Sunday, 9 March 2014

I picked up Nigel Slater's latest book Eat on a quick visit to the library and have enjoyed dipping in to it. I've had a copy of Real Fast Food on my bookshelves for a long time, and use it from time to time for inspiration. I find the lack of illustration almost more inspiring than the lavishly illustrated cookbooks of today, which have carefully composed colour photographs of many recipes.My serving dishes and crockery are not the same as those photographed, and I find the pictures a little distracting - but then I usually prefer the original book to a film based on it, as the latter never matches up to the scenes in my imagination. However I enjoy Nigel Slater's writing and find his recipes usually easy to follow as well as inspiring. One thing I enjoyed about this book is the simplicity of the recipes: most are pared down to the basics, with exact quantities given only when necessary.
Another recent read was Jenny Eclair's Life, Death and Vanilla Slices, which was an enjoyable mix of laughter and tears. I've heard Jenny Eclair on radio and television, and read an occasional article by her, but have only just caught up with her novels. As this is her third, I'll look out for her others. Life, Death and Vanilla Slices follows Anne Armitage as she leaves her comfortable London life to be with her mother, who is in a coma after she was knocked down while crossing a road near her home. The story gives both Joan's and Anne's memories of their lives, Joan's reminiscences are from the depths of her coma, while Anne's are looking back on her life, while also trying to make sense of her mother's life in the Northern town which Anne had moved away from, creating a successful life in London, married to a doctor  and the mother of two spoiled teenage boys. An interesting take on the mid-life crisis scenario.

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