I almost bought How To Cheat At Cooking, Delia’s new book today. I picked it up in the supermarket and it was the first opportunity I had had to look inside. In fact it is a really lovely book, the feel of it, the style of it and the colour of it, all appeals to me. The photography is lovely and the type of food is just what I like. The book did get as far as the check-out in my trolley before I managed to abandon it, but it was a tussle. I feel that the only way to form a rational opinion about the book is to buy it and if it wasn’t Delia I wouldn’t care.
I did try to have a quick look at the recipes and noticed a quiche that you assemble using amongst other things, ready-cooked bacon pieces. That must save you all of ten valuable minutes. I can hear the complaints now from the quick-fix generation, that they have to wait 30 minutes for the quiche to cook. Perhaps a sandwich would be quicker. Can you buy ready buttered bread? Actually did you know that you can use mayonnaise from a jar instead of making it yourself? I didn’t read that in the book but thought of it all by myself.
How To Cheat At Cooking would make a good all round, day to day recipe book if only it told you the how not-to-cheat recipe alongside the ‘how to cheat’ version. In fact I don’t really understand why they didn’t arrange the format in that way because then everyone would have been happy. Of course like most people, I am capable of making the conversion myself but presumably the people who the book is aimed at aren’t able to do this the other way round.
This week I found my old copy of ‘Frugal Food’, Delia’s book from 1976. I think we are all allowed to change our minds over the years but I couldn’t help noticing her statement that ‘ instant foods cost a fortune’. An excerpt from the book: ‘Actually I’m not so sure that all this time-saving really does save time. I once watched a lady standing in a long check-out queue with just a large bag of frozen brussels sprouts (they were at the time 30 per cent dearer than the fresh ones). She was In the queue for a good 10 or 12 minutes; she could, had she wished, have sat in her own kitchen and peeled fresh brussels sprouts in the same time.’
Obviously before online shopping.
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