In almost any Kiwi kitchen around the world, I can practically guarantee there will be one small book nestled in the back of a cupboard. Dog-eared, scruffy and covered with the odd food stain.
The first item I placed with reverent care into my suitcase was my camera, then it was my Edmonds cookbook. Originally made as a marketing tool for Baking Powder, according to Wikipedia “it remains New Zealand’s fastest selling book with over 200,000 copies sold in one year.” The blurb on the back says over 4 million copies have been sold – that’s almost one for every adult New Zealander in the world.
Move over Delia and her wishy washy stance on scratch cooking, the Edmonds cookbook is a solid, cooking from scratch bible on basic home food – everything from putting together a roast, debearding mussels, making tabbouleh, bottling preserves, the perfect Victoria sponge and my favourite Ginger Crunch Slice.
As any expat will tell you, there are things from home that we really miss, but I’ve managed to find most of them somewhere somehow or a UK equivalent. Some I’ve had to dig out my Edmonds cookbook for, some we’ve found at the Kiwi brunch spots here in London such as Sweetcorn Fritters, and some in the randomest of places – ANZAC biscuits at an Ottolenghi restaurant for instance.
Everything I’ve introduced Mr Kiwi to has been a hit; Bacon & Egg Pie, Pumpkin Soup, Lolly Cake, Banana Cake & Onion Dip. The recipes are simply and straight forward spring boards into customising to your own taste – my cookbook is covered in scrawls, variations on a theme (and a touch of revising to the Bacon & Egg Pie to get it up to family standards). It even has a vegetable section, advising new cooking initiates how long to cook their Brussel Sprouts for.
All of the measurements are in Cups – a 250ml cup measure forms the basis of all out cooking; liquid and dry which makes cooking a breeze. Some of the classic recipes have lasted from the first edition over a 100 years ago – if it ain’t broke…
It’s expensive to buy here, but let’s be frank The Edmonds cookbook is worth it’s weight in gold. I know of a few select stockists in the UK to have them, just don’t go nicking my copy in the meantime, ok?
Do you have a standard cookbook in your cupboards that holds a favourite childhood recipe?