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First, Catch Your Weka

'First catch your Weka', the explorer Charles Heaphy advised in 1842, then stuff it with sage and onion and roast it on a stick. In that simple way began a great tradition of New Zealand cooking, from Heaphy to the Edmonds Cookery Book, Alison Holst, Hudson and Halls, and the meal on your plate today. In this book, David Veart tells the story of what New Zealanders cooked through the recipes we used. Analysing the crusty deposits and grubby thumb prints on a century and a half of cook books, Veart chronicles the extraordinary foods that we have loved: from boiled calf's head to the Bill Rowling cake, Irish famine soup to tinned kidneys with mushrooms. First Catch your Weka illuminates the basic elements that make New Zealand cooking distinctive and reveals how our cuisine and our culture have changed. Throughout that history, Veart finds a people who frequently first liked to catch their weka - building a meal out of oysters taken from the rocks, vegetables from the garden and a lamb from the neighbouring farm. By telling the history of what we ate, First Catch your Weka tells us a great deal about who we have been.
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Table of Contents

Contents include: Cookbooks Brought from Home -- Chapter 2. Food of the First Necessity, Our Daily Bread -- Chapter 3. The Cookbooks of Empire, The Later 19th Century -- Chapter 4. Bottling -- Chapter 5. Cooking for Ourselves, 1900-1920 -- Chapter 6. Sweet Teeth -- Chapter 7. The Electrified Cult of Domesticity, The 1920s -- Chapter 8. Handy Hints for the Household Manager -- Chapter 9. Hard Times Meet Hollywood and Health food, The 1930s -- Chapter 10. The Cookbook goes to War, 1939-45 -- Chapter 11. Dining with the Women's Institute -- Chapter 12. Beaming Housewives and the Meals Men Prefer, The 1940s and 1950s -- Chapter 13. History in the Baking: Commemorative Cookery -- Chapter 14. Flash and Foreign and The Arrival of the TV Cook, The 1960s -- Chapter 15. Festival Food -- Chapter 16. Test Kitchens and Gin Soaked Salads, The 1970s.

About the Author

Aucklander David Veart is a DoC Historian and Archaeologist and an expert in the history of North Head, Mangere Mountain and islands of the Hauraki Gulf who regularly conducts public guided walks of, particularly, the forts of North Head. He has written scripts and narrated interpretative films exploring the history of some of those places. A member of the Auckland Heritage Committee of the Institute of Professional Engineers, he is also, somewhat unexpectedly, an expert in New Zealand's culinary history and a lover of cooking and recipes. He owns a large collection of cook books and has presented at conferences on aspects of culinary history.


"The first thing you want to do when you hold this big beautiful book in your hands is to riffle through it, looking at the astonishing photographs, running your tongue over the recipes and stopping to read whatever catches your eye." --New Zealand Books Finalist, 2009 NZSA E H McCormick Award for Best First Book of Non-Fiction Finalist, History, 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards Finalist, 2009 NZSA E H McCormick Award for Best First Book of Non-Fiction Finalist, History, 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards

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