Wednesday, 27 January 2010

The chalet girls cook book

Regular readers will know my fondness for Chalet School books and my delight in Girls Gone By Publishers who republish them and have made available the titles which are more difficult to get home of, or which were heavily abridged when they were brought out in paperback.

It had escaped my attention that they had republished The chalet girls cook book, but shortly before Christmas I stumbled on it, and it finally arrived last week.

The book was originally a compilation of recipes which appeared in the Chalet Books for Girls (a sort of Chalet School annual that appeared three times). Rather than being a straightforward recipe book, it is set shortly after Frieda, Joey, Maria and Simone have left school, and features plenty of chat between the girls about various aspects of food and cookery. The recipes are broadly divided into sections - meat, fish, vegetables, cheese, eggs, desserts - and the girls bring together an explanation of a wide variety of recipes from English, Austrian, German and French culture.

I wouldn't recommend this as a cookery book at all, but if you enjoy Chalet School books then this is a must-have for your collection. The recipes are at best somewhat sketchy and rarely give quantities or cooking times. The GGBP edition has the wonderful addition of a chapter at the end where two of the editors test the recipes for modern cooks, with mixed results!


  1. Sounds lovely for a collector like yourself but not exactly practical! I'm so pleased that you tracked down a copy. I do love Girls Gone By.

  2. I love Chalet School books too! How many do you have? I would love to have more, and last year started to gather a few more, but had to rein myself in because of lack of space/funds... but at some point will definitely begin again. And the Girls Gone By Publishers copies are so lovely....

  3. I never read the Chalet books but I managed to mooch 2 from bookmooch. I've since found out that they're the abridged versions though so I haven't read them yet. Still keeping my eye out for an original.

  4. I saw oodles of the Chalet Schools books when I was at the Foyles on Charing Cross Road this past summer, and I wanted to buy alllll of them. I wish they were available in the States!

  5. Oh my. I think I've just found the perfect birthday present for a friend.

  6. I have been reading and collecting Chalet School books for 50 years - well, there was a 25 year gap in the middle! GGBP are doing a wonderful job of publishing these unabridged and with all sorts of delightful extras - introductions, publishing histories, etc. And do be tempted by some of their other authors - Monica Edwards, Dorita Fairlie Bruce, Violet Needham. In each case books that are well over £100 on the second hand market have been published in lovely editions by GGBP.

  7. Claire - definitely a collector's item only!

    Escaping - I have a full set but in many different editions - see my post in August last year.

    Mrs B - the abridgements are frustrating but they don't detract from the books. I'd start with the early ones if you can find them.

    Jenny - I drooled over the ones in Foyles last year too.

    Makedo - I'd love to have had this for my brithday!

    Ann - I am such a big fan of GGBP, and have a few of their other authors. I love the extra information they pack in.

  8. I would have it for the charm alone! The guesswork would be a bit of a challenge though.

  9. Yes, I keep meaning to buy this. Judging from the many cooking disasters in the Chalet series, I'm not surprised the recipes are best kept for entertainment value only!!


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