(As an aside: seriously Mister Mayor, "the geiger counter of olympomania is going to go zoink..." What? What? I can't even... no I'm speechless. Two words: statesmanship lessons.)
But mostly I've woken up with a fever and a throat, on a beautiful day, which makes me cross. In an effort to do something more productive than crawling back into bed, I thought I'd join in with delicious Dom and his Random Recipe challenge. As something a little different this month, Dom has asked us all to photograph and tell a little story about our cookbooks.
|the usual suspects|
Since my collection is streamlined to just twenty titles (due to severe cutbacks in April) I thought I'd give you a one or two line review of each. As any tabloid journalist worth their salt knows, brevity is a tough challenge. So, deep breath, here goes (from left to right):
*N.B. if you have any of these books and can recommend recipes that I may not have tried, please leave in a comment, I've got nothing in for dinner yet...
|shelf next to the end of the sofa, where I do the weekly menu planning, sometimes, when I'm organised enough|
1. The Big Book of Backyard Cooking
Never used it. No idea why it made the cut. (Oh yes I do, gift from mother-in-law.)
2. New Recipes for your Slo-Cooker
Everything tastes the same in my slo-cooker, I call it essence eau d'slo. No idea why it made the cut.
3. Jamie's Ministry of Food
Disappointing. Some of the recipes just aren't tasty enough. Perhaps I'm not the target audience.
4. How to Eat
Worst design and structure of any cookbook ever, end of. But comes in handy sometimes (though I can't remember the last time).
5. River Cafe Cookbook Easy
Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers
Nice layout, love the broad bean soup, and the chocolate nemesis was intriguing. Should probably use this one more.
6. Jamie's 30-Minute Meals
Should really be called 60-minute meals, but that aside I love the food in this book. Off the top of my head highlights include: Pregnant Jools pasta, tomato soup, chicken pie, mango frozen yoghurt, sticky prune puddings - I make these and others all the time. Lowlights: cauliflower macaroni, beef hash
Classic Italian arranged month-by-month. Lovely, look at it all the time. Never use it.
8. The Naked Chef
My husband makes the best risotto thanks to this book. It also gave me the joy of 'The most perfect steamed & roasted duck with honey & oyster sauce' during last October's Random recipe challenge. Carnivores: you need this quacker in your life.
Epic family cookbook. Love it. Our household highlights: chicken teriyaki, turkey meatballs, tarragon chicken, Vietnamese noodle soup, Mexican lasagne... and many more. Only lowlights so far: BBQ beef mince (I substituted 30ml bourbon for the same quantity of Glenmorangie - BIG mistake!) and the Minetta marrow bones, which this post discusses at length while glossing over the fact that they actually made me puke. Might have been the vino mind you.
10. River Cottage Veg
Beautiful, never use it.
11. Real Food
Highly recommended by everyone, never use it.
12. The Silver Spoon
Italian compendium to end them all, never use it.
13. My childhood kitchen notebook
Has evolved into my plastic files of notes, clippings and deliciousness, where most all of my meals originate. So this one never gets looked at any more which is just as well, my handwriting was feeble and ugly.
14. Jones Dairy Annual 2005
Bizarre book, definitely a gift from my mother-in-law. But contains a fabulous recipe for Nanaimo bars (which I should probably just copy out before giving the book to charity).
15. How to Cook, book one
Useful basics, including a tasty moussaka. Other well-floured pages include a parsnip parmesan bread and a potato cheese bread. Good pastry section too.
16. The food of Singapore
Never used it yet (but only because the Asian food market is the other side of town and I don't have a car).
17. Aussie Women's Weekly: Japanese
Made proper sushi a few times in about 1995.
18. Aussie Women's Weekly: Easy Vietnamese
Gift for my husband on his 21st from a girl he travelled round Vietnam with the summer before we met. Even has a message inscribed in the inside cover. 'nuff said. Never used.
19. Nigella Christmas
Bought in 2009 because I couldn't find her cheaty, speedy, ever-so-slightly chocolatey Christmas cake recipe anywhere on the internet. The Domestic Goddess had the rights to that recipe on lock down that year. But it was worth buying. Beautiful (if slightly irritatingly overstyled) book that really puts you in the Christmas spirit.
20. Cook with Chef Wan
See point 16.
Blimey, and I thought I'd streamlined! Seems I only use 50% of that list with any sort of regularity. I'd love to know what percentage of their shelf inches others honestly reckon they use. Why are cookery books something that we buy, give and hoard in such quantities? With only 20 books, I already have more delicious meal options than there are days in the year, and yet I'm sure I'll be tempted to invest in more at some stage. I bet I'm not alone!
Checkout Belleau Kitchen at the end of the month to delve into the bookshelves of the other RR devotees, I'll be having a good rootle around, for certain!