The Barbara Pym Cookbook

The Barbara Pym Cookbook

by Hilary Pym, Honor Wyatt


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Barbara Pym’s sister Hilary teams with cookbook author Honor Wyatt to bring together this mouthwatering collection of family recipes, memories, and anecdotes drawn from Pym’s diaries and letters, as well her most acclaimed novels

Straight from the kitchen of Barbara Pym, this winning cookbook delivers a delectable treat for readers who like their meals served with a generous helping of literary aplomb. Sharing favorite family recipes that Pym incorporated into her novels, The Barbara Pym Cookbook reveals how the author’s life intersected with those of her memorable characters.
Inside you’ll find British classics such as steak and kidney pie, plum cake, sausage rolls, and toad-in-the-hole—dishes that Pym’s characters would often prepare for each other. Other treats, such as moussaka and risotto, reflect Pym’s fascination with Greece and Italy. Throughout, the recipes are interwoven with references to Pym’s novels; Dulcie’s musings on “love apples” from No Fond Return of Love accompany directions for tomatoes à la Provençale, for instance. There are glimpses of Pym’s personal life, too, such as her description of kipper pâté for lunch with Philip Larkin. The Barbara Pym Cookbook is a must-have for both budding cooks and Pym aficionados.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781480408050
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media LLC
Publication date: 03/05/2013
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Barbara Pym (1913–1980) was a bestselling and award-winning English novelist. Her first book, Some Tame Gazelle (1950), launched her career as a writer beloved for her social comedies of class and manners. Pym is the only author to be named twice in a Times Literary Supplement list of “the most underrated novelists of the century.” She produced thirteen novels, the last three published posthumously. Her 1977 novel Quartet in Autumn was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. 

Table of Contents

Introductory Note xi

A Note on the Recipes xiii

Starters and Soups xv

George Armitage settles in to prawn cocktail; Emma Howick and Adam Prince discuss the slicing of cucumber Salmon or Tuna Mousse 3

Potted Ham 4

Rollo Gaunt recalls Asparagus Mousse 5

Barbara remembers lunching with Philip Larkin Kipper Pâtê 6

Daphne Dagnall and Adam Prince discuss Greek food Dolmadhes 7

Tsatsiki 9

Dulcie Mainwaring reflects on "love apples" Tomatoes À La Provençale 10

Leonora Eyre welcomes Humphrey Boyce with Consommé Mousse 11

The Harveys introduce Carrot Soup with Orange 12

On the Greek border, Barbara and Hilary enjoy a comforting Avgolemono Soup 13

Main Dishes 15

Catherine Oliphant speaks of the bay leaf for her Boeuf À La Mode 18

… and Basil Branche reflects on one in a Boeuf Bourguignon 19

Belinda Bede prepares dinner for the Archdeacon and considers curates and chicken; Mrs. Bone speaks of "The Dominion of the Birds"; Leonora Eyre also serves "poulet" Chicken with Tarragon 22

Poulet Minerva 23

… and Letty partakes of one of Father Lydell's favourite chicken dishes Poulet Niçoise 24

Belinda Bede speculates on Archdeacon Hoccleve's Judgment Day meal Duck With Olives 25

Rupert Stonebird and Dulcie Mainwaring reflect (very differently) on roasts Roast Dijon Lamb 26

Graham Pettifer has high expectations of Emma Howick, perhaps thinking of Pork Chops with Apple 28

Pork or Veal Fillet with Peppers and Tomatoes 29

Mark and Sophia Ainger discuss the proper wine to serve with what might have been Beef Casserole with Lentils 31

Rupert Stonebird has an experience with Oxtail 32

Leonora and the Italian Conte enjoy Steak and Kidney Pudding 33

Adam Prince remembers the recipe for Sole Nantua, but Dulcie Mainwaring Jails to recall Turbot, Halibut, or Sole Dugléré 35

Wilmet Forsyth imagines Wilf Bason preparing Sole Véronique 36

Mildred Lathbury partakes humbly of Cod Fillets with Cheese 37

At the vicarage, Wilf Bason creates a Souffle Fish Pie 38

A good accompaniment to any main dish is Pommes Anna 40

Lunch And Supper Dishes 41

Mildred Lathbury, Emma Howick, and Norman from Quartet in Autumn all make good use of eggs Pipérade 44

…and Letty is convinced to order Oeufs Florentine 45

Belinda Bede serves Miss Prior an unsuccessful cauliflower cheese Pain De Chou-Fleur 46

Jane Cleveland and Edwin have mixed reactions to Shepherd's Pie 47

Emma Howick realizes that the Greek version of that dish is Moussaka 49

Another Greek favourite in the Pym household was Keftedhes 51

The fish fingers that Phoebe Sharpe imagines the vicar will dine on might be less acceptable to her than Curried Fish Cakes 52

Frequent comment is made on Toad-in-the-Hole 54

Spaghetti is the food under discussion in A Few Green Leaves and in An Unsuitable Attachment, where Penelope Grandison has prepared what may have been Spaghetti Bolognese 56

Catherine Oliphant and Beatrice prepare Risotto 57

Mervyn Cantre11 introduces the subject of Italian food Gnocchi Alla Romana 60

Venetian Pancakes 61

Adam Prince considers the authenticity of a celery sauce Ham And Celery Au Gratin 64

… and Emma Howick wonders how he will respond to her French Onion Tart 65

In An Unsuitable Attachment, Ianthe Broome is credited for her Sausage Rolls 66

Tea 67

The "golden rules of tea making" are surely followed at Flora Cleveland s tea, where she serves Victoria Sandwich Cake 71

Emma Howick wins a bag of Rock Buns 73

Father Anstruther ruminates on Fairy Cakes 74

Humphrey Boyce offers Leonora a slice of Date and Walnut Loaf 75

… and imagines her partaking of scones Sultana Scones 76

Wholemeal Scones 77

Sister Dew provides an excellent Plum Cake 79

Mrs. Killigrew's imminent arrival prompts a search for, perhaps, a Parkin Cake 81

Barbara often made Plum Jam 82

… and she recalls a glorious tea with Lord David Cecil

Puddings and Desserts 85

Viola Dace and Dulcie Mainwaring discuss marmalade; Barbara offers her own recipe for Cheesecake 88

Miss Lord polishes glasses in which to serve Orange Mousse 89

Piers Longridge exclaims in horror over a custard-based dessert Poires Religieuses 90

Rodney Forsyth and James Cash discuss the appropriate wine to accompany Gooseberry Pie 92

"Tried Favourites" 93

… taking its title from a cookery book "by turns practical and didactic, m and also used by Belinda Bede Barbara's "strange fancies" during the war Rabbit with Forcemeat Balls 96

Irish Stew 98

Kedgeree 99

Steamed Apple Pudding 100

Railway Pudding 101

Trifle 102

Irena Pym's Queen of Puddings 103

The dish that so dismayed Mildred Lathbury when she dined on Mrs. Jubb's cooking at the vicarage "An Improved" blancmange Baked Custard Pudding 105

Irena Pym's "Gertrude" Cake 106

Belinda Bede imagined just such a Mocha Cake 107

Summer Pudding 108

Treacle Tart 109

Baked Apples with Mincemeat 110

"A Favourite Nursery Delight" 111


·       Readers of twentieth-century literary fiction
·       Fans of English domestic dramas
·       Jane Austen fans looking for more contemporary reads

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