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New Cookbook

September 20, 2009
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JamieDarling Wife’s grandmother bought me £40 of Amazon vouchers for my birthday so I was able to go hog-wild online and feed my book fetish.

I decided to buy Jamie’s America, and a series recommended by my best friend’s girlfriend called Big Love(the series, not my friend’s girlfriend. She’d certainly carry a certain…expectation if she was called that). She doesn’t watch much tele, so I figured it must be good if she is willing to break ranks for it. Besides, it’s HBO and they are the new BBC. I also bought Spares by Michael Marshall Smith and some batteries. The glamour.

Sometimes, you just fancy a new cookbook. It’s easy to get into a culinary rut and we went through period when  just hearing the word pesto would bring me out in a rash. So, Jamie’s America it was.

I do feel a certain amount of dislike for Jamie Oliver but I think it is just jealousy. I remember his first series on BBC2 and the freshness and energy he brought to cooking programmes shouldn’t be underestimated. He owes it all to Keith Floyd, of course, (a cooking god) but without Jamie we’d have no Ramsey or Hugh Fernley…or Nigella. Aside from Floyd all we had was the Food Programme on BBC2 – which was shit – and Delia – and I hate Delia*. Imagine her being your wife? Just try.

Delia was all 100g of this and 125ml of that.It was like cooking with a robot. Again, imagine being married to her. But Jamie was chuck this in, dollop of this, splash of that – taste it – no good? Add a bit more of this, bit of that. Totally inspiring that an amateur cook can make mistakes and then learn from them. It was all about good ingredients and just getting the ball over the net.

His cookbooks though, are a bit hit and miss. I think that his books have too many pasta recipes and too many salads. I know pasta can be fantastic, but It just ends up as a collection of sauces.

America is, so far, a great cookbook. I ‘cooked’ the watermelon salad with goat’s cheese, mint and toasted seeds. In a word: awesome. And a warm Californian sprouting salad with chorizo that was pretty special as well. We are going to cook a good few things from this book, I think.

Oh, and one pasta recipe. Count ‘em.

*I won’t even link to her, the evil wench.

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