Customer Review

51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reliable but definitely not boring!, 27 Jan 2002
This review is from: Delia's How to Cook Book Three (Hardcover)
In the midst of the Nigels and Nigellas and the Jamies and Garys, it's good to see Delia still up there with the third millennium media cooks. I lost track of her for a while but have always used my grease-sparked edition of the Complete Cookery Course as a no nonsense volume where the recipes are always reliable. After the fuss broke over How To Cook Book 1 when she was teaching us how to cook eggs, it looked like Delia had reinvented herself - a bit like Madonna - well, maybe not quite.
The intriguing thing about Book 3 is that it starts out by looking structured around themes which are quite different from the first two volumes : Books 1 and 2 adopted the traditional approach of chapters relating specifically to food groups, hence chapters on egg, bread, pastry, fish, beef, etc. Then suddenly in Book 3 we start out with almost one third of the book under headings like "equipment for cooks" and "gadgets that work". Fear not, there are great recipes in there under these headings - making the first part of the book perhaps not as immediately browsable as some of her other books when planning a dinner party. But never mind, the approach is interesting - the recipes are still there and we have delightful texts about the cook's hardware as a prelim to those excellent recipes and valuable tips which, yet again, relieve us of the fear of cooking. Soon we are into more familiar territory as we discover food-specific chapter titles including pulses, jams, low cal and puddings. And it's all illustrated with tasteful photos by Miki Duisterhof who worked on Books 1 and 2.
As a longstanding fan, Delia still figures prominently on my cookbookshelf. She may not have Nigel's mouthwatering panache when it comes to writing but it's all very sound, good, reliable - and definitely not boring - stuff. It's a shame she seems to be stopping at Book 3. Surely there's room for a Book 4, Delia, on vegetarian recipes - why limit yourself to just the 30 pages in Book 2? Delia is a cook of our time and will surely come back to offer us more. As a friend of mine put it : Nigella may be a goddess... but Delia is still the queen.
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