Category Archives: Cookbook loves

My cookbook collection is rather modest. Though TheScotsman’s bank account would like to challenge that. I have accumulated a few treasures over the years but it all started with one book. How to Eat by Nigella Lawson. Her first book gave me the first glimpse of how simple and uncomplicated the food can be. I am not talking about stages in a recipe, its length or the ingredients. I am talking about what goes on in the mind. You know, the doubts, the pre-concieved ideas of the perfect planned and executed ‘dinner party’ and consequently the mounting pressure that surges up when you have to cook for anyone other than yourself. Nigella dispelled those myths, broke it down, threw off the formality behind cooking and entertaining and allowed me to be freer with what happens at the stove or in the oven. Before you know it, I had a burnished, gleaming, smooth topped Creme Caramel on the table. Ha! Eat your heart out Foster Clarks!

I was hooked. I also loved her intelligent, witty manner of writing, sharing her love of commas and it gave me a taste for the same sort of food writing in other books. Within my collection Claudia Roden, Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra and Luke Nguyen come to mind. Ms. Roden is the doyenne of all things Middle Eastern, Ms Pagrach Chandra, primarily for Dutch baking and Luke Nguyen is a wonderful foodie ambassador for Vietnam. They all write in such a style that their words paint vividly, pictures in your minds eye of the of cities, histories, market stalls and the people they have encountered on their food journey. I love it when a cookbook makes me a part of the scene. These are the books I may take to bed with me and read, snuggled up, while brushing cookie crumbs off the sheets (I can see some of you shudder at the thought. Crumbs be damned, I say!)

In the end though, any book, provided the author knows what he/she is talking about, will always hold my interest. Its a simple pleasure, one you can participate in and make your own. There is so much food to be discovered out there, and yet, so little time! If I cannot cook it, I still glean pleasure from reading it. And for that, I am thankful.

EVERY GRAIN OF RICE BY FUSHICA DUNLOP http://wp.me/p1EQwF-29U

Every Grain of Rice

Let’s be honest here. We cook to please not just to provide. Personally, that means foregoing something I fancy in favour of something that’s universally appealing. Like a spag bol for the family’s British taste instead of a soul-warming biryani

EVERY GRAIN OF RICE BY FUSHICA DUNLOP http://wp.me/p1EQwF-29U

Every Grain of Rice

Let’s be honest here. We cook to please not just to provide. Personally, that means foregoing something I fancy in favour of something that’s universally appealing. Like a spag bol for the family’s British taste instead of a soul-warming biryani

The Patterned Plate Party

Tis time for a party…

Good friends are the seasoning of life. They make my day, even in just the small things. Pals in Doha are routine victims of my pathological forgetfulness; they laugh at me and I join in. My best friend in Abu

The Patterned Plate Party

Tis time for a party…

Good friends are the seasoning of life. They make my day, even in just the small things. Pals in Doha are routine victims of my pathological forgetfulness; they laugh at me and I join in. My best friend in Abu

DUTCH CREAM TRUFFLES
http://wp.me/p1EQwF-1Bh

Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice!

We are fortunate to live in an age where sugar has become such a commonplace household ingredient. For something so sweet and pleasure giving, its history is wrapped up in every human facet of ingenuity, entrepreneurship and oppression. It has

DUTCH CREAM TRUFFLES
http://wp.me/p1EQwF-1Bh

Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice!

We are fortunate to live in an age where sugar has become such a commonplace household ingredient. For something so sweet and pleasure giving, its history is wrapped up in every human facet of ingenuity, entrepreneurship and oppression. It has

FINNISH GINGERBREAD
http://wp.me/p1EQwF-1xv

Deck the town with….

Gingerbread is like the perfect red lipstick. I am always, always on the hunt for the one. Christmas for me means gingerbread biscuits and here is one that definitely delivers. These townhouse beauties come from the book Brilliant Biscuits, written by

FINNISH GINGERBREAD
http://wp.me/p1EQwF-1xv

Deck the town with….

Gingerbread is like the perfect red lipstick. I am always, always on the hunt for the one. Christmas for me means gingerbread biscuits and here is one that definitely delivers. These townhouse beauties come from the book Brilliant Biscuits, written by

PLENTY BY YOTAM OTTOLENGHI http://wp.me/p1EQwF-1ij

Plenty for the taking…

I have been in love with this book for so long, it’s embarrassing to declare it so late. It’s hard to find the right words to do it justice. It has become so deeply inculcated into my kitchen, weaving it’s

PLENTY BY YOTAM OTTOLENGHI http://wp.me/p1EQwF-1ij

Plenty for the taking…

I have been in love with this book for so long, it’s embarrassing to declare it so late. It’s hard to find the right words to do it justice. It has become so deeply inculcated into my kitchen, weaving it’s

Duivekater

A Letter of Love for Warm Bread and Honey Cake

Once in a while you come across a cookbook which, in a slow, smoldering manner, really ingrains itself into your kitchen repertoire. Makes you try something new, challenges your so-called limits, educates and inspires. Warm Bread and Honey Cake does

Duivekater

A Letter of Love for Warm Bread and Honey Cake

Once in a while you come across a cookbook which, in a slow, smoldering manner, really ingrains itself into your kitchen repertoire. Makes you try something new, challenges your so-called limits, educates and inspires. Warm Bread and Honey Cake does