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Elaine Lemm

150 Years Later - Mrs Beeton Still Rules

By July 11, 2008

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Mrs Beeton
Elaine Lemm and Gilli Cliff
150 years may have gone by since Mrs Beeton penned her famous book, Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, but its relevance today is surprising.

This week I worked at the 150th Great Yorkshire Show which this year was visited by the Queen. One role I had at the show was a cookery demonstration in the Great Yorkshire Cookery Theatre alongside fellow food writer Gilli Cliff cooking recipes from the great book.

Alongside the cooking we read passages from the book; Mrs Beeton extolling the virtues of buying local, seasonal food - a very modern message - her views on the running of a household and one pertinent passage on not wasting food which was almost word for word what Prime Minister Gordon Brown had to say on the matter in the press this week.

If you want to see and hear more of what Gilli and I were talking about, watch a short video from the show.

More about Mrs Beeton's Book

Based on one of Mrs Beeton's Recipes

Photo courtesy of Sam Atkins

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July 11, 2008 at 9:40 am
(1) Rain says:


It always amazes me when I find out that the most basic of rules still apply. Not wasting food, for one, should be timeless, no matter what kind of expendable incomes we have.

I think that people in America are starting to realize this as they take a look at wasteful habits like SUV driving and throw-away storage containers.

July 11, 2008 at 1:30 pm
(2) Lisa says:

Elaine…Not Bo Peep…You look like more like Miss Melanie in Gone With the Wind. The girl Ashley chose over Scarlett, because she was much more demure and ladylike.

July 12, 2008 at 1:56 am
(3) Jennifer says:

It’s always good to know that we’re doing something the right way. :-)

July 12, 2008 at 10:07 am
(4) Deb says:

Oh wow! I am SO excited about your rhubarb jelly recipe. It’s printing as I write. I love rhubarb and am always looking for great new recipes that don’t include strawberries. This rocks!

On a more sedate note…Tim and I built raised beds this spring and are learning to grow as much of our own food as we can. I could use Mrs. Beeton’s book!

July 12, 2008 at 5:51 pm
(5) Randall says:

Great photo! It recalls much more romantic times.

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