As well as her books on the first world war, Lyn Macdonald wrote two great cook books: How to Be a Supercook and Work As Well (1976) and French Cooking Without Tears (1979). I constantly go back to the first to use her ideas – from the “eight-chicken trick” to sauces and “swish fish dishes” – or just to read her witty prose.
As for desserts, who could resist her simple and effective Juicy French Tarts or That Gorgeous Pud? I made it for our wedding buffet, and have many times since.
While on the trail of my grandfather’s first world war story in the early 1980s I experienced the extraordinary enthusiasm and knowledge possessed by Lyn Macdonald on a visit to the battlefields around Ypres. As tour leader she read the landscape, related it to the military action and empathised with the soldiers whose graves we visited.