When I was a little girl I learned to cook alongside my Mum. Our favourite basic recipes generally came from a small, slim, unprepossessing cook book called the Be-Ro book.

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The Be-Ro company was founded in the 1880s and was originally ‘Bell’s Royal’, a grocery company specialising in flour and raising agents. After the death of Edawrd VII it became illegal to use the ‘royal’ name so the company became the snappily title ‘Be-Ro’ company. In the 1920s the company introduced self-raising flour and did a series of demonstrations using new recipes to demonstrate it.

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Customers asked for the recipes and the Be-Ro book was born. It has produced over 40 editions of its cookbook to date and one made its way into my stocking not long after I left home, so I could keep making our favourite dishes. I’m proud to say it already has several pages stuck together where a careless cook has spilt ingredients on to its pages during many uses, and before long I shall have to send for an updated copy from the website (www.be-or.co.uk).

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I know it’s something I’ll use throughout my life and hopefully pass on to future generations. Thomas Bell and your Be-Ro books – we salute you!

It is with a clumsy hand I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

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