My Nanna was a bespoke tailoress. She has tried to teach me to sew and knit over the years but I seem to have haberdasher's dyslexia. I miss stitches, misunderstand patterns, forget crucial knots and stages... These days, this is as close to sewing as I get and my are they things of beauty. Dainty button-shaped biscuits, zesty, pretty, rich and beautiful.
The book is broken down into different ingredient sections with everything from marmite to cola & lemonade getting its own time in the spotlight. Sections that you might think would be all savoury or sweet contain a mixture of both showing how inventive you can be with everyday recipes. The Cream Cheese section is especially brilliant.
The men in white coats took 100 recipes from the most popular celebrity cookbooks and laid them alongside 100 randomly selected brand name ready meals, then went to town on them with their slide rules. The conclusion to this culinary Pepsi Challenge was that on almost all nutritional counts, from fat to fibre and everything in between, the ready meals came out on top.
Sud de France is as much a foodie travelog as it is a cookbook, there are lots of notes about the region which is wonderfully written and interesting to read. The familiarity that Conran has with this area of France shines through, the insight is thorough and while reading you feel that you have seen and tasted the area.
There is a really sensible progression through the cookbook so that you 'learn' as you go along. A lot of the recipes need a good bit of prep work but there are enough that can be made quickly when you need a sugar hit. Also while many of the ideas are complicated or require practiced skills they are well explained and worth trying out.
The Medicinal Chef has some really tasty recipes and the ideas behind Pinnock's way of eating is both exciting and easy to use. The idea is not to replace medicine but to help the body, make you stronger and compliment any pharmacological medication. A balance of diet, lifestyle and medication rather than going for all-or-nothing.