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Dave Noble (Brighton, UK)

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Rick Stein's India
Rick Stein's India
by Rick Stein
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hot stuff., 11 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Rick Stein's India (Hardcover)
I quite like Rick Steins enduring awkwardness in front of the camera, a man who could never be accused of being socially deft or not liking food.
I have one or two of his books and like his breezy written style a lot. They read very much as he talks which is quite nice for some reason.

Good & unfussy recipes to follow that seem to produce reasonable results - there's some gems to be found in the accompaniments section at the back of the book too.

Like a couple of reviewers have stated, it is very hot though with a liberal - nay almost cavalier - use of chili powder. I do like a good heat to a curry quite often and my favourite to make at home is a Vindaloo of varying potency. In Steins book he uses dried chili's & 2 tbsp of chili powder in a Rogan Josh - I do like the heat but man alive, this gear was bordering on inedible it was so hot. Either this is a typo in the recipe or Stein has iron guts.

So, unless you like a good cry over your meal whilst sweating like a long distance runner I'd suggest a common sense approach to how much chili you add in spite of what the recipe prescribes. All in all, not the best curry book I've ever read but certainly worth having with plenty of interesting dishes to try.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 22, 2014 4:10 PM GMT

Breaking Bad Coffee Mug - By Wizthings
Breaking Bad Coffee Mug - By Wizthings

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wrong size, 13 Feb. 2013
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While it would be unfair to say that this is a bad mug - it isn't. It holds hot beverages admirably, there is no leaks and the handle is sturdy.
But I bought this mug for my wife for the reason that it was a "big mug".. and the fact that she likes breaking bad. Anyway, it was listed as one of those oversized mugs that hold a cup and a half rather than just a mere cup. And my wife does enjoy her big cups of tea let me tell you.

When it arrived I discovered that it isn't a big mug at all. It is a regular sized mug. As I say, it's a bonny mug and I'd be lying to say we don't use it but if you're after something larger, this isn't for you. Regrettably the only big mug to be emerge from this transaction was me.

Ceramic Vegetable Peeler - Brilliant at its job
Ceramic Vegetable Peeler - Brilliant at its job
Offered by Shop Inc
Price: £4.36

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A more majestic peeler you will not find., 13 Feb. 2013
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I do a lot of cooking and consequently a lot of peeling and a lot of chopping. While this can be quite cathartic sometimes, it;s largely a pain in the backside.

I got a ceramic peeler - one of those red ones that look a bit like a razor - years ago and it revolutionised my peeling. Suddenly I was peeling away with a smile on my face, whistling merrily and making short work of mountains of potatoes. Unfortunately these red ones, which I imagine you can buy on Amazon, are both expensive and poorly designed - in that they break very easily.

But, once you've used a ceramic peeler you will scoff nay sneer at ever using an old style metal one again. This little peeler is my second one, I bust the first after 2 years use trying to tackle a rather stubborn Celeriac so this was probably my over ambition than any fault with the product.
It is absolutely brilliant, so much so I went and splashed a couple more quid on another one. It makes peeling things very, very easy and fast and like all ceramic blades it takes off very thin slices so you get the minimal waste.
So, it is truly the budget formula 1 car of the peeler world and while it may not look like much, I wouldn't be without one.

If you or a loved one in your life is into peeling stuff, this is an absolute must have.

The Orbserver In The Star House
The Orbserver In The Star House
Price: £12.23

16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dub ye not...., 5 Sept. 2012
I could not differ more wildly from the previous five star reviewer. I say this with truly a deeply heavy, heavy heart.

This disc is one of the most disappointing things I've spent £10 on for a long time. Having been jolly excited about the whole premise since I first got wind of it, I've now listened to it twice and tried my hardest to pluck one thing to like about it.

On the face of it it's a dream combination. The good Doctor and Scratch... together at last. Towers of Dub meets the Super Ape. What could go wrong?


If like me you're buying this on the strength of a love for tunes like Towers of Dub, Tower 23 or conversely Dread Lion or Enter the Dragon and your mouth is watering at the whole damn prospect of them gloriously meshing... you're in for a major shock.

What you're served up is 11 tracks of absolute mediocre unimaginatively drum machined boredom... with Lee Perry rambling over the top. Now, I should say I am a great fan of Scratch Perry and equally I have been a great fan of the Orb since my raving days when Adventures beyond the Ultraworld first dropped. Both artists have produced sublime moments through their careers so it's remarkably perplexing that together, they can produce something that is just so very flat, hollow and... well, lazy.

