Students and academics from the University of Warwick, working with the Vice-Chancellor’s wife Lynda Thrift, have put together a cookery book as a part of the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations, Simple Scoff: The Anniversary Edition. The book offers cheap, simple recipes and cooking tips from around the university. It also features illustrations and poems by former students and staff such as BBC media correspondent Torin Douglas.
The cookery book will be given out free to new students joining the university this year as a part of their welcome packs. It is hoped the books will help students to eat healthily whilst living away from home, in some cases for the first time.
The book, put together by Rebecca Earle of the University’s History department, updates Simple Scoff, an innovative cookbook first published in 1972 by the University of Warwick Student Union and Lady Doris Butterworth, the wife of the University’s first Vice-Chancellor. Simple Scoff consisted of recipes and cooking advice contributed by students and other members of the university community, aimed explicitly at students.
Nearly 50 years after ‘Simple Scoff’ was published, culinary tastes have moved on. Garlic is no longer regarded with suspicion, and spices are easily accessible. The recipes in Simple Scoff: The Anniversary Edition showcase a range of ingredients virtually unimaginable on the 1972 Warwick campus: za’atar, crème fraîche, Korean rice cakes, chia seeds and fresh ginger. Garlic is deployed without trepidation. White sauce has more or less disappeared, replaced by dhals, spicy tomato-chilli blends and feta cheese. Changes in eating habits are further reflected with more than half of the recipes being vegetarian or vegan.
The new Simple Scoff reflects both the transformation in eating habits in the half-century since the founding of the University of Warwick, and also the commitment to the life-affirming qualities of honest, tasty food that underpinned the original Simple Scoff.
To launch the book, a live cooking demonstration of the recipes will take place at the ‘Festival of Imagination’ on 17 October 2015 at 18:45 in the Studio of Warwick Arts Centre. Copies will be on sale in the University bookshop too, with profits going towards the Warwick in Africa / Warwick in India projects.
Lynda Thrift, wife of the Vice-Chancellor at the University of Warwick said,
“I am delighted to be associated with such a creative collection of delicious ideas. That they are straightforward and cheap makes them all the more attractive. My dinner parties will never be the same again! It’s fantastic that the books will be available for the wider University of Warwick community to enjoy and that the money from sales will go towards two of our important outreach projects.”
Rebecca Noble, PhD student at the University of Warwick Centre for the History of Medicine said,
“A Warwick cook book creates a fantastic incentive for students to take time to do something nourishing and creative, for themselves and each other, inspired by the eclectic tastes of their peers. As a book written by students for students, it reflects our community and is certainly not your ordinary student cookbook!”
Professor Rebecca Earle, Editor of Simple Scoff: The Anniversary Edition said, “The cookbook captures something of the diversity and vibrancy of today’s Britain—there are instructions for everything from flapjacks to Thai curry, raw-food pizzas as well as caramel chocolate-chip brownies. Most of all, the recipes are delicious!”
To order a copy of Simple Scoff: The Anniversary Edition please visit: our bookshop online.
To experience live cookery demonstrations of the recipes please visit: The Festival of Imagination.