I am so pleased with the " How to Cheat" idea. I do love it if i have masses of time to cook a meal, but rarely do. I have 2 children, care for 2 elderly in laws and work, and walk the dog. This idea that everyone must cook everything from scratch all the time is madness. Its like the kings suit of clothes! Nobody does that on a busy mon to fri schedule. I personally think delia is leading the way by suggesting a better store cupboard and some real top ingredients to make life easier. Most people were using shortcuts but these are better researched shortcuts and higher quality ingredients. I am also fascinated by the number of food snobs who just have not read the book or looked properly at the shopping list. It is not smash dried potato!!
The recipes i have made so far have been really tasty and made feel i have certainly cooked properly but won 10 minutes with the children.
I just wanted to also say that I love the calm, knowledgeable and reassuring way Delia presents her Television work. So many of the tv chefs are so exciteable and exhausting to watch. She has a great radio voice.
Yes but Humpy, is it really any quicker? I can knock out a spag bol in 20 minutes, chicken cream'n pasta in 15, grilled chicken 'n rice, same. etc. This is mon to thurs eating I'm talking about, nothing fancy but good 'n quick and surely cheaper than using pre prepared ingredients. Her suggestions (sorry, can't quite call them recipes!) use expensive stuff and surely make for quite a salty dish.
Having said all that, it is astonishing, the amount of debate this book has caused. The world seems to be divided into two camps, those who mash their own and those who pay someone to do it for them. Vivre le difference I say!!
Yes it has been interesting all the discussion it has provoked hasn' it! I wonder if a lot of the folks who are against it are wonderful cooks with masses of time on their hands consistently every day, and mayber retired or a bit older. People do forget what it is like to be full on with children, old people, animals and work. I am all for a bit of support in this busy phase of my life, but look foward to cooking things from scratch more regularly in a bit.
I guess we can all only speak from personal experience. The recipes i have cooked have been tasty, a success and quick.
I wonder if two of Delias ingredients the mashed potato and the mince have provoked more discussion than they warrant, useful on occasion, they are not the 99% of what the book and the series are about. Somehow real foodies cannot get their heads around a tin!
Humpy - no - like most people, I'm busy too and yet I still eke out the time to cook a meal properly - 30 mins or so - whenever I can during the week because I know the importance of diet for my body and mind. So I 'sacrifice' going out or doing something else to make the time for cooking. I'm not sitting on my hands waiting for 6pm to arrive to go into the kitchen.
To my mind, what we have is a smokescreen perpetuated by the self-titled 'busy people' who seem to have convinced themselves that without Delia's book any cooking takes a minimum time of 2 hours. Its great for Delia - this book plays straight into their hands. I'm guessing this disconnect is a by-product of specialisation in society - I did watch The Apprentice this evening and saw the girls' team talking about offering laundry services at £4.99 per item! I think that is indicative of the level of removal from reality that has happened with cooking. It has become shrouded in myth, and Delia's the only one that can decrypt the pandora's box that is the shepherds pie. I would like to see a bit of common sense prevail, a few people actually look on some of the free, simple, 15-30 mins recipes available free from any of the supermarket or bbc website and at least try one of those before feeling they have to endorse this book so strongly. Its nothing new, and what's more, its all free and available for you already.
I don't want to say i am especially busy woolly moose, just that i like the extra choice of how to cheat ingredients for "some " days. As you say, you do what you can manage, sometimes a full cooked meal - and sometimes a bit of help. I dont feel so strongly that its wrong to accept a bit of help. But i remain fascinated how strongly people feel about just using the tasty dress italian sauce along with all other fresh ingredients. Really its each to their own, but jr hartely must think i am very lazy. I do plently of "from scratch" cooking its just every day is different.
Such venom about a cookery book and a rather pleasant easy going cook who has encouraged lots of people into the kitchen, and those who were all ready in there to do a lot more.
so what about it being no.1 in the book list? hitler was no. 1 in germany for quite a while, and the music charts have been dominated by the likes of keane in the past. just because something receives a following doesn't make it good.