I've not been a big fan of Scratch's latest releases, soft, almost pop synth "reggae" with his increasingly eccentric ramblings stamped over it. If you liked his release from last year "Rise Again", you may like this... I didn't and I don't.
Bearing in mind Alex Paterson's absolutely scorching Trojan collection - I'll Be Black (if you haven't got it... GET IT!) it's obvious he has a deep understanding of reggae and dub - so I just can't figure out what this LP is all about. The pared back style is totally devoid of feeling and.. well, feeling. It's a synthetic procession of dull drum patterns - all filler and no killer I'm afraid.

Perhaps The Orb have been too reverential in working with one of the greats in letting him take centre stage to such a large degree. I know not - the most frustrating thing is knowing just how bloody great these guys can be. This would have been a truly incredible collab if you'd taken Alex Paterson circa U.F.O.R.B and thrown him in a studio with Scratch circa Super Ape.

By all means give it a whirl but I for one feel desperately short changed by this and can only day dream at what could've been. Sorry Alex and sorry Lee.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 12, 2012 9:50 AM BST

Eastbound and Down - Complete HBO Season 2 [DVD] [2011]
Eastbound and Down - Complete HBO Season 2 [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Danny McBride
Price: £10.02

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice try but no cigar, 28 Oct. 2011
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I really enjoyed series 1 of Eastbound & Down. Too many deeply politically incorrect sketches, happenings and situations to mention. Probably the funniest show I've seen for years.

So, when I was bombarded by Amazons marketing machine about the 2nd series being released I actually sat up and pre ordered!

While the cliche "if you liked the first series, you'll like the second" is true, you'll probably just not like it quite as much.

I'll throw no spoilers in here but while it is a smoothly made and funny show - with some really, really fine moments - it isn't as purile and nearly as incorrect as the first.
One might specualte that after the first series became a runaway success they had to tone it down a bit knowing that they now had the attention of a much wider audience which is sad but that's business I guess. If you have series 1, of course you're going get series 2 - but temper your expectations. It's still a lot funnier than your average sit com, but you'll not be needing your kanga pants for this one.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 4, 2011 1:08 PM GMT

Cooking without Fuss: Stress-free Recipes for the Home-cook
Cooking without Fuss: Stress-free Recipes for the Home-cook
by Jonny Haughton
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Cheers!, 15 Sept. 2011
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I'm good pals with the bunch who run The Earl Spencer in sw18 which is the sister pub to the Havelock which spawned this particular book so, I'm familiar with actually eating a bunch of these dishes rather than cooking them.

The book is well written, the recipes are pleasingly workmanlike and very tasty indeed. This collection would make an excellent gift for someone who is an intermediate cook and really getting into making fresh meals. A student armed with this for instance would undoubtably quickly be the toast of the house share.

This book has been a welcome addition to my cooking library - its straight forward ethos makes it just the job for good midweek meals. The fact that I snapped it off the Amazon market place for the same price as a pint made it somewhat of a no-brainer. Bon Ap!

Price: £15.01

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dub-U-Like, 15 Sept. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Rodigan's always been on the money as far I'm concerned. Despite strongly resembling Phil Silvers (no offence David) these days he's still the original and will always have a sharp ear for a good reggae tune.
Don't expect this disc to change your world but it's a neatly picked selection of not too common tunes, a good few were totally new ones on me, and makes a good addition to anyone who likes a bit of instrumental Dub. Nice 'em up.

I love Dub Mens T-Shirt
I love Dub Mens T-Shirt
Offered by Idakoos
Price: £16.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I love dub, 8 Sept. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: I love Dub Mens T-Shirt (Apparel)
Well it's true. I do. While my wife thinks this is one of the stupidest shirts that I own I beg to differ. Hell, it's almost like I'm channelling Scratch Perry when I've got it on. Now, if you excuse me, I've an echo chamber that needs repointing.

Ginger Pig Meat Book
Ginger Pig Meat Book
by Fran Warde
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Style over content., 8 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Ginger Pig Meat Book (Hardcover)
I've got a tonne of cook books and sadly do enjoy reading them as much as a normal book quite often.

