Culinary Jottings: A Treatise in Thirty Chapters on Reformed Cookery for Anglo-Indian Exiles, based upon Modern English, and Continental Principles, with Thirty Menus for Little Dinners worked out in detail, and An Essay on Our Kitchens in India - Colonel Kenney-Herbert “Wyvern” 1885 - Higginbotham & Co., Madras - Fifth Edition A scarce example of this popular cook book by ‘Wyvern’, expanded and revised from the first edition (’Culinary Jottings for Madras)published seven years earlier. All early editions are scarce because being a working cook book it is prone to all the usual issues that modern cookbooks are also in danger of, combined with the original cheap paper and glues used for its production in Madras.

With numerous chapters including two on ‘
Our Curries’ and ‘Curries and Mulligatunny’, as well as ‘Camp Cookery’, ending with a fascinating essay about the British kitchens of India.

Recipes include helpful hints and advice, for example ‘
Potted Prawnsought to be oftener seen at Madras than they are’ and suggestion son where to purchase the best potted meats, anecdotes (see ‘Mulligatunny’), a complete chapter titled ‘Notes on Curing of Meat’.

Published by legendary Indian book sellers Higginbotham’s, this work and other titles by ‘Wyvern’ ‘swept Higginbotham’s from being just a book establishment into becoming a part of India’s print and publishing history’ [
Bangalore Mirror]
  ‘Interest in India developed steadily during the 19th century... for example Dr R. Riddells manual for cookery, ‘Other books of a similar kind followed, but it could fairly be said that all these were overshadowed by the work of an army officer, Colonel Kenney-Herbert, whose first publications came out under the pen name ‘Wyvern’. Stationed in India, he contributed articles to the Madras Athenaeum and Daily News and then built around this material a book called Culinary Jottings for Madras. This is a splendid volume. The colonel believed in surrounding his recipes with historical material, etymological explanations, amusing anecdotes, and, above all, every detail that seemed relevant to him about the choice and purchase of ingredients as welll as the preparation of the dish itself. He went on to write other cookery books, including a series of the 1890s that began with Fifty Breakfasts and ended with Fifty Dinners – titles which represented another new genre of cookery writing.’ - Oxford Companion to Food.

Provenance: Small bookselelrs label of the Corner Book Shop, New York.

Reference:
Oxford Companion to Food, 284. Allyeh Rizvi, Bangalore Mirror, “Standing Still” Dec 2014.

Octavo (book size 20.1x13.5cm), pp. x [2] 553 [1]. Publisher’s green stamped cloth, lettered and decorated in gilt to spine and front board, brown leaf-patterned endpapers.
  Condition: Very good plus, wear to corners and spine ends, block a little loose, inner rear hinge split, text clean.   Ref: 109848   Price: HK$ 3,800