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Two years later I'm still using this book
on 8 January 2013
I wanted to write a bit about The Kitchen Revolution because I'm finding that after two years it has become one of my most-used cookbooks. I use it in two different ways.
Firstly, if it's time to shop and I really have no ideas, I just order the relevant week's shopping (or the one before or after if that looks more interesting) from Kitchen Revolution and plan to cook from that. We do get a veg box, but we're told what's in it so I can match that against the requirements for Kitchen Revolution. Because the book is seasonal and British, the veg normally matches up quite well and the food fits the weather. Obviously I'll switch root veg, brassicas and so on to use what I have. Like most 'big cooking' books, this one works far better in autumn and winter than spring and summer. I'm an experienced family cook so I have most of the 'storecupboard' things that this book uses, though not all. I have used other meal planning systems (Menu Mailer and The Resourceful Cook); Kitchen Revolution is British, unlike Menu Mailer, and is a more adventurous style of cooking (and a bit more expensive) than The Resourceful Cook.
Secondly, if I get a large lump of meat cheap, I look at Kitchen Revolution to find a week's meals that I can plan around that joint. Supermarkets often have very good deals on big joints, but you have to make them do several meals to make it economic. This book really works well for that; most of the large meals are interesting and well-structured. You do need time to cook, and although I find the timings accurate they will be tight if you are a beginning cook.
As others have noted, portion sizes are normally large. My teenagers now have adult appetites, but many of the dishes have more generous portions than we have. We box up leftovers to take to work for lunch, but you could just cook less. A few of the meals use really expensive ingredients and they also (unsurprisingly) have the smallest portions. Irritatingly, they're not super-delicious to make up for the expense, so I tend to avoid those now.
I have also incorporated two general strategies from the book into my cooking; the first is trying to invariably cook a double-sized meal once a week so that there's always a cooked meal in the freezer, and the second is keeping in stock the ingredients for a couple of the 'larder meals'.
I prefer books with lots of recipes and no photos, so no problem there, but a point off for some meals that are under-tested, or fiddly and not-worth-the-hassle, or expensive; and for the small print. Nevertheless, this is a really useful family cookbook.