Let's Create The World's Most Extensive Cookbook Reference Library

Aunty Bee & her mom, John, Valerie & Noel Steelite, Baby Aunty Bee & her mom.

 Jackie Cameron
Every school needs a library – no less a cookery school - and that’s the reason I get excited when I see Jackie Cameron’s School of Food & Wine’s book shelves growing!
— Jackie Cameron

The collection at the Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine includes recipe books from family members going back to great-grand parents and includes uncles and aunts, as well as a large assortment of the ‘greatest hits’ when it comes to top chefs and writers. I often dream of being featured in the Guinness Book of Records for having the most extensive cookbook reference library.

I have recently been gifted cookbooks that come from very unique and special places. These now share pride of place in the school’s library among other very extraordinary books. I look forward to paging though each of these manuscripts, when the time allows, but for now I have asked each donor to explain why certain recipes are special to them.

First up was from my Auntie Bee Berriman who gave me her grandmother, Gladys Bibb-Harborth’s cookbooks. They are a true delight and of course Auntie Bee remembers the good-old days when there was no hot water in their homes. Whilst waiting for water to boil for her and her brother’s bath ‘Nan’ would spoil them with freshly-made crumpets that were always served with butter and apricot or strawberry jam. To ensure complete decadence the rule was to eat these as they popped out of pan. I also have some of Aunty Bee’s mother, Daphne Reid’s cookbooks that bring back fond memories. Daphne’s Yo-Yo biscuits are out of this world – so I’m told. The story goes that there was not a person who could be satisfied with only one. Bee remembers sitting on the kitchen counter, her mouth watering, while as she watched, with eager anticipation, as these delicacies were being crafted with purposeful precision. Bee’s brother Kennan also had a favourite. It was the steam pudding that took his fancy. I look forward to trying this recipe because steamed puds are very close to my heart - especially with the advent of winter. For me food is about recipes past from generation to generation because the memories trapped within the dishes inspire me.

Another surprise was when Trevor van der Bijl of Steelite International - a supplier - popped by to see the school. He dropped off boxes of his brother-in-law, John Sutherland’s cookbooks. As I paged through John’s collection his enthusiasm for icing wedding cakes as well his devotion to food shone through. Carefully-written notes illustrated times gone by, and the deep love he had for this craft. I was told that John was not a professional cook but simply took great pleasure in ‘treating’ family and friends. Being in a kitchen came naturally to him, be it for a special party or for the day-to-day cooking at home. It pleased me to know that he was very methodical and always prepared well in advance so that he could be the perfect host, as well as present a remarkable meal. All this was clear from the notes he made in his recipe books. For this perfectionist only the best was good enough. John did a Thai cooking course in the late 90s with Christina Martin, who trained me. He enjoyed cooking and eating Thai food so I have included his Thai Green-Chicken-Curry recipe. It seems John was also a lover of steamed puddings so you may like to try his version of Malva. The final recipe of John’s is his cereal crunchies. I am going through a crunchie phase so looking forward to having a few of these in my pantry-cupboard.

In anticipation, I raise my glass to many more recipes, many more happy meals and many more delicious memories.

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Gladys' Crumpets

While waiting for water to boil for her and her brother’s bath ‘Nan’ would spoil them with freshly-made crumpets that were always served with butter and apricot or strawberry jam.  To ensure complete decadence the rule was to eat these as they popped out of pan.

daphnes-yo-yo-biscuits.jpg

Daphne’s Yo-Yo Biscuits

Daphne’s Yo-Yo biscuits are out of this world – so I’m told.  The story goes that there was not a person who could be satisfied with only one. 

daphnes-steam-pudding-french.jpg

Daphnes' Steam Pudding

Bee’s brother Kennan also had a favourite. It was the steam pudding that took his fancy.  I look forward to trying this recipe because steamed puds are very close to my heart – especially with the advent of winter.

johns-malva-pudding.jpg

Johns' Malva Pudding

It seems John was also a lover of steamed puddings so you may like to try his version of Malva.  

johns-thai-green-curry.jpg

Johns' Thai Green-Chicken-Curry

John did a Thai cooking course in the late 90s with Christina Martin, who trained me. He enjoyed cooking and eating Thai food so I have included his Thai Green-Chicken-Curry recipe.

johns-crunchie-biscuits.jpg

Johns' Cereal Crunchies

I am going through a crunchie phase so looking forward to having a few of these in my pantry-cupboard.

Find out more about my Women's Chef Range here - Men's Chef Range to come shortly; grab yourself a copy of JACKIE CAMERON COOKS AT HOME and all my foodie adventures. I always look forward to hearing from you via jackie@jackiecameron.co.za.

Jackie Cameron, soon-to-be owner of Jackie Cameron School of Food & Wine situated in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal - email for inquiries. For the latest on local foodie news add me as a friend on Facebook. Find me on Twitter - @jackie_cameron and Instagram: jackiecameronincolour.

All Photos taken by Karen
Karen Edward’s Photography
082 441 7429 / karene@bundunet.com