delicious drink

  29. Sorry April – we have that one.

  30. What a gorgeous idea for a website! I just googled Maria Luisa Taglienti because I have my mum’s copy of The Italian Cookbook and wanted to find out more about her and stumbled across your site. I adore old cookbooks so will definitely keep track on here!

  31. Hi there
    I just had a quick question for Alix. You posted a recipe from the Alison Burt recipe card set. I was wondering if you still had those cards and, inn partoicular, a recipe for chocolate banana bars (which also had bran in them). If you do, would it be possible to get a copy?

    Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s