I unearthed this book in my cupboards in one of my recent purges. It was probably the first hardback cookery book that I ever bought. She writes well, Jane Grigson. History, provenance, poetry are woven together with lovely words like "inasmuch" and "hugger-mugger". Looking back at it now, you can see how much has changed. So many more varieties of vegetables are available. When she lists potato varieties, she suggests that you will have to grow your own to get hold of anything other than three or four commercially grown varieties. How things have changed.
And how some things have not. You see, the other thing that I loved about this book was the cover - a painting called "Cuisine Provencale" by Antoine Raspal, It was the leafy chard, cabbage and artichokes that fired by allotment ambitions. I wanted baskets full of vegetables, stripy cushions with cats on them, copper pans and cast iron pots, earthenware jugs, a wooden table, the rosy cheeks. I did not even mind the idea of washing drying. It all seemed like a tall order at the time.
I got them in the end - the pots and pans and shady kitchen
I grew the veg. The cats arrived. The cushions were sewn. Fires were lit. Soups were stirred. Washing hung to dry indoors for months on end.
It's been the same for years. No agonising over colour schemes, it's just painted over in the same shades. Some of it needs repair - the drafts from the cracks in the floorboards and the broken draining board need fixing and the chairs need re-rushing. Manana, manana.
I'm very grateful to Mrs Grigson for the inspiration.