A friend of mine gave me this as a gift. It is a pointless book. Ironically you'd waste more time reading and following Delia's cheats than you would: 1. figuring out the obvious for yourself, 2. Not cheating to make the same recipes.
Can no one figure out how to make 'cheats' Eton Mess for themselves? I have yet to meet (and hope I never will meet) anyone who cannot figure out that with pre- made meringues, strawberries (or strawberry compote, buy ready made if your wish) added to whipped cream (are you really too lazy to whip your own cream?) or buy a spray can of cream if you must, you can make a 'cheats' Eton Mess. Not to mention that if you've gone to all that effort to make a cheat's version you may as well buy a ready made supermarket Eton Mess.
Anyone could write the type of obvious ideas this book presents. Here is an idea Delia forgot. Want an idea for cheats Shepherds pie? Ready made mash from a packet (or instant and water of you feel like 'cooking') put on top of a tin of mince in gravy you tipped into an oven dish earlier (why you even own one if you never cook is a mystery) and put in the oven. There you have it, cheats shepherds pie. TIP: fancy cottage pie instead? Add some tinned vegetables to the mince and mix. I presume if you are making cheats pies you don't even know whether the meat should be beef or lamb?
The book is a blatant money making exercise and is useless, even to the people it is targeting. If you really want to cheat at cooking, then why not just buy pre-made meals? Most supermarkets have a great range of ready meals at a range of prices, and face it if you don't care about sub-standard food (or you wouldn't be cheating in the first place) you're not going to mind the standard of ready meals from supermarkets. Also, some of the suggestions in the book actually would cost you more than buying the ready meal equivalent.
The soup ideas in the book are laughable, if you're not going to make homemade soup why not buy a high end fresh soup (if you want a high quality or to serve to friends)? The idea of mixing fresh with poor quality pre-made ingredients is also a bad idea as you'll only get the poor quality ingredient bringing down the taste of the high quality one. For example what would freshly sourced lobster taste like mixed into a basic range brand soup that cost you 10p? You get the idea.