The Goode Kitchen book review

the Goode KitchenReader Rosemary reminded me of this one for my frugal bookshelf.  The Goode Kitchen was written by the late Shirley Goode to accompany her BBC series of the same name in 1986.

Shirley had a precise and logical approach to saving money in the kitchen, which has barely dated. In fact her ideas for her kitchen decor (open shelves and a mix of charity shop mixed crockery) seems positively on trend . Think shabby chic! She believed in spending more on the essentials, such as some quality knives and pans.

I first read the Goode Kitchen years ago and clearly absorbed this approach to cooking. Shirley can take a lot of the credit for much of my kitchen behaviour now – reusing yogurt pots and margarine pots to freeze soup or store leftovers, keeping old bread bags and making stock from bones and chicken carcasses.

Budgeting is key in the Goode Kitchen

She takes an interesting approach to budgeting that makes me think she was an influence on Jack Monroe, carefully costing her ingredients to easily calculate the price of any meal and adjusting ingredients to always get the best possible value.

The recipes are straightforward, nutritious and tasty. They use ingredients likely to be in most cook’s store cupboards or easy to find in a supermarket. For example, you will find recipes for fish chowder, Somerset rabbit casserole, poor man’s jugged hare (actually made with beef) and pauper’s pottage (a healthy vegetable stew) – great, no frills family food.

It is sadly out of print now but you can still find the odd copy second hand on Amazon, as I did. If you see it at a reasonable price, grab it! (Disclosure – this is my affiliate link. If you do click through and make a purchase I will earn a small commission.)


5 thoughts on “The Goode Kitchen book review

  1. I was late in finding Shirley’s blog – not long before she became ill and was in hospital. She had a most interesting and engaging way of discussing food and its preparation. I bought several of her books. You have reminded me that it’s still worthwhile to visit her blog as it is so well organized.

  2. I had never heard of this lady until I saw one of your followers mention her the other day. I took a look at her blog and read through a few of the old entries. Interesting….as is yours. I follow two blogs in the main -your own and Margaret Powling’s and enjoy both immensely. I also dip into Ilona’s , frugal family and simplyliving31 from time to time. I fully intend starting my own this summer (and hope you will drop in) but I have a couple of time consuming projects on the go at the moment so need to get those out of the way first. Thanks for the ongoing inspiration.

  3. I had not realised Shirley passed away! Her books are currently not available…I had a DELICIOUS fish chowder in Whitby a few weeks ago and cannot find a similar recipe….could you possibly pass hers on to me?

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