I saw a really old friend the other day for the first time in years. He was just off to the farewell party for Leonie Highton, associate editor at House & Garden for as long as I can find a masthead of that august magazine. I don’t know Leonie well but she’s been to one or two of our parties at the shop and she’s always, well, just lovely. (In fact, I haven’t met anyone at H&G who isn’t lovely, and that is saying something I think!).
So I was quite happy this morning, in a secondhand bookshop, to find Entertaining with House and Garden: 600 recipes for successful menus and parties – compiled by Leonie Highton and published in 1979. Admittedly without a dust cover, but at £1 I think this may be the best value cook book I buy all year.
For a start, I love the idea of successful menus (as well as successful parties). Secondly, the book has some of the best pictures I have seen for a little while. And it is packed with things I would like to cook, and I suspect if I lend it to Bridie she will be in to even more of Leonie’s recipes (I’m thinking of Bridie’s famous heart shaped key lime pie – you need to scroll down a little).
Who wouldn’t want to be sitting around that nice pine table, on the SOUPS page, drinking from beautiful chunky wine glasses and eating French Onion soup out of stoneware bowls? Or sitting down at that bleached table in the white-painted-brick conservatory, while ‘planning ahead’? Who doesn’t want a shelving unit in their kitchen made out of white 4″ square tiles – perfection (although I will admit, I would prefer to live without the rattan chairs).
And, on this breezy sunny day in Dorset, who wouldn’t want to be sitting down for that incredible grilled picnic?