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Free Book Friday is Back!

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Today’s Free Book is:

The Cookery Book by Margaret Powell

ISBN 9781250029263, Hardcover

In the national bestseller Below Stairs, Margaret Powell told readers what it was really like to work in the great houses of England. In Margaret Powell’s Cookery Book, she gives readers a closer look at the world inside the vast kitchens of these great houses. It’s an eye-opening and mouthwatering snapshot of that world. The upstairs dining room always demanded the best of Continental cuisine and, cooking downstairs, Margaret Powell obliged. 

Her cookery book is a firsthand account of the way people cooked and dined in the early twentieth century when houses like those in “Upstairs, Downstairs” and “Downton Abbey” were fully staffed and running like clockwork. Describing kitchen equipment such as the black ranges that had to be shined daily, the fancy moulds that needed screen covers to keep out the flies and tubs of ice that were used instead of refrigerators, she tells readers just how big a job it was to keep the upstairs dining table abundantly filled. 

Giving away the secrets of the manor, she presents more than 500 recipes, from the simple to the sophisticated. Divided into chapters such as Hors d’oeuvre, Soups, Fish, Entrees, Roasts and Meat Dishes , Savouries, Puddings and others, she shows readers today what it was like to eat well, if you were a member of England’s upper class.  Classic, but simple, dishes such as Shepherd’s Pie and Roast Chicken Stuffed with Herbs alternate with sophisticated fare and long-lost recipes like Potatoes a la Florence, Rabbit Pilau, Compote of Snipe, Sardines a la Bombay and Queen Mab Pudding. 

With her trademark wit and gimlet eye, she tells readers what it was like to cook for her “betters” but she also states one thing proudly–“Food is more than just food. I like it to be prepared and cooked well, and I like trouble taken over it.” Behind every well-fed family like the Crawleys of “Downton Abbey” or the Bellamys of “Upstairs, Downstairs” was a cook like Margaret Powell and, now, she invites readers everywhere to the feast.

We will choose a winner at random from comments we receive here on the Blog from PBS members.

You have until Sunday, May 22, 2016 at 12 noon EDT, to leave a comment.

Good Luck to everyone!



Note: All the books given away on Free Book Friday are available in the PBS Market. We have thousands of new and new overstock titles available right now, with more added hourly. Some of the prices are amazing – and you can use a PBS credit to make the deal even better!

Remember, every new book purchase supports the club and helps keep membership free!


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102 Responses to “Free Book Friday is Back!”

  1. MSCOZY says:

    I would dearly love a copy. Thank you.

  2. Terri R. (emeraldmagick) says:

    sounds interesting

  3. Wendy P. (wpoohd) says:

    Sounds interesting

  4. Jodi (flfraidycat) says:

    What a “tasty” book offering!

  5. Katie B. (katieb) says:

    Thanks for the chance to win this interesting book!

  6. Eileen S. (leenyri) says:

    Thank you!

  7. Debbie (deb3009) says:

    Cool Book!

  8. Sherrie M. (bookjunkiescafe) says:

    I love cooking

  9. Jessica L. (eveningstar) says:

    Oooh, this looks like an interesting read! One you could “devour” (see what I did there?).

  10. Sharon T. (r801) says:

    Thanks to who posted this in the discussions forum…..have never noticed. How fun!

  11. Mary G. says:

    Sounds like a great book, combining cultural history with actual recipes…especially since the author actually experienced cooking for the upper class.

  12. Sahra P. (speshialty) says:

    This book sounds delectable! I love reading about cooking and baking as much as I do enjoy trying new recipes.
    It will be great to get a glimpse of history as well.

  13. Dianne P. (freebird1985) says:

    What insight to history…and food!

  14. Briana says:


  15. joannajean , says:

    This would be so lovely to have! Thank you.

  16. Christy (cmcnurse) says:

    Better than the “Reader’s Digest,” to be sure. A recipe for some happy fun! 🙂

  17. brooklyn11218 says:

    I love contests

  18. Stacey C. says:

    While raising 7 children and only cooking from scratch I have always been interested in the history of recipes and what family dishes were prepared during the different times. Would love this book for several reasons and I know the recipes would come in handy for our big family dinners. Thanks for the fun of Free Book Friday!

  19. Audrey D. (sunshine82) says:

    Sounds like it would be an interesting book.

  20. Laura G. (summersoff) says:

    Might be an interesting read.

  21. Flobee says:

    Would love this book since all of my cookbooks are in storage

  22. Tibben says:

    Would love to read this book!

  23. Jim F. (autonomedia) says:

    Looks good!

  24. Carri B. (bozcr) says:

    My two favorite things: cooking and reading!!

  25. Dana J. (flyergal82) says:

    Sounds interesting

  26. Diana P. says:


  27. Cheryl C. says:

    Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to win this book.

  28. Susan D. (mom2nine) says:

    I cook for a houseful and could put this to good use

  29. anitamobooks says:

    Sounds yummy!

  30. Heather P. (pitbullnebula) says:

    Thanks for the chance to win this interesting book!

  31. What a fantastic way to have a fabulous Friday!! Thank you to PBS for such an amazing gift! You keep readers enthusiastic, connected and have literally kept the stories passed on through generations and time zones. This book is written as if it is for a best friend, all the secrets reveled and leaving nothing left to the imagination. I love to read these because of the brutal honesty and no nonsense approach. This book with all the recipes will make for a wonderful read, and a kitchen challenge!!!

  32. Betty V. (bettyv) says:

    I love to “window shop” through a cook book…The recipes, picture presentations and tidbits of information take me away to another wonderful place & time from right here in my own home!

  33. Judy P. says:

    Oh Yum! I love cooking and recipes as well as history and early England. Hope you pick me!

  34. Diana P. says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to win such a nice book. I’ve been reading the reviews on it and I would love to have it.

  35. Cherie J. says:

    Sounds like a fun book to read and then try some of the recipes. Thanks for the giveaway.

  36. Michelle R. (rockergal) says:

    Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance to win!

  37. Toni D. (pittiemom) says:

    I’d already had this on my “to read” list that I keep – thank you for making it the offering today. I would love to win it!

  38. Jill says:

    Thanks for offering these giveaways. I’ve read “Below Stairs,” and would enjoy the chance to read another book by Margaret Powell.

  39. Jennifer K. says:

    Looks interesting!

  40. Joanne K. , says:

    Oooh, would love to win this for my mom! Thanks PBS.

  41. Joyner H. says:

    As a huge fan of Downton Abbey and cooking, this sounds like a fantastic book!

  42. I have studied antique cooking methods and dishes for over 20 years. I would really love this as part of my collection.

  43. Erin M. says:

    I am really excited about this read!

  44. Norma M. (virgo) says:

    I would love to have this book because my husband is the cook in my house and he collects cookbooks. This might just get me something totally different to eat in a meal or anything. He is always looking for ideas. (I know I am lucky to have a cook for a husband. Sorry everyone doesn’t have. It is wonderful.) Also this would be a nice book for Father’s day.

  45. Mary A. (who) says:

    I just love these kind of cookbooks, about England, their great houses and the foods they eat. Thank you.

  46. Ruth M. (Magnolia) says:

    How fun!!!! Thanks for the opportunity.

  47. Desmond W. (desmond) says:

    Count me in, please!

  48. Cathy A. (cacdesigns) says:

    That would be so cool to see how things were handled in the past, all they traditions. I would love to have this book.

  49. Claudia B. (topeka) says:

    My granddaughter would love this book. We both would enjoy trying the recipes.

  50. Alice T. says:

    I love books that just tell the story of people’s life and the way they lived every day.

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