Customer Review

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Return to Form for Tamasin Day Lewis, 20 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Supper for a Song (Hardcover)
Tamasin Day Lewis's last few books have been a little disappointing. Her Kitchen Classics seemed a little rushed and I found many of the recipes unappetising and poorly written. Where Shall We Go For Dinner was a romantic fancy but not up to her usual standard and All You Can Eat is simply a compilation from her previous books (and some might argue a repeat of her brilliant Kitchen Bible).
However, with Supper for a Song, we get more than a glimmer of her previous brilliance, first glimpsed in her early books that were welcomed by true foodies. The thing with Tamasin is she is hard to market. Without the glamour of Nigella or the affable charm of Nigel Slater, she will always struggle to be accepted for what she really is - a truly exceptional food writer. Yes, she does come across as bossy and somewhat millitant about the organic food crusade. This is no bad thing and - newsflash! - the cookbook won't self-destruct if it senses that you've chosen to use produce from Tesco's budget range instead!
I have found all the recipes cooked so far to be superb, in particular the coffee and date sponge (a very cheap-to-make but delightfully simple recipe) and the chick pea and chorizo soup. Tonight I'll be making the fish pie, using whatever fish I have in my freezer.
Firstly, I feel that those who have left negative comments regarding the book and who have mentioned how wealthy Tamasin (and those who enjoy this book!) must be to cook some of these recipes, really don't have that much imagination in the kitchen. If you can't afford pheasant (and seriously, you really don't know anyone who goes shooting and is trying to give away freebie pheasant or rabbit, because I live in a large -non affluent - town and know several) then use chicken. If you can't afford scallops, then don't cook the scallop recipe! Tamasin is trying to infuse a little luxury into some of our lives but some people don't want it...
Secondly, I agree with other comments that the book has been poorly marketed. The people who feel this is targeted at them (i.e. people on a tight budget) have been misled somewhat and are perhaps not familiar with Tamasin's previous books. This is a shame because it reflects badly on the stars awarded to this book. If it had been titled differently, she would have hit a better target market and had glowing reviews a-plenty.
To summarise, for those who just want a cookbook with more unusual recipes for people of mixed budgets, I would highly recommend this book. The recipes are accurate and more importantly tasty and flexible.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Oct 2009 18:06:12 BDT
Leigh says:
I really like this review and totally agree, if you don't want to use organic ingredients don't, if you don't want to use monkfish substitute it for a cheaper fish. I can't wait to try some of the recipes... coffee and date sponge, banana blondies, fish pie. Yum!

Posted on 27 Oct 2009 13:18:04 GMT
I love tamasin too, but you have to see the funny side of a book called "Supper for a Song" including sooo many expensive ingredients... well it's made me chuckle while reading the comments, anyway...

Posted on 14 May 2010 12:40:12 BDT
LotsC says:
Its a very sensible comment. If you can't afford the ingredients they can always be modified and if you know about cooking it is easy to modify.....

Posted on 24 Oct 2010 09:54:37 BDT
Ms L Hill says:
Asking the question "and seriously, you really dont know anyone who goes shooting..." is both funny and telling.
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