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Dirty books - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
Dirty books
Stains on the pages show how much we love Delia.
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nou From: nou Date: March 26th, 2004 01:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Delia's one of my favourite cookery writers, though I don't own any of her books - I just read other people's copies, since pretty much everyone has at least one. I visit her website most days to check out the recipe of the day. Some people find her writing style patronising, but I don't mind having all the steps spelled out for me. I mean, I can skim a paragraph, see "oh, I have to melt some chocolate, OK", and then go and do it in the microwave like I always do.

And her recipes work as written. Far too many published writers' don't. I went off my Leith's Cookery Bible completely after I tried a sourdough recipe from it and it didn't work at all. If I - with a decade and a half's cooking experience - follow a fairly simple recipe exactly and it fails, that ain't my fault. I don't trust that book now. That doesn't mean I don't use it, but I won't use it to learn from.

I think my most stained cookbooks are my Madhur Jaffrey ones. My one and only Nigella Lawson one is pristine.

ewx From: ewx Date: March 26th, 2004 01:36 am (UTC) (Link)

My one and only Nigella Lawson one is pristine.

j4 From: j4 Date: March 26th, 2004 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)
I think Delia's recipes are well-written, but I don't like them. I just find them really fussy -- there's too much stuff in them, and I just don't have the energy to cook complicated things. Those which I have done have come out okay -- not brilliant, but that's because I'm crap -- but they've been so much effort.

I think actually I'm just too lazy to be a good cook.

Delia's the Charlotte Bronté of cookery, I think. At the moment I don't have the attention span to read Vilette, wonderful though it is. I quite like Jamie Oliver (so long as I can read him and I don't have to hear him), who's sort of more the Colin Bateman of cookery. I want to find somebody who's the Raymond Chandler of cookery, please.

Nigella's recipes (and Nigella herself!) are gorgeous on the telly, and they always look easy, but I've never tried to cook from her recipe books.

If I - with a decade and a half's cooking experience - follow a fairly simple recipe exactly and it fails, that ain't my fault.

You're lucky to have that assurance. If I follow a recipe exactly and it fails, I've often absolutely no idea whether the recipe is broken or I'm just too stupid to be able to make it work.

Cake recipes are easier. I've never completely messed up a cake recipe. Must make more cake.
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: March 26th, 2004 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll give it a go. I think I've got a Penguin 60s of her, that'll do as a taster.

I did read Kitchen Confidential in bed, and then lay there and fantasised about eating. But I don't think that counts.
From: vatine Date: March 26th, 2004 04:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Hrm, my only cookery books are the four-volume "The princesses' cook book" (published in Sweden, sometime 1930-1940, IIRC). One of the volumes has actually been in the kitchen (recipe 994, "salted cucumber"). I guess I should explore the possibilities of Delia, Nigella or possibly Jamie (though after having seen Delia on the telly, she seems to skip as much steps as anyone else; best "beginner's cookbook" I've seen in that respect was called something like "the student's cookbook", started by explaining how to boil water and tell it was boiling).
d_floorlandmine From: d_floorlandmine Date: March 26th, 2004 05:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Hang on ... [sproink] (sound of world shrinkage) ... just give me a sec to re-adjust. Thanks. I'm OK now.
juggzy From: juggzy Date: March 26th, 2004 11:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll also go with the Madhur being the most stained. But I suspect that might be something to do with the number of recipes that contained cooked, peeled and then blended tomatoes.
ewx From: ewx Date: March 26th, 2004 01:35 am (UTC) (Link)
So you want cookbook fame, write down a lot of incredibly messy and splattery recipes...
bellinghman From: bellinghman Date: March 26th, 2004 02:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Fnarr fnarr

Oh, food stains.
jvvw From: jvvw Date: March 26th, 2004 05:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Delia Smith recipes never seem to work that well for me. I've probably tried a dozen or so of them in my time and they've always been a bit disappointing. I really don't understand the fuss about them.

There is one Nigella Lawson recipe from How To Eat that I cook regularly with the magic combination of lime and thai fish sauce (that I've seen in lots of recipes elsewhere since admittedly) but most of her recipes are either not the type of thing you cook just for yourself on a week night or aren't vegetarian.

d_floorlandmine From: d_floorlandmine Date: March 26th, 2004 05:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Ten points for a suggestive title ... [grin]
addedentry From: addedentry Date: March 26th, 2004 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)
I do love your idea of leaving The Topping Book in the kitchen.
j4 From: j4 Date: March 26th, 2004 06:51 am (UTC) (Link)
nou's idea, not mine!
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: March 26th, 2004 01:27 pm (UTC) (Link)


The place looked like a slaughterhouse. Dripping blood everywhere; but no, Maxie had forgotten to put the lid on the blender when he was making the passata. That's thick tomato sauce, if you're a kitchen ignoramus like me. I looked around: no Maxie. There was a smell of browning flesh and a size 9 cook's knife missing along with the chopping board and at least a pound of carrots: I reckoned bolognaise was in the offing. I took a couple of steps into the room and wham, the floor came up to hit me.

Goddam tomato sauce. Maxie never could use a mop like a pro.
Read 14 | Write