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Autumn book round-up

Last week my cold took a turn for the worse and  I took myself to bed for a day or two. I really should have read the signs and taken some rest a few days ago but with lots going on and my sisters 40th at the weekend I didn’t listen to what my body was telling me. I only say this a reminder to those of you who might need to rest too. If you can and you need take some rest. Rest is important. This account has been reminding me of that recently.

While in my bed I’ve finally had the chance to flick through the books I’ve had piled next to my bed and to get excited about cooking from some and reading or re-reading others. Last week was ‘Super Thursday’, the day of the year when the most books are released – it’s a thing in the publishing world. So it felt like a good time to tell you about some of the books I have read and loved or am excited to cook from.

There is even a recipe from one of the books – Stanley Tucci’s Negroni. If there is a more iconic recipe for 2021 then I don’t know about it. 

Full disclosure some of these books were sent to me by the publishers. I have though included them based on how much I love them. 

1: Taste – Stanley Tucci

A brilliant food-led memoir from the all-round gem, Stanley Tucci. It’s a love letter to food and a life lived in the pursuit of the good things. Stanley has been kind enough to share a recipe from his deliciously well written book.

My father loved – and still, at age ninety-one, does love – a good cocktail. He’s never gone in for anything fancy, but our home always had a very well-stocked bar that contained the necessary liquors for any drink a guest requested. My father himself usually just drank Scotch on the rocks in the autumn and winter, gin and tonics or beer in the summer, and of course wine with every meal no matter what the season. I loved to watch him make a drink for our guests, and when I came of age, this task was passed on to me and I proudly accepted it.

Today, I also ask the same question when guests cross my threshold and take great joy in mixing up whatever tipple floats their boat. I also make one for myself every evening. What form it might take differs with the seasons and my temperament. Sometimes it’s a Martini, other times a vodka tonic, on occasion a cold sake, a whiskey sour, or a simple Scotch on the rocks, and so on and so on. This past year I began a relationship with a Negroni and I am happy to say it’s going very well. Here’s how I make one.

A Negroni – Up

– SERVES 1 –

50ml gin
25ml Campari
25ml good sweet vermouth
1 orange slice

Pour all the booze into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake it well.
Strain it into a coupe.
Garnish with a slice of orange.
Sit down.
Drink it.
The sun is now in your stomach.

(There are those who consider serving this cocktail ‘straight up’ to be an act of spirituous heresy. But they needn’t get so upset. I never planned on inviting them to my home anyway.)

2: We Need to Talk About Money – Otegha Uwagba

A simply brilliant book – part memoir, part social-commentary on a subject that so many of us like to avoid. I lapped this up in a few evenings..

3: Ottolenghi Test Kitchen – Noor Murad + Yotam Ottolenghi

As brilliant as we knew it would be, coming from Yotam and his Test Kitchen team – it’s a book of extremely cookable recipes which makes the most of your storecupboard.

There are the brilliant unexpected flavour hits you expect from Ottolenghi books but these recipes seem a bit simpler.

4: A Cook’s Book – Nigel Slater

I’d buy this book for the cover alone. I am sure this book will be on all your Christmas lists and so it should. A collection of Nigel’s most cooked recipes. Nigel’s recipes read like poems but are SO cookable and mostly very simple. 

5: Glittering a Turd – Kris Hallenga

The best book I have read this year – a manifesto for living life in full vivid colour. It’s the story of Kris’s life that is so so rich, funny, heartbreaking, wild, stupid and all together life-affirming.

6. Sugar, I Love You – Ravneet Gill

A love letter to sugar in all its glorious forms, as well as the joy of sharing and making something sweet for the people you love. Knowing Rav I know the recipes will be on point and the flavours incredible. 

  1. The Female Chef – Clare Finney & Liz Seabrook

Stories and recipes from the kitchens of 31 amazing women. This book (which I was so thrilled to be part of) is half recipes and half reflections on the experience of women in food and in kitchens, marking how far we have come and where we can still strive for more.

8. One Tin Bakes Easy – Edd Kimber

The follow up to Edd’s genius One Tin Bakes which uses the same workhorse of a tin to make all the recipes. The easier instalment of sweet recipes from granitas to garabaldis – it will be getting a lot of use in my kitchen.

Posted: 21.10.21 0 Comments

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