Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Doing a Delia - will this now mean something different?

Delia's Cheating Banana Bread Pudding

I meant to post this some time ago... but then I'm at my most relaxed when I'm late.

I'm not a huge Delia fan but I think she's okay. I can cook and I'm confident with food, probably because I was taught from a very early age. I've mentioned before the whole family thinks they're experts when it comes to food. Nicknamed a chemist in the kitchen from very early on is maybe why I wasn't bought any Delia books when I first moved out of home and why I didn't then become a lifelong fan. If I'm honest I didn't really understand when people used to say that she'd taught modern day Britain to cook, I assumed that everybody could cook, but some people just chose not to.

Where am I going with this? When Delia's new book and TV series came out it was earlier in the year when things were difficult here. I SKY +'d the series and then was a bit surprised when Hubs bought me the book as one of my birthday presents. I thought he was taking the proverbial **** out of me. But then I watched the series and I read the book and I thought - What's the big deal, why are people so cross? So she's brought out a book that lists shop bought ingredients that we can assemble. Sometimes I like to cheat, putting something on the table that isn't a ready prepared microwave meal but something that hasn't taken me hours of preparation and cooking. especially some things which require more exotic ingredients.

I actually like Delia's new cheating book because somebody else has tested all the things which are available to us which are going to make life a bit simpler SOMETIMES, not every single day but sometimes. Okay I would never buy a tin of mince, the thought makes me want to heave, and there are other things which I wouldn't buy, but I have failed where a jar hasn't. I've not been able to make a Thai Green Curry from scratch that compares to some made using one of the very excellent jars of paste that you can buy (admittedly I haven't tried that hard on this one, but it's because I know I can put a great result on the table using a jar of paste!). It's nice to know which products came out best, it saves me wasting money on some which are inferior or wont give the best result.

I don't like is how we love to bash people, we seem to make it personal and I just don't get that. Gordon Ramsay, I think he's great, I like his wife too, I didn't join the band wagon of people who said she was just cashing in by bringing out a cookery book. So what, so what, so what. If she wants to do a cookery book or two and people buy them, then all well and good. He's there on TV saying that Delia has sold out or something along those lines but then I go to my book shelves and pick up a book by Jo Pratt that has a fair few assembly recipes in it and across the front is a quote from Gordon Ramsay saying 'Jo's food is vibrant and fun' - Now Jo Pratt looks vibrant and fun, but one of the recipes is for a tin of Heinz tomato soup with a bit or cream or sherry added, okay so it also gives a recipe for ham and cheese croutons to go with it. She also lists Banoffee Fingers which are another assemly recipe, they sound delicious too, but you can't tell me it's that different from what Delia has done, she's just taken it a step further.

How many people own cookery books but have only ever cooked one or two things from them? How many people own a cookery book that they've cooked every single thing from? I've cooked two (correction three) things from Delia's cheating book so far. That's two more things than I've cooked from a lot of my cookery books. The Pananag red seafood curry is excellent and as for the banana bread pudding well I'd make it any day and if I don't feel like cheating then perhaps I could whizz up some breadcrumbs from some stale bread instead of using a packet, either way I'm sure it will taste great. I also made the lemon tart in a hurry, 30 minutes before leaving the house to take to a BBQ party at the weekend. It went down very well and was still warm when we served it.

I know some women (some of them stay at home mums) who do not cook, they say they can't cook, wont cook, don't have the confidence to cook. Delia's cheating book would be ideal for them because surely it would be better for them to take some of the ideas/recipes and put meals on the table that are not totally pre-prepared/packaged, laden with salt and goodness knows what else, maybe giving them some much needed confidence to then go on and cook more things. Unfortunately we live in a world now where you have to be SUPER brilliant at everything. You can't just be thin you have to be super thin, you can't just be a mum you have to be a super mum, you can't just cook, you have to be a super foodie, you can't just have a car, you have to have a super car - it's all a load of hairy round things!

