Conrad on recipe books

“Of all the books produced since the remote ages by human talents and industry those only that treat of cooking are, from a moral point of view, above suspicion. The intention of every other piece of prose may be discussed and even mistrusted, but the purpose of a cookery book is one and unmistakable. Its object can conceivably be no other than to increase the happiness of mankind.” 

“Good cooking is a moral agent. … By good cooking I mean the conscientious preparation of the simple food of everyday life, not the more or less skillfull concoction of idle feasts and rare dishes.”

From the preface to Jessie Conrad’s 1923 A Handbook of Cookery for a Small House, written by her husband, the novelist Joseph Conrad. 

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