Friday 20 December 2013

You only have to ask

I mentioned to Karen of Cornflower Books on her post 
Observation of the Day,
that I had a copy of Plats du Jour inscribed 'Barbara Pym'
and wished aloud that I could find an example 
of her handwriting to see whether it might be her own.
No sooner said than solved.
She very kindly posted pictures taken here  
and I would say that there is not much doubt
that it is by the same hand.

Folded inside the back cover I found this
advertisement for Lily Brand pastas.

Karen says that she was a keen cook
and an adventurous one too I would say,
because in 1957 very few people were seeking out 
authentic pasta, or even knew where it came from.
This brilliant hoax dates from the same year.


  1. Hi Lucille, I have been following your lovely log for a few months now and just wanted to say thanks so much for posting that Panorama clip - I remember watching that in the '70's with my parents and being totally delighted with this 'crop'. How times have changed! We used to only have medicinal olive oil for earache. Merry Christmas!

  2. The joys of the internet! But Barbara Pym goes down in my estimation by spoiling that wonderful cover. Why on earth not write her name on the inside, I wonder.

  3. Wow -- lucky you!

  4. I'm so glad your book was hers!

  5. Lucille, as a Barbara Pym fan, I am so delighted that you now actually own one of her books...and isn't it great to have that pasta page tucked in for good measure.

    Although pasta plays an almost daily role in my supper preparation, I do remember my own 1950's childhood when noodles were very exotic.

    And somehow over here in the States, I did see that April Fool's feature. Classic!


  6. I have that book, in a Persephone edition with out famous embellishment.

    I remember seeing that hoax on TV. My Mother was shocked, she thought it came in little tins emblazoned with the Heinz logo. She was rural Welsh so I think she may be forgiven.

  7. I remember spaghetti being brought back specially from Soho in the late '50s and turned into Spagbol .
    So exotic !

  8. Thanks for sharing the informative video on the spaghetti crops of Switzerland. Who knew?