The Eating in Bed Cookbook

by Barbara Ninde Byfield

The Eating in Bed Cookbook by Barbara Nine Byfield is a playful approach to vintage cookery. Byfield, responding to the unending happiness she took from eating in bed, wanted to share her thoughts on appropriate foods, preparations and consuming methods that make the experience enjoyable.  

To do so, she illustrates the need for comfort foods— flavors that are rich and satisfying and combinations which initially do not appear to work but are in fact delicious. The contents of her book parallels Byfield’s preliminary identification: throughout the book, prominent ingredients like butter, cheeses, umami meats and chocolate are common. 

However, Byfield is aware that comfort foods are often time-consuming to prepare and require organization. As such, many of the recipes are pared down, requiring only a few ingredients, while others instruct the reader to make a salad or sandwich, which need minimal cooking time.

Finally, Byfield recognizes that, if one is eating in bed, the consumption of food will most likely take place lying down. Finger foods or one-bowl meals are favorable in these conditions, which determines a large number of the final recipes within the book: foods that are easily eaten for ease of comfort.

This cookbook was a delight to read, and the care taken to the witty illustrations make this vintage book a must for all lovers of traditional recipes!

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