9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Ok for confident beginners but product of its time,
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This review is from: Family Food: A New Approach to Cooking (Penguin Cookery Library) (Paperback)
I bought this as I read the other reviews which raved about the book for great recipes they could serve at a dinner party and the average supper, and the lower stars were more concerned with appearance on delivery or the equipment. I should have the read the dates of the reviews.
Yes in 2004 we were still in the middle of a food revolution, people were beginning to realise that farmers markets were not strange things that 'other people' went to and many people had started to or wanted to move away from the 'pierce and ping' culture of the 1990s. Though it may be argued by some (my mother included) for the majority of Britain making things from scratch was strange at the turn of this century and Heston here filled a niche for middle-class parents who could afford the ideas he puts forward in the books (or good average income cooks to adapt to budget)- for most people then (and more so today) Heston's ideas are too expensive if we try to feed ourselves daily rather than Sunday lunch (rib of beef is obviously so affordable for the everyday family to have Sundays in Heston's 2004 world).
The other more practical ideas are done and dated for the capable or at least adventurous cook in 2012. I appreciate the arguments for the methods of cooking that Heston puts forward, but to be honest, I've already got these recipes done ten times over - and I know that Delia's work because Heston obviously respects her. Some of the basic recipes are reminiscent of Delia's Big black book and he even gives her advice on testing freshness of eggs!
It would be useful for a young recently married or pregnant woman with a good income who hasn't cooked anything since biscuits in Y9 food tech and wants to feed her family nutritiously and develop good cooking habits and techniques for the future. That and she could get a reluctant hubby or child to help using the instructions and build their own skills together.
For anyone who can cook already and is comfortable following a Delia, Nigella etc recipe, don't bother, for food that kids will really eat Nigella's How to Cook has a whole section from toddlers up.
Disappointed enough to go to the trouble of returning it! but then Heston has come on leaps and bounds in the last 8 years just like my cooking skills.