In the kitchen of yesteryear!
The Nyasaland Cookery Book and Household Guide was first compiled by the doughty ladies of the Nyasaland Council of Women, just after the Second World War.
Nyasaland was still a Protectorate and the mores and behaviour of British colonial Africa were applied in the kitchen as elsewhere. That battleground, with its protagonists, the colonial madams, invariably natives of Britain and far from home, and the ‘cookboys’ of Nyasaland who were expected to comply immediately with biddings in Chinyanja seldom understood, relied heavily on tolerance and intuition for peaceful resolution.
The Household Guide puts forward the solutions of the day to domestic threats and problems, some of which now seem comic and outdated. They will bring, in their very boldness, a wry smile to the ladies, of all races, who have tried so hard, so often, to introduce a modern domestic cuisine to the cooks of Malawi today.
The actual recipes vary form the humdrum to many really inventive creations using locally available foodstuffs – a range which must even then have seemed a cornucopia for the housewife – after the shortages of wartime Britain.
Re-issued as a facsimile reprint by Central Africana Limited with a new introduction by gourmet bookman Arne Schaefer and a cover illustration on the perils of the colonial kitchen by Tony Grogan.