Bicycles, Bloomers and Great War Rationing Recipes (Hardback)
The Life and Times of Dorothy Peel OBE
Featured in the Mail Online
As featured in the Daily Mail, September 2019: 'A century after Mrs Peel became the paper's food columnist, her great-great-granddaughter reveals... How the Mail's fur-coated cook Mrs Peel turned war-weary wives into domestic goddesses.'
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Dorothy Peel was the Nigella Lawson or Delia Smith of her day during the late Victorian to post-war period. In this book, Vicky Straker explores the social history and cultural background behind Dorothy's creations, and the effect of rationing during the First World War. Dorothy played a key role in creating wartime recipes for householders and was awarded an OBE in 1918 for services to the Ministry of Food. Using extracts from her autobiography, and many other books, we are given a unique insight into the life of Dorothy Peel and a new perspective on the period. Her witty, poignant and informative comments reveal a woman with a genuine social conscience, who was in many ways ahead of her time.
Written in a light and accessible style, the 12 chapters cover aspects of the era revealing how society changed during the First World War, and when rationing put a strain on every kitchen in the country. Many of Dorothy's recipes are featured in their original form, such as the long forgotten Devilled Bananas, and wartime Potato Gateau. Other mouth-watering recipes include Chicken en Casserole, Cheese Pufflets, and some delicious tea-time treats such as Feather Tart and Candied Pears. Vicky Straker has tried and tested recipes from Dorothy's cookery books, and where appropriate amended them to suit modern tastes.
Vicky’s book collates recipes not only from the Daily Mail Cookery Book but from Peel’s entire oeuvre, after she trawled antiquarian booksellers to find more than 20 of her relative’s books.Daily Mail 5/9/19
Author article as featured inThe Lady, December 2017
Informative readThe Great War magazine, May 2017 - reviewed by Mark Marsay
As featured byAntiques Diary, May – June 2017
Vicky Straker introduces us to the Mary Berry of the Great War years - for me, by far the most fascinating part of the book is the recipes, but this is also a hugely entertaining and thoroughly absorbing study of a woman who could have been forgotten were it not for the excellent researches of Vicky. Superb biography, and some really interesting recipes to try!Books Monthly, March 2017 - reviewed by Paul Norman
As featured inDorset Echo
As featured inDorset Magazine
As featured inBlackmore Vale
'There is so much that I really like about the book that it is very hard to pick out just a few items, but I particularly liked mention of The Daily Mail newspaper’s revised fashion headline as the war continued of “What Women Can Do” to help the war effort. Also Vicky’s explanations of Dorothy’s philosophy on life and her down-to-earth, no-nonsense, sympathetic attitude to everything from the way people wore their hair to the trial and death of Oscar Wilde. Had she been alive today, Dorothy would make a wonderful Member of Parliament and a brilliant Prime Minister.Fascinating Facts of WW1 Blog - Lucy
I love this book - it will be read and re-read - and I look forward to trying out all the recipes.'
Read the full book review here!