I'm really enjoying reading about everyone's first cook books, thanks to Foodie Quine, and since mine is still in regular use I thought I'd share it with you.
I was given this for my 13th birthday, in 1968 (there, I've given my age away now!) when it cost 4/6d, or 22½p. I'd never really cooked before, apart from jacket potatoes and blancmange in school cookery lessons, and my Mum thought it was about time I started to learn. We didn't really have much interest in food as a family, in fact I think becoming passionate about food was my act of teenage rebellion, so Mum learned as much as I did from the book, and we often cooked dishes from it together.
The recipes range from very basic to quite advanced, and as well as the usual list of ingredients, they have list of equipment - very helpful to a beginner who can't predict just from glancing at a recipe what they will need.
I still use the book quite regularly, as you can see from the state of it. The Stewed Beef with Sweet-Sour Beans is my go-to recipe when we have a glut of runner beans in the garden.
Recently I revisited the book's tomato soup recipe, which had been one of the first things I'd cooked from it all those years ago. I've made dozens of versions of tomato soup since (and looking at the tomato plants right now, I think I'll be making dozens more this week!) but we both agreed that this old recipe had the best taste and texture of any I've ever made.
There's a linky over at Foodie Quine where you can share your own first cookery book love