The Ginger pig is a nice looking book it can't be denied, I do like books that are a bit over engineered so they can last years in a hot & steamy kitchen without falling apart and this is such a book.

As other reviewers have stated, this is much more in the Hugh Fernley Whittingstall vien, in that it's as much about animal breeds, welfare, meat itself and highlighting the important connection of where the meat actually comes from - vacumm packed pork chops it ain't. While being very laudable and certainly readable, it's just a shame that the recipes don't take more of a centre stage.

The recipes themselves are mostly pretty simple, relying very heavily on having the best quality meat money can buy... no bad thing you say but it was reminescent of some classic Italian cook books that are super simple but if you don't have the access, or money, to buy the very finest tomatoes or cheese, the recipes are distinctly flat in flavour. I've tried a few things from the Ginger Pig and while there's some good solid ideas in here, the flavours haven't really blown me away - but then again, I'm not getting my meat from the Ginger Pig farm so perhaps herein lies the problem.

A more serious issue is technically the recipes are sometimes poorly thought through and I wonder whether they've actually cooked these themselves before or they just like the look of them... or their proof reader just doesn't understand basic cooking method.
An example is pg 214, their rump of beef pot au feu. They advise putting whole carrots and the potato's in for the last 20 mins or so. I don't know how they slow cook stuff in the Ginger Pig kitchen but in mine it takes longer than 20 mins to cook carrots - and I've never had a pot au feu before that's served with crunchy carrots. Plus the celery is added for the last 8 minutes - celery is there as a flavour agent for stew and should be in there from teh beginning - it is not some delicate thing to be served blanched. It may seem like a little thing but to someone slavishly following the recipe it's going to end up with a rubbish supper of either seriously undercooked veg or seriously overcooked meat.

On the subject of overcooking, the Roasting Table at the back of the book is reckless. It's well layed out but the footnote states "Temperatures are calculated for a fan oven; if using a conventional oven reduce the heat by 10-20C".


This is totally untrue and the exact contrary is the case. Fan ovens are hotter than conventional ovens, that is their whole point. Bearing in mind Meat is probably the most expensive ingredient to any meal and particularly in this case where they recommend good quality high end gear to cook with, it is terrifically irresponsible to have this massive and glaring error in the book. If you follow what they say to the letter, you're going to ruin every bit of meat you get wasting your cash and not enjoying your meal.

Again, it may seem like a small point to more knowledgable cooks out there but there's plenty of folk who buy a nice looking cookbook and just blindly do what the recipes and instructions tell them. Again, I wonder just how well this book was proofed before it was actually published - if I'd gone to the considerable effort and expense to get this book out there, I'd be mortified that it contains such very basic mistakes that anyone with half a brain could see just aren't right.

All in all it's worth getting but I think the author's should perhaps stick to writing what they obviously know about and that's farming and eating; and leave the cooking bit to people who actually cook.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 18, 2012 11:57 AM BST

Rose Elliot's New Complete Vegetarian
Rose Elliot's New Complete Vegetarian
by Rose Elliot
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple & brilliant, 30 Oct. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We've been on a vegetarian kick off and on for a few months now and as a consequence have been looking at and buying a few veggie cookbooks.
I've been pretty surprised about the general malaise of these books - often terribly earnest and serious tomes written by worthy joy stranglers who are vegetarians for "all the right reasons". Or on the other side full of massive pictures and silly recipes like "broccoli & breadcrumbs". Apart fropm this not being a recipe, more an idea, it certainly doesn't deserve a huge picture.. it smacks of being shortchanged and it looks like there's plenty of publishers on the market that can push any old tosh out and justify it because they're catering to a niche audience.
Cheerfully there are a few that I've found that are fantastic however and this is probably the best of the bunch.

The recipes are clear, well written by someone who obviously cooks and it contains more or less everything you'll need to set yourself on an accessible, tasty vegetarian diet. No oddball ingredients or prohibitively exotic spices - just simple and good meals. What more could one ask for? If you fancy trying a bit of vegetarian fodder for a while this is the place I'd recommend you start.

Unlike a lot of other veggie cookbooks Rose Elliot seems less on a crusade for vegetarianism and more just for good food that happens not to feature meat. I like it a lot. Apart from the recipe for red cabbage casserole - make and eat this at your own risk.....
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 9, 2014 9:51 AM GMT

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