Kitchen Exploits - Cookbook Commendations | My Favourite Recipes by Ellice Handy

I haven't forgotten about Cookbook Commendations!

Here is a gem of a cookbook that I need to share with you: My Favourite Recipes by Ellice Handy.

I was introduced to the second edition (1960) of this book by my mother-in-law. The book is a much-loved staple in her home, and the genesis of many of the dishes that she makes. It is a classic among Singapore and Malaysian cookbooks, and having seen what it can do, I knew I wanted a copy for my home.

In Ellice Handy's words, the book is "not for those who know everything about cooking, but for those who have a desire to learn to cook". She also says "Don't look upon cooking as a drudgery as it's fun and should be enjoyed...Invite the family to share in the joy of preparing a meal, even your husbands."

The end of that last sentence cracked me up, and made me think about the possibly bewildered men in those days, asked by their wives to "share in the joy" of prepping meals for the family, thanks to Ellice Handy.

In my mother-in-law's copy of the book, the measurements used were in katis, pounds and ounces, dessertspoons and teacups. It was quaint to read, but frustrating when I actually wanted to make something and had to take time to do the conversions. The latest edition still list measurements in dessertspoons and teacups, but includes useful weight conversations of katis to kilograms.

The book contains chapters for European, Chinese, Malayan & Indonesian, and Indian dishes; Cakes, Pastries & Desserts, and Snacks. You can expect a whole variety of recipes like Lamb Roast, Chap Chye, Pai Tee, Steamed Crab, Gado Gado, Pulot Panggang, many Curries, Drop Scones, Bhajias and Sandwiches, among others! It is truly a cookbook that reflects the author's time, but full of evergreen dishes that home cooks, especially in this region, will be interested to learn to make. Her encouraging, easy-to-follow instructions, makes this book a joy to use.

I first saw a copy of this latest edition at Books Actually. It is also available at Kinokuniya.

If you are an alumni of Methodist Girls' School, (like Ellice Handy was), you might want to see if it is still being sold at the school.

I haven't seen it sold elsewhere online, but if you do, I'll appreciate a heads up in the comments :)

I hope you will enjoy this recommendation. Happy reading, and cooking!


Anonymous said...

Thanks! Looks like a great find! I found it online on BooksActually and Kino. Best thing is that they ship internationally! yay!

Corsage@A Dollop Of Me said...

Yay! I hope you enjoy the book too. Look forward to you posting meals that you make from it :)

mummybean said...

Sounds like a great book! I shall look it up. I'm always keen to get good books on local cooking and flavours, which are not always easy to find. I think a lot of cookbooks for Chinese food are, unfortunately, written in Chinese, which makes it a bit difficult for me.

Susan said...

I recently bought a cookbook by one of our local chefs, Chef Eric, who frequently appears on TV. What I like about the recipes , although I have not tried any yet, are that they are simple and easy and doesn't require too much preparation in the kitchen. I enjoy cooking and find that it's one way that I'm nourishing the family. Just wished my hubby who is usually tasked with the washing up appreciate it more.