Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Doing a Delia - will this now mean something different?
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.
Posted by Amanda at Little Foodies at 12:26