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Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'From simple cakes, cookies and roasts to Christmas cooking, classics and more modern recipes....this book has it all.', 20 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Tamasin's Kitchen Bible: The One And Only Book For Every Cook (Paperback)
A cover quote from 'Sainsbury's Magazine', which well describes this weighty tome, in my opinion!

The dust-jacket flap goes on to say:

'This is a one-stop cookbook equally useful for the complete beginner or the experienced cook looking for inspiration.

There are 500 recipes covering every aspect of cooking at home - the simplest things, hearty budget dishes, the classics and new favourites...'I have to confess that the undertaking of a book such as this is bound to fill the writer with fears of inadequacy for the task ahead and dread of the sins of omission. For as much as I want people of all levels, ages and skills to be able to turn to these pages and cook up a storm, find the recipe they want, the dish they can't find anywhere else, the method they understand, it can't pretend to be all things to all people. I would rather people read these pages for inspiration, knowing that they might find something they'd never cooked, never heard of or never dared to try and just got cooking.
It is not meant to be a manual.
I start and finish with one principle where food and eating are concerned, the pleasure principle.
The rest is up to you in your kitchen.'

Tamasin explains things clearly other cookbooks tend to assume, including:

* how to cook eggs
* make scones,
* deal with fish,
* coordinate a roast,
* cook game,
* master mayonnaise and custard
* rescue a split sauce

often via informative sections known as `The Lowdown' and easily identified by turquoise blue text which aim for success, along with similarly laid out notes about, e.g.:

* Puddings and Dinner Party Lore, Couscous, Risotto and Béchamel Dishes

A useful 'disaster identification' section in 'Cakes' is particularly useful with indicators as to why a cake has turned out coarse-textured, damp and heavy, has sinking fruit, has sunk in the middle or created an unwanted peaked tip!
Yes, it is true to say that it has been done before, but this 'bible' does it with ... a little.....something extra and pays more attention to those details the less experienced cook might require to keep a steady hand in the kitchen.

Hardboard covers open to 511 shiny high quality pages split over main chapters:

(1) Easy Things
(2) Simple Skills
(3) Frugal Food
(4) Christmas Countdown
(5) Classic Recipes
(6) Fool-proof Favourites
(7) Serious Skills

sandwiched between an introduction and sections entitled:

* 'The Kitchen'
* 'Store Cupboard'
* 'Seasonal British Diary'
along with a list of suppliers and a concise index.

Each chapter title page has a list of the sub-sections, e.g.:

'Easy Things':

* Sweet Treats
* Scones
* Savoury Snacks
* Pancakes
* Easy Cakes

followed by a two-page spread of typical T.D-L narrative.

Each recipe is clearly laid out with the title, an opening text, the number of servings, the list of ingredients, sub-divided (if applicable), and the method.

A tiny taste of the other recipes contained within:

* Victoria Sponge
* Pasta Dishes
* Cauliflower Cheese
* Dressings
* Soups
* Fish and Chips
* Pot-Roast Brisket with Root Vegetables
* Confit of Duck with Potatoes Browned in Goose Fat
* Spare Ribs in Chinese-style Barbecue Sauce
* Sunday Roasts and all the trimmings
* Chocolate Marble Cake
* Welsh Rarebit
* Pilav
* Irish Stew
* Moules Marinière
* Boeuf Bourguignonne
* Belly of Pork and Beans
* Tasmanian Lemon Pie
* Batters
* Steak
* Toad in the Hole
* Baked Rice Pudding
* Gruyère Soufflé
* Pommes Dauphinois
* Ratatouille
* A Simple Flatbread
* Crab Apple Jelly
* Courgette Chutney
* Rumtopf
* Mince Pies

.........speaking of which, with Christmas just around the corner (at the time of writing), a 'dedicated chapter' is just the tonic one needs, before the panic really sets in! Spanning pages 196-249, it is split into sub-sections:

* 3-2-1 Days Before Christmas
* Christmas Eve
* Christmas Day
* The Vegetables
* Things to Cook over Christmas and New Year
* Soups
* Brunch
* Christmas and New Year Puddings
* Jelly and Ice Creams

I simply adore the recipe for 'Raspberry Christmas Trifle', page 245, which is described as 'a rich but softly delicious pudding that slips down surreptitiously, despite your misgivings on the calorific front.......
This is no mere trifle and it is full of hidden depths.'
And, the finished dish certainly is.....all of that!

A slight criticism - but not enough to drop an entire star, in my opinion - the amount of photography contained in this 500 recipe volume is a little on the light side, but what is pictured is simply wonderful with full credit to David Loftus, as always!
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