Nigel, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love your appetite-stimulating writing, your easy recipes, your ability to always show me something interesting to do with kitchen constants like cauliflower, onions or lentils. I love your weekly column in the Observer and I love the Observer Food Monthly magazine (which, while living in NZ, I had sent out to me by my long-suffering mother!). I love your books, right from the copy of Real Fast Food that I got when in college, through entertaining from Real Food and Appetite while in my first job, The Kitchen Diaries that I recommended to many Urru customers, bookclub choice Toast and, now, to Tender.
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Ooh! I’ve just been on the Observer Magazine website – a great treat to browse though when you’re sitting by the computer with a cup of coffee when you don’t have the real OM to hand on a Sunday – and I discovered that they’re running a series of extracts from Nigel Slater’s new cookery book, The Kitchen Diaries.
Now that the turkey has settled, the Cranberry Sauce eaten and the crackers pulled it’s time to get round to reading through the pile of Christmas books, top of which is Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries. It was difficult, but I managed to hold out till Christmas to get my hands on it. My Cuisine subscription has started too – I discovered the magazine had arrived at home and been placed underneath the tree! – although it does seem strange to read descriptions of picnic and barbeque food while we’re surrounded by late December freezing fog. Not that it’ll stop me from enjoying the magazine, though. Now it’s time to dig out a selection box, pull the big armchair up to the fire and get stuck in to reading. Happy lazy Christmas!
I’ve been a fan of Nigella’s writing since Nigel Slater (my other favourite cookery writer) gave his readers a tip-off about her first cookery book How To Eat. In fact, How To Eat was so beloved in our house that both I and my housemate had a copy – just in case we parted ways and one of us would end up living without it.
If you grow any soft fruit, in the summertime there is always a need for a simple cake recipe that lets you showcase the berries (and use them up). Last year, it was this Blackcurrant Almond Cake, which I made several times before the blackbirds finished off my currants, but this Midsummer Cake from Nigel Slater is my new favourite.
Greatfood.ie have just relaunched a much-expanded discussion board, with a dedicated area for bloggers to list their own blogs at www.greatfood.ie/forum. While you’re there, check out Clodagh McKenna’s cute aprons (although much too cute for a cottage kitchen!) and take a look at the selection of cookery courses on offer throughout Ireland.Nigel Slater, my favourite cookery writer, wrote a piece on squash and marrows in Sunday’s Observer and, seeing as I’m probably not the only one to have lots of squash to use, I thought it might come in useful. You’ll find it here.
The first time I heard of Peter Gordon – the New Zealand-born, London-based chef of the Providores and Tapa Room – was when the whole Antipodean fusion cookery style was being written about in English newspapers like The Sunday Times during the early 1990s (my newspaper of choice through college although, after discovering Nigel Slater‘s food section in The Observer, I’ve never looked back!). While I lived in New Zealand in 2005, he opened a restaurant in Auckland – dine by Peter Gordon – and as a result was all over the NZ newspapers and food magazines. That’s how I came across his fantastic and much-made (it’s especially good as a Christmas pressie) Tomato and Chilli Jam recipe.