Agnes Jekyll’s Kitchen Essays (1922) Persephone No
And so, enter Lady Agnes Jekyll, DBE (who was actually Scottish, but we will gloss over that). Her Kitchen Essays were first published in The Times in 1922. Her writing takes you at once into a lovely busy English country house. There are many staff of course, and a substantial budget, but there is no bling and Agnes will roll her sleeves up and get stuck in with Cook where necessary. You gallop through her book, wishing she was your friend, always kind, gracious and helpful. Chapters include – For the Too Fat, Bachelor’s Entertaining, Food for the Punctual and Unpunctual and, unsurprisingly, she has an excellent recipe for English workaday ox-tongue, for you just know that, despite some rather good pearls, Lady J would have no truck with the frippery of larks’ tongues. And, more core to her character, no truck with hatred of those different to her, or less fortunate. When she wrote, much of the country was still reeling from the effects of the Great War, still grieving for fathers, sons and brothers and suffering the devastating effects of the loss of a breadwinner:
Kitchen Essays Agnes Jekyll December 2009 Good Housekeeping selection
Anyone who suspects most food writing is done by software these days will feel vindicated by this reprint of very pithy pieces from The Times of London, originally run off the presses in 1922. Agnes Jekyll, “an artist-housekeeper” who lived from 1860 to 1937, clearly had no access to FoodPerfect6, and the 35 short essays in this collection almost sing with originality.
30. by Agnes JekyllHer writing is timeless in its humour, compassion, wit and, almost incidentally, good recipes.Kitchen Essays is a lovely book combining both recipes and social history.