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Fifty Recipes To Stake Your Life On Hardcover – 20 Oct 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Timewell Press; First Edition edition (20 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857252020
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857252026
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 0.8 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 739,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A charming collection perfectly-sized for bedtime reading. -- The Independent, 10 November, 2004

Gentle, humane, chatty. Nice assortment of domestic ingredients and plenty of cakes and puddings. -- Mail on Sunday, 21 November, 2004.

From the Inside Flap

Eats, cooks and writes’ just about sums up the existence of award-winning food writer Charles Campion. As a writer and editor of the Rough Guide to London Restaurants(now in its seventh edition) and a restaurant critic on the London Evening Standard, Campion has built up an army of followers who place absolute trust in his sound judgements and unrivalled knowledge. Campion’s passion for food is equalled only by his love of cooking. In Fifty Recipes To Stake Your Life On he introduces us to the recipes on which he has come to depend, garnered from his life as a manabout-town, professional chef and family cook. It includes family favourites like ‘Auntie Lena’s Ginger Biscuits’; simple dishes like ‘Fiercely Barbecued Lamb’; novelties like ‘Kedgersotto’; thought provoking variations like ‘Not Lardy Cake’; eye-catching creations like ‘Smart-Looking Salmon’; rich desserts like ‘Chinese Caramel Ice Cream’; simple combinations of flavour like ‘Dill Parsnips’; and homespun items like ‘Banana Tea Bread’. Together they make up a complete armoury of easy to follow recipes for the busy cook. Each recipe comes with its own story. Guaranteed to get the gastric juices flowing, Charles Campion’s culinary memoir is the most fun a foodie can have outside a fridge.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 25 Feb. 2005
Format: Hardcover
The title and the blurb - "nothing quite so irritating as a ...dish [which] looks good in the glossy picture, you've followed the recipe slavish;y, but still you end up with a flop" - make it look as though this would be a suitable book for an inexperienced cook. It's not; the recipes are much too high-level (and the ingredients often obscure). Recommended if you are a confident and experienced cook, but not otherwise.
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Format: Hardcover
I rate this book very highly because it's much more than a traditional recipe book. Some are simple recipes and some are complex, but the really entertaining thing about the book are the reasons behind why you can stake your life on the recipes. This adds a fascinating dimension to cooking and eating and it's genuinely interesting to read why using such and such an ingredient or method or approach makes a difference. It's a brilliant present for anyone who likes food as, with the reasons and stories, it's a pleasure to read as well as to cook from.
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Format: Hardcover
Most cookery books have colour photos - I like them to see what the dish should be like - a list of ingredients then a method. They don't include stories and are not read from cover to cover. Except this one! I was interested to read Charles Campion's book after seeing him giving gentle but entirely independent and fair evaluations on the TV programme MasterChef.

On getting the book I was quickly hooked and I did read it cover to cover. It's great that Charles Campion writes as he talks, and it's a delightful read as well as being very informative. Each recipe is preceded by a story of how the dish came to be important to him, and that adds to the interest enormously. The recipes themselves are well explained and easy to follow. Variations are sometimes described, as well as easier ways if you are in a hurry (such as Custard No 2 from a drum if you don't have time to make Custard No 1 from scratch yourself). The stories are carefully balanced to be interesting, but not too long so as to delay you unduly from getting to the main content of the recipe.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book right the way through, filing away the recipes in the back of my head to be aware of them as the occasion arises. It was a bit disappointing to reach the end of the book :)

I commend this book to you enthusiastically and without reservation. I have a number of books on my kitchen shelf, some quite expensive given by kind relatives as gifts. Many reside there for a while but, despite the expense, get removed and sent off the to second hand shop because I never use them. A few are 'keepers'. This one for sure is a 'keeper' and I'm genuinely delighted to have it.

LATER - Just done the 'Cup of Tea Cake'.
Read more ›
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