5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Eight reasons why I'm glad I got the Economy Gastronomy book for my birthday,
This review is from: Economy Gastronomy: Eat Better and Spend Less (Hardcover)1. I really appreciate the authors' realistic attitude towards slightly past-it fruit and veg. It's refreshing to be given great ideas for dealing with stuff which is on its way out. Most TV chefs and TV nutritionists bang on constantly about the importance of freshness. Old, wobbly carrots used to make me feel guilty whether I was throwing them out or feeding them to my family. No more guilt since reading this book! Now I make stock.
2. I love stock, for reasons stated above. Allegra has great advice on how to make stock. Frozen parsley stalks! Genius.
3. The tumbledown recipes are presented as three or four in succession - you start with the bedrock and then use the leftovers in various ways. I like the fact that the concept is something that you can take as a principle and apply it to anything you want. I haven't actually followed a whole set of tumbledown recipes exactly as the book lays out. However, the day before yesterday we had a leg of lamb for lunch. Yesterday I fried up all the potatoes and veg for bubble and squeak which we ate with ham and eggs. At the same time I chopped up the rest of the lamb and made a stew, which we've just eaten today. I feel indescribably smug about this.
4. Sometimes at the weekend I make bread. This makes my family very happy (thank you Paul for the recipe).
5. Something-out-of-nothing puds to whip up on a whim at 10pm. Try the bakewell in a bag, and the lemon cream. You must.
6. Other reviewers have talked about Economy Gastronomy as a 'system' which seems to suggest that you must follow every rule to the letter, otherwise it won't work. I don't agree with this. For example, I would never plan every meal for the whole week because invariably something will happen to wreck my plans: either nobody's feeling particularly hungry that evening, or I'll need to stay late at work, and then I'll have a whole load of food going off and I'll be behind my strict meal planning schedule and stressed out. So I only buy a few days' worth of fresh produce and rely on the storecupboard and freezer for the rest of the week. Also, Allegra and Paul suggest you should only cook one dish so that everyone in the house eats the same thing. This would never work in my household which is half vegetarian, half strict carnivore. Never mind. I think this book allows you to pick and choose the rules that will make a difference for you.
7. I agree with other people who have said that this book is for people who like cooking. It's about getting knockout results from a reasonably-priced set of ingredients. There are other cookbooks out there for kitchen-haters.
8. Finally - Allegra's recipe for macaroni cheese. My all-time favourite recipe just got a million times better...