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82 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a help for 'real life', 29 Mar 2008
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This review is from: Delia's How to Cheat at Cooking (Hardcover)
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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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Apr 2008 23:38:15 BDT
scep says:
"No different than reducing a tomato sauce myself - which on a a busy home night just isn't possible". I know, I know! Last time I threw some tins of tomatoes into a pan with a bit of garlic and onion on a low heat took me almost two minutes. Call me a big fat cheat, but I even froze some of it for later use. I nearly didn't have time to bath my boys and do some marking that evening, never mind watch three hours of soaps. Thank you Saint Delia, I really don't know how I brought up a family without frozen mash. Mwah!

Posted on 25 Apr 2010 11:20:21 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Apr 2010 11:27:29 BDT
I fully concur. My husband and I enjoy good food and also gain great pleasure in cooking it from scratch - when we have time! Delia's aim is to help those of us (and there are a heck of a lot of us!) with very little time to enjoy meals completely cooked at home every night to enjoy good quality food instead of having to resort to the ready-made cook-chill option more than is unavoidable. Food snobbery - like wine arrogance - makes me wild. I am not a huge Delia fan OR her publicist (!) but I do wonder sometimes who these people are who feel so justified in carping and criticising what is surely an admirable objective, in dismissing all the research and hard work that has gone into realising that objective, and in refusing to acknowledge that there just may be professionals like Delia who care enough about good quality food to want everyone - including those with little time available - to enjoy it, even if it means going halfway towards helping us with assembling the ingredients in a form that will enable us to get on, cook it and enjoy eating it on the evening for which it is intended! My basic philosophy in life has always been that this life is so darned difficult anyway - why can we not just help each other to get through it instead of making it even more difficult by being judgmental, critical, dismissive of good intentions and plain downright negative! Well done Delia, I say! Oh and thank you for a fish pie which has made it so much easier for me to share a meal with my rampant carnivore of a husband!

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2011 10:07:55 GMT
In 1975, the English writer Shirley Conran published the book 'Superwoman', aimed at busy women, and coined the phrase: 'Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.'
In 2011, I didn't publish a book, aimed at busy people, but I did coin the phrase (well, it's more than a phrase): 'Life is too short to throw some tins of tomatoes that I just happen to have in my store cupboard into a pan with a bit of crushed garlic that I happen to have lying around from a previous cooking session; then peel, chop and add onion that I happen to always keep handy; then reserve and freeze some of it; and wash up and dry, all within two minutes.'
Why is sarcasm the lowest form of wit? Oh, here's a cut-and-paste:
Sarcasm is generally negative, and tends to hurt, which places it on the lowest rung of the humour ladder. For example, "He thinks he's a wit, but he's only half right."
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