Originally published in The Times in the early 1920s, these divinely witty and brilliantly observed pieces are still loved today for their warmth and friendly advice and, with their emphasis on fresh, simple, stylish dishes, were years ahead of their time.
On his perilous culinary mission into the kitchen, Hirst proudly seeks to reclaim some of the greatest dishes in modern-day cuisine that we have become bizarrely indifferent to as a nation.
Peppered throughout with the piquant comments and trenchant opinions of Mrs H, acting as a vocal - though not always enthusiastic - participant, Hirst’s lively instruction includes such dining delights as the quintessentially English treat of the pork pie, the history of the humble rhubarb stick and forays into the kitchen to make sticky Seville orange marmalade and grown-up biscuits including dubious amounts of absinthe.
Tackling important questions such as the correct pronunciation of a certain cheesy snack (clearly Welsh rabbit not rarebit), and probing what it was exactly that fascinated our ancestors so much about blancmange (was it the inclusion of meat?), Hirst might not promise perfect results, but guarantees intriguing historical discussion about age-old culinary classics.