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Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A second helping, 26 Nov. 2009
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This review is from: Great British Grub (Hardcover)
Initially researched & aimed at filling the gaps left behind from Brian Turner's Favourite British Recipes : Classic Dishes from Yorkshire Pudding to Spotted Dick, this book combines great recipes & history snippets, although it should be noted that there are some duplicated recipes.

In this new book, Great British Grub - A Glorious Collection of the Nation's Favourite Dishes, one also finds the good old favourites, such as 'Prawn Cocktail', 'Toad-in-the-Hole' & 'Bakewell Tart' along with the less familiar, perhaps, e.g. 'Brown Windsor Soup', 'Beef Cecils' & 'Twelfth Night Cake'.
In a somewhat unusual layout, this new publication highlights specific 'traditional themes' in the first five chapters and selected 'festivals' in the latter three.

ooOoo

From the introduction:

'What I have done, really, is try to go through a typical calendar year of British eating, unearthing the history and any snippets I thought interesting...While once again exploring the traditional foods of Britain...I have gone a little further as well, recognising and acknowledging the influences that have been absorbed from other cuisines into ours...'

Nostalgia plays a part:

'This book...contains recipes that my Mum & Grandma would have known and which they would have hoped would not disappear.
It is vital we look to the future, but at the same time we must not forget the past.
I hope the recipes here - some of which are old, some new, some familiar, some apparently strange - will please you.
None of them is too difficult to achieve, for many of them are not sophisticated in the least (good food can be made from simple ingredients & simple techniques), and quite a few use up leftovers.
Finally in the testing, I was delighted and relieved to find out how 'good' all the recipes taste. I hope that you will enjoy this book - use it well, and cook and eat well.'

ooOoo

Being based on home-cooking, there is that inevitable slant towards using seasonal produce, (along with a dig at 'the supermarket') but although B.T. does endorse the idea of using local produce, whenever possible, he is quick to recognise that his London cooking days would have been seriously compromised if the theory had been applied too rigidly!

So, in an attempt to return to the good old days:

A good old 'pie' adorns the durable hardboard cover, which opens to 256 high quality shiny pages, split over main chapters:

(1) Breakfasts & Brunches
(2) Morning Coffee & Afternoon Tea
(3) Sunday Lunches
(4) Picnics & Barbecues
(5) High Teas & Suppers
(6) Hallowe'en & Bonfire Night
(7) Christmas & New Year
(8) Easter

sandwiched between the aforementioned introduction & a concise index, which is usefully enhanced with the highlighting of 'Vegetarian Recipes' ('Vegetarian recipes include eggs but exclude suet and gelatine').

Each chapter opens with a double-page spread, an introduction on the left, the title and colourful illustration on the right.
The main colour featured on the right hand page usefully follows through in the headings/sub-headings of the following recipes, showing that a considerable amount of thought has also gone into the layout of this book.

Each recipe is clearly laid out with an informative note, the number of servings, the list/s of ingredients & a numbered method.

This volume is littered with culinary advice & interspersed with illustrations...although...not that many, which might prove a little disappointing to those of us who like to see what we are aiming for on the plate!

A small taste of the 160 recipes contained within:

• Kedgeree
• Crispy Bacon with Mushroom Pancakes
• Irish Soda Bread
• Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding
• Madeira Cake
• Victoria Sponge
• Poacher's Pie
• Sea Bass with Fennel Butter
• Blackberry Blancmange
• Flummery
• Salad of Scallops with Bacon
• Mutton Ham
• Chicken and Pork Brawn
• Bacon and Egg Pie
• BBQ Spare Ribs
• Scotch Eggs
• Angels on Horseback
• Bubble and Squeak
• Prawn Cocktail Cakes
• Sardines and Tomatoes on Toast
• Fish and Chips
• Sausage and Bean Stew
• Stuffed Spring Greens
• Cauliflower Cheese
• Pumpkin Rice
• Mulligatawny Soup
• Sage and Onion Stuffing
• Steak Plate Pie
• Pork Faggots
• Pancakes

...and, with Christmas just around the corner (at the time of writing):

★ Roast Turkey & all the Trimmings
★ Christmas Pudding
★ Rum Sauce
★ Mincemeat Rolls with Clotted Cream Custard

My favourite so far, tried & tasted , is the delicious 'Fish Pie', serving 6-8, from pages 56 & 57 & Brian usefully identifies that as not all diners like cheese with fish...he offers some useful alternatives!

I also like the spin on his tasty 'Ham and Eggs'...in the oven!

A useful book of British fare that is easy to read, absorb & cook from...making it a good 'first', if something similar doesn't already occupy a space on the kitchen bookshelf.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Dec 2009 17:23:25 GMT
SMG says:
Superb review - I wish there were more like them!

Posted on 22 Dec 2009 09:03:34 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 22 Dec 2009 09:03:46 GMT]

Posted on 22 Dec 2009 09:04:47 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 24 Dec 2009 13:50:53 GMT]

Posted on 24 Dec 2009 13:51:02 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 31 Dec 2009 17:53:06 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Dec 2009 17:53:37 GMT
KiT says:
Sincere thanks for reading my review and taking the time to comment.
Wishing you all the very best in 2010.

Posted on 4 Oct 2011 03:05:57 BDT
GREAT review. Thank you so much for taking your time to review the book. It was very helpful!
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