I bought Linda McCartney’s book “Home Cooking” on my first trip to England, in 1992- it was the first cookbook I ever bought. Being a teenager, my experience with cooking was very limited- as was my ability to understand English. Still, I treated my family to Cheese Soufflée and some other dishes, which we all enjoyed a lot.
Over the years, the book has accompanied me to different places in different countries, but has been used very little. I had the impression that all recipes required complicated vegetarian ingredients, and that most of them were old-fashioned and only replaced meat with TVP. In 2019, I finally picked up my copy of the book again- and put it back into the bookshelf after looking at the 1980s photographs, most of them very dark and in different tones of brown.
But what was it that had attracted me to the book in the past? To find out, I started trying out some of the recipes again and to think about how to best capture the food in pictures.
Linda McCartney’s recipes are, contrary to my first impression, very easy to cook and do not require any ingredients that are hard to get. There is an elegance to the recipes that makes them suitable for both a family meal or a dinner party. Some combinations are unusual, creative or surprising, and there is a choice of vegan and gluten-free recipes as well. Some of the recipes are timeless, such as the stews, pies, and oven bakes. Others were very much ahead of their time and can still impress food lovers (e.g. various cold soups or the baked custard).
And all show how much the author must have loved cooking and sharing meals with friends and family- without eating animals.
I think that this book is too inspiring to end up at the back of the bookshelf- it should be used again by as many people and as much as possible. Vegetarian cooking is a lot more popular now than it was in the 1980s, but people are still looking for easy, every day recipes, using fresh and seasonal products.
The idea behind this blog is to share my experience with recipes from Linda McCartney’s “Home Cooking” and to present some new pictures that match the simple, yet elegant style of the recipes. I have also added some ideas for variations, and whenever possible gluten-free and vegan options. I hope you enjoy looking at this blog as much as I enjoy creating it. And I am sure that you “won’t miss meat”- as Linda would have said.