Delia - your books more than alright with me. If anything it's turned me from a sitting on the fence Delia fan to an outright Delia fan.


Asha said...

Pudding almost looks like a moist cake, not bad! Delicious!:)

Baking Soda said...

You're so right Amanda!

Deborah said...

I'm not familiar with Delia, but there are several TV cooks here in the US that get the same kind of criticism. But I love anyone who gets people excited about food and into the kitchen cooking!!

Kelly-Jane said...

I've made / assembled a few things from Delia's book, ten or twelve, something like that. Have actively disliked two, but the rest were fine!

I was surprised by Delia's book, but once I got over the shock, I think it was the thought of tinned mince that did it for me, just sounds awful! but I'm realistic enough to think that there is a market for this book, no question about it.

I did think it was horrible how scathing some chefs and critics were of her, some of the things that were said were really inexcusable.

Realy glad to see you back blogging again :)


Pig in the Kitchen said...

well Amanda, a rant! I do like to read a good rant, and so nice that it ends in praise rather than nastiness. the pic is fab.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Asha, it's seriously good!

Hi Baking Soda, thank you!

Hi Deborah, I just don't like it when people rip in to others.

Hi Kelly-Jane, being the cook book queen I did wonder what you'd have cooked from it.

Hi Pig, I do love a good rant too! The pic doesn't do the pudding justice.

Thank you for your comments.
Amanda x

Marie said...

I've always loved Delia and I have yet to meet a good cook that doesn't cheat once in a while. I bet if you checked out Gordon's pantry you'd find a tin or two of some cheat ingredients. At least Delia doesn't have to bully or yell at anyone to get them to cook!! Great looking pudding by the way!

Sara said...

I love Delia, and I just got her new book, which is the first book of hers I own. It might be a little tough for me to "cheat" the way she does as many of the ingredients are not available here, but I made one recipe earlier this week and it was fantastic.
There is nothing wrong with taking shortcuts in the kitchen. Better to cheat a few steps than go out and grab a greasy burger and fries night after night.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

That is a nail on the head Amanda. Life is just to be so picky. The banana pudding cake . . . that looks WOW!

ChichaJo said...

I am not familiar with Delia (nor did I know that mince could come in a tin) but I agree with you 100%! A "load of round hairy things"...hahaha, I was cracking up!

KJ said...

Delia's book isn't available here, so I can't comment on it specifically. But I think I agree, if it gets people interested in food then it must be a good thing. Hopefully they will become interested enough to go from tinned mince to cooking from scratch. Who knows?

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Marie, Well you know I love a good cheating recipe.

Hi Sara, that would be tough not being able to get hold of half the ingredients.

Hi Joey, yep mince in a tin. I may have to try it just so that I can judge properly but the thought of it does turn my stomach somewhat. Hairy roung things - I didn't think about it while writing but not that tasty sounding on a food blog...

Hi KJ, thanks, I think I was just a bit bored with the whole people bashing we seem to love doing in this country. Who gives...? If it doesn't hurt or insult anybody then surely it doesn't matter what people do.

Anyway, thank you all for your comments.
Amanda x

Jann said...

This looks so delicious-I'd have to agree with you on the bashing part-doesn't belong in a cookbook or even from another cook....what's the point?

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Jann, thank you and agreed what's the point.

Amanda x

Anonymous said...

Hi Amanda, Puddings, I thought you were going on a diet. Ha Ha
Love Mxxx

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Yes mother! x

Margaret said...

I personally think the tinned mince thingy was her media people being savvy. Afterall, she hasn't been in the headlines for a long, long time and this was the way to get her 'noticed'. I think it was all very 'tongue in cheek' and not to be taken too seriously!!

african vanielje said...

I'm still sitting on the fence but I agree, people bashing seems to be a brit favourite.

Peabody said...

Mmm, bread pudding...don't know who Delia is though.


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