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Delia's How to Cheat at Cooking Hardcover – 15 Feb 2008


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Delia's How to Cheat at Cooking + Delia's How to Cook Book One + Delia's How to Cook Book Two
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press; 1st Edition edition (15 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091922291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091922290
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 1.9 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Delia Smith is Britain's bestselling cookery writer, whose books have sold over 21 million to date. She began her writing career 40 years ago on the Daily Mirror and since then has presented very many cookery series on television and published numerous bestselling cookery books including Delia Smith's Cookery Course, Summer and Winter Collections, The Vegetarian Collection, Delia's How to Cook and Delia's Happy Christmas among others.

After a five-year break in 2003 to concentrate on Norwich City Football Club (where she is a director) and Canary Catering, Delia returned in 2008 with a new BBC TV series and the fastest-selling cookery book of all time, How to Cheat at Cooking. Her Complete How to Cook was released in 2009 to celebrate 40 years of writing recipes and was voted the Most Useful Cookery Book of All Time. She was also awarded a CBE for her services to the food industry. Delia is married to the writer and editor, Michael Wynn Jones. They live in Suffolk.

Product Description

Review

"I really see Delia as a sunbeam of rational thoughts, striking through the clouds of food fashion...If any of these ingredients gives you a shudder, just ask yourself, who's more likely to be right: you or Delia? No, you lummox, it's not you." (Zoe Williams The Guardian)

"Delia's first new book in four years is set to become one of the biggest selling publications of all time...At 66, Delia is the mistress of mumsiness. I salute the queen of ease and an unashamed advocate of instant mashed potato." (Amanda Platell Daily Mail)

"Like any priestess worth her salt, she has absolved us of our guilt by occasionally employing time-saving devices, from ready-made sauces to pre-grated cheese...Yet when the timer has pinged and the cake has risen, Delia is The One" (The Independent)

"With Delia's How To Cheat at Cooking, Middle Britain's culinary saint has turned into a mischevious little devil...Oh, saint Delia. You have sinned and how we love you." (Richard and Judy Daily Express)

"I love Delia. I love the way she has introduced the pleasure of cooking into so many people's lives....The way I look at it is this. There is a whole world of cooking that lies between soaking your own beans and the microwave-head's instant chilli con carne. Somewhere along that line most of us will probably say 'No, I'm not going to do that - I don't have the time' or 'No, I'm not skipping that bit, it would be cheating the very people I am cooking for'. Somewhere along that line lies Delia's How To Cheat. No, I won't be buying her suggestion of ready-sliced and cooked onions...But I know that there are many people who will find that those canned onions in olive oil and a packet of frozen pastry will mean the difference between making their kids a lovingly home-made pie and giving them a defrosted one from Iceland." (Nigel Slater Observer Food Monthly)

Book Description

Britain's biggest name in cookery, Delia Smith, reveals her secrets to superb, hassle-free food

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer of AMAZON-UK! on 25 Mar. 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Delia Smith.

n.b. - this review is for the 1980 paperback version, 11th impression - Coronet Books - Hodder and Stoughton/0340168765.
(for information - © Delia Smith 1971. First published 1971/Ebury Press)

From the back cover:

'Have you always wanted to be a good cook but never had the time?
Do modern convenience foods set you free from the kitchen? Or do you find them dull and tasteless? Delia Smith, cookery writer for the `Evening Standard', believes that you can easily have the best of two worlds. She shows you how to escape long hours of kitchen drudgery by a little clever `cheating'. Basing her recipes on quick convenience foods - canned, frozen, dehydrated and pre-cooked - the author shows how to add your own special touches to delight family and friends. Meal-times come around all too often.
If you have better things to do than slave over a hot stove, this is the book for you.'

Paperback covers open to 176 pages, split into main chapters:

♦ The Cheat's Charter
♦ The Cheat's Kitchen:
~ (i) Equipment
~ (ii) Store-cupboard
~ (iii) Herbs and Spices
~ (iv) Entertaining Hints

♦ Soups
♦ Starters
♦ Fish
♦ Chicken and Duck
♦ Meat, Stews and Casseroles
♦ Vegetables
♦ Sauces
♦ Desserts
♦ Menu Suggestions

along with an introduction, a selective list of mail order shops (at the time) and miscellaneous tips/hints sections, plus a full index.

From the introduction:

'If you're one of those dedicated cooks who is a keen early-morning mushroom gatherer and wouldn't dream of concocting a salad without using the 'just-picked' variety, then this book is not for you.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By C. JACKSON on 2 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I read the reviews and was a bit put off, so bought this as a used copy for about £2-00. I have to say I am really impressed. I normally make all our meals from scratch but this gives you some handy shortcuts. I have 2 children aged 6 and 3 and I work, not getting in until 6pm by which time they are very hungry. This book helps you save time without losing out on the quality of the food.

At the end of the day, would I recommend this to a friend?.......yes I would.
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95 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Dolly on 29 Mar. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up on 'Delia' food and can see exactly now what she means in the book introduction. I've had the book for a few weeks now and started cooking the recipes - unlike it appears some of the people who have commented here - so very, very judgmental without actually getting to grips with what I think Delia is trying to do and giving it a go themselves. All it seems to me is that Delia is trying to help us mad crazy women with a family and home to run to put tea on the table night after night, week after week, month after month. We have all fallen down the ready meal/takeaway trap too often - and I know this only too well because I am one of the people who is being truly honest about what we produce for tea every night. I have always tried to do the best for my family but sometimes with a full time job, young children, elderly parents and home life I don't always succeed. Isn't it great that someone we trust so well - ie Delia - has done all this great research for us. I don't have the time to trawl the supermarket shelves to find the best tomato sauce - but Delia has done it for me- and yes I have purchased it and we all loved it. No different than reducing a tomato sauce myself - which on a a busy home night just isn't possible. The casseroles are brilliant. Food is such a snob issue nowadays - all we are looking for is a tasty home cooked dinner each evening and if we have had a spot of good quality help achieving that all the better. All my close friends agree - go for it Delia and ignore (which I am sure you do) all those 'head in the clouds' comments I've read here tonight.
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77 of 86 people found the following review helpful By customer on 28 Mar. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I got this book as a gift and was a bit sceptical. I had seen an episode of the show and hadn't enjoyed it, as I wasn't very impressed by the look of the recipes. I really enjoy cooking so the idea of a cheats guide offended my sensibilities a little. Still, I gave some recipes a go and have been pleasantly surprised.

In an ideal world (which is obviously where many tv chefs and pundits appear to live given the comments I've heard on tv recently) we would all shop for organic food and spend at least an hour each day in the kitchen making our meals from scratch. But out in the real world we all know that's just not possible. The reasons for this are myriad but, I'd suggest, include:

Not enough time to cook meals from scratch.
A lack on interest in cooking.
A lack of experience in cooking.

It seems to me that Delia's book tackles these three issues with aplomb. For the inexperienced cook the recipes provide easy access to culinary competence. For the time-poor...well, most of the recipes are quick to prepare (even if a little thought is needed when shopping). And for those who lack interest, I suppose the hope of the author is that they'll try a few of these recipes and maybe ditch a takeaway or two.

There's so much sniping and snobbery surrounding this book because, I guess, cooking is such an emotive subject these days. But it's well worth giving some of these recipes a spin...I've been pretty impressed with the results.
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