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4.5 out of 5 stars144
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on 14 December 2002
How to eat is the stickiest cookery book that I own, simply because I use it almost every day. I have not reccomended this to friends, I just pretend that I have always made perfect pastry, delicious ice cream and sumptuous cakes - instinctively.
Nigella Lawson's gift is that she lets you pretend that she is as cack handed as you or I undoubtedly are and fills you with an enthusiasm for eating which quickly lures you stoveside. I have read this book quite a few times, almost as you would read a novel and have found it extremely comforting. Buy it if only to make the ham in coke, (sounds disgusting I know - but tastes fab), the pastry - it has never failed me and everybody is impressed by home made pastry. Plus the writing, this really makes you feel that you have a friend and a glass of wine in the kitchen with you.
If I could only buy one cookery book, this would be it.
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on 10 January 2010
I love Nigella's books, and wanted to get a copy of this one after reading a friend's copy. However, after reading a review on Amazon stating that this was the US version of the book, I was going to pay more elsewhere to get the correct UK copy. However, after doing a bit of research, I soon realised that the review stating it was the US edition (and all the other reviews also) is linked by Amazon to ALL editions of the book that they sell! This means that the review is actually inaccurate in most cases, as Amazon does have the UK edition. I bought my copy of How to Eat after checking the ISBN number of a friend's copy very carefully. So, if you want to UK version, make sure that you are ordering ISBN 9780701169114 (paperback) or ISBN 9780701165765 (hardback) published by Chatto and Windus. If you do that you will not be disappointed, as Nigella is one of the best food writers out there, and is guaranteed to inspire you to get into the kitchen and enjoy cooking again.
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on 17 November 2003
Suffering from an eating disorder I had forgotten what it was really like to enjoy food and the fun of preparing and sharing it with friends. The book was a gift from my brother and at first I was less than enthusiastic finding the "no pictures" format rather off putting for a recipe book. However, after reading the first few pages I was hooked and have not been able to put the book down since. I have remembered the feeling of eating and enjoying just through Nigella's description of how she feels when savouring childhood comfort foods. I have rekindled the desire to share with others the kind of "communion" that one only finds around a table. It's not the recipes themselves that inspire me its Nigella Lawson's enthusiasm and confidence that spur me to want to enjoy food.
Far from the low fat, vegetarian, overly dressed way of cooking this book encourages sheer enjoyment and appreciation of real food that we all experienced years ago, before the age of diets and when cholesterol wasn't an everyday word. All of these recipes are easily adaptable both to diet and the amount of time available for the task, they seem to be more of a suggestion to which personal taste is the key rather than the list of ingredients.
A well written, fascinating and inspiring book.
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on 6 May 2005
This book is the most useful book I have in my collection. Everybody can use it - if you are single, if you are dieting, if you have small kids, if you are having a dinner party.... Nigella has suggestions for what to cook!
Read it and learn a lot about methods, measurements, indgredients - use the recipes as they are or be inspired to invent your own recipe - and the book is perfect for bedtime-reading!
In a few words - this book has everything!
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on 24 May 2000
More like an evening in with your best mate and a bottle of wine than a cookbook, Nigella Lawson's book is just brilliant. It's absorbing, funny, intelligent, and completely addictive - and that's before you even get to the recipes! Totally unpretentious yet gloriously indulgent, packed full of sensible, practical advice that will boost the kitchen confidence of even the most cack-handed cooks. I've read this over and over again and am not bored of either the writing or the recipes. Great to see a cookbook that revels in greed and has a healthily dismissive additide to food fads, dieting and general gastronomic snobbery. Buy it!
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on 6 June 2005
As someone who wants to be more than a dabbler in cooking, I have to say that this book is absolutely superb. The recipes clearly walk you through the processes and are written in such a way as to inspire confidence in one's abilities rather than terror at one's perceived inadequacies. Even better is the fact that you can actually sit down and take pleasure in simply reading through. It serves to put you at your ease, and - certainly in my opinion - the warm anecdotes, stories and suggestions for cullinary sourcing are a much better use of space than pictures of the results of every recipe. I find that pictures engender an unrealistic expectation - certainly nothing that I have prepared ever looks as good as the picture on the pages of the recipe book, hardly surprising when they are usually created by professional chefs and photographed by professional photographers, both of whose jobs are to make the subject as artistic and perfect as possible. You end up feeling disappointed, which does little to assist in your appreciation of the food. This book avoids all that in favour of reassuring you that one's first pancake or blini is invariably a disaster, but once the first is out of the way, it gets better.
IIf you are looking for an invaluable kitchen companion, then this would be my first recommendation. Read it cover to cover, don't just flick through for the recipes, you miss so much that way. There's simple, everyday suggestions scattered throughout what some seem to think of as filler text.
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VINE VOICEon 20 March 2004
Not that I have anything against America, but not knowing that this edition is an American 'translation', I was just a tad surprised when I saw the measurements in 'cups'. The shock wore off as soon as I started reading. Nigella has the most wonderful way of communicating with her readers - her simple but elegant use of big words!
I find that Nigella's recipes and narrative style invites and encourages you to improvise and experiment. She appears to recommend feeling, tasting and touching the food, making it all a very sensual experience.
Nigella's recipes are simple and inspirational. She does not claim to be a culinary perfectionist and neither does she expect you to be one. This book does not make you feel guilty for not making your own stock. I use Nigella's recipes as a guide, following every ingredient if I can, but not sweating over it if I can't.
I just have one complaint about this book - no pictures. But hey, nobody's perfect!
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on 1 February 2004
No problems with the book, but this is the US version - hence measurements in cups, degrees Farenheit, etc.
Just thought I'd post a warning.....
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on 2 April 2005
This book has almost replaced my Delia Smith's Complete cookery course, which I used to use for everything - rice, yorkshire puds, pancakes etc. It covers all the basics - how to cook veg, meat, rice, cakes etc and then progresses on to recipes, organized in helpful chapters, such as 'Fast food', 'Cooking for 1 or 2', 'Cooking for babies' - it has lots of new and interesting takes on older recipes - beef stew with prunes (delicious - far better than you can ever imagine), pea risotto...
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on 26 April 2006
I've had this book for about four years now. I had browsed through it a couple of times in bookshops but decided against it because it didn't have any pictures. It was only after I bought and loved Domestic Goddess that I decided to give this a try. It's fantastic! I have used this book time and time again. I think I counted about thirty recipes that I've tried and enjoyed, which is more than I have used any other book in my collection. What is more, I have more success with Nigella's recipes than almost any other recipe book writer; she's very reliable. I highly recommend this (and Domestic Goddess).
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