A Brighton based Author, Playwright, Insatiable Reader, Publisher ....and foodie.
I thought I would re-read my bookshelves, prior to a much needed cull. Keepers or charity shop? Please help me decide. Most of the books are beloved old friends, some are new, and some are waiting to be tasted. Some need to GO.
I am convinced that one day I will be found buried under the toppling pile of books on my bedside table, but tant pis, there are worse ways to go. I blame it on my mother. She was a true bibliophile, teaching me to read when I was four, begging me with tears in her eyes that “It would be so much fun!” She was right. It was.
Some of her books I inherited (apart from the Dickens which she adored and I had, and have, an aversion to) So, I thought I’d start with some of her old friends.
There's something very appealing about making something from nothing. Well, not nothing of course, but very little. I expect one chicken to make at least three meals for two. Roast chicken, chicken and leek pie enlivened with some chestnuts perhaps and maybe a risotto. Then soup. Or at the very least some gorgeously golden home made stock. Or you might want to go the Asian route - chicken with ginger and garlic, or a five spice and pomegranate chicken salad with some fresh mint, the possibilities are pretty endless. Though a keen cook I have remarkably few cookery books in my kitchen. I don't know why really - well I do, I suppose. Sheer laziness on my part. I never have all the ingredients for a recipe , I never measure anything, and frankly, I can't be bothered. But what I do like doing is taking the suggestion of something and making it my own. A book that has been described as 'The Bible' and 'The best friend you can have in the kitchen' (Nigel Slater) is Leiths Meat Bible by Max Clark & Susan Spaull. It's published by Bloomsbury and is a hefty £40, but goodness me, it's worth it. Unless you're a vegetarian, of course. Not only does it have everything in it, but the best bit is that after every recipe it tells you what might have gone a bit Pete Tong and how to remedy it. Oh, and also what wine to drink with it. Boned leg of pork with sour cherry and lime stuffing? Roast suckling pig with coriander? Smoked woodcock with broad bean salad? Navarin of lamb? Osso Bucco? Glazed lamb tongues with creamed puy lentils? Pas de problem.... It also tells you how to buy, store, bone, carve and nosh away till your buttons burst.... Beautifully laid out, great photos (but not too many) and top tips. An all round winner. Now, where's my carving knife?