I can't believe I have overlooked this book and taken this long to review it here...... in this book, Nigel Slater takes the reader and cook on a lovely little journey into what he has eaten, shopped, grown and cooked over the course of a year. From very simple meals to slightly more elaborate, his writing is as usual, beautiful and delicious. Written in a diary format, each entry date has a little subheading underneath it like, 'June 5 - sometimes lunch just happens' or Sept 25 - 'A risotto caught at the point of perfection'.............how can you not love that !
A description of the dish being made and the context in which it was made is given followed by a simply constructed recipe to finish. The vision of the book was to trace the seasons through the year and in his words ...'to eat the right food at the right time'...... Recipes run the gamut of simple soups and pasta suppers or a perfect piece of cheese and bread to the full Christmas dinner. The photography is as always, beautiful and really captures the home made essence of the meal being created.
I have heard more doubting people suggest that of course you might eat well if you were documenting your cooking and eating for the purposes of a book, but I refuse to take notice of such cynical talk. I am an unabashed fan of Nigel's books - I love the feeling of inclusion his books offer me as...
Although I don't own it, I am absolutely smitten with this cookbook. I borrowed it from the library about a year ago, and spent a feverish few days reading through it, sharing it with a friend, and reading portions out loud to my husband. I love the concept of the book, a journey through a year of regular cooking in a food lover's kitchen (and sometimes garden). Arranged by month, Slater takes us through his year, from planned out special occasion meals, to refrigerator ad hoc dinners. His writing is delightful, and many of the recipes approachable. My only lament is that it appears to be out of print in the U.S. and I keep hoping they'll release a paperback version for purchase.
This book is a delight!
Following Nigel's year of meals is fascinating, and his "diary" style of writing kept me curled up with the book and a mug of coffee as though I were reading a novel. As expected, the photos are lovely and the meals fabulous. A gem of a book!
as the previous reviewer mentioned-- the book is out of print in the US-- however, tracking down a reasonably priced used copy was no problem at all.
As previous reviewers have noted, the style and presentation of this book make it a pleasure to read! I don't know whether there were different editions printed, but my copy has exquisite grainy paper that really gives the photographs extra depth and sumptuousness.
I also happened to purchase the book at a reduced price...and thought myself lucky indeed, until I got home and began to peruse the book in detail and pages 126 through 132 fell out on my lap. But, I would say that isn't really a complaint against the book itself, I've just learned that it's probably a good idea to give books a wee flip through and shake prior to purchase to make certain they're in one piece!
Anyway, the dated entries are not only a stylistic feature, they also make it easy to refer back to find a recipe that's suited to the season (e.g. stodgy or warming dishes in the winter), and uses seasonal ingredients.
I have such affection towards this book and just towards Nigel Slater in general! His passion for food is infectious and I love flicking through the heavy pages to find recipe and preparation ideas for any given month, with friendly suggestions and anecdotes from Nigel's own kitchen.
I love his simple and quite rustic style of cooking, which really shines through in this book, and I haven't made a recipe that hasn't turned out delicious. I'm making my first Christmas cake this year and confidently putting my full trust in his recipe from this book.
The Kitchen Diaries is so much more than a cookbook. If you're already a fan his, you'll love this book and if you're not familiar with him, I'm sure his glorious writing and simple cooking style will instantly win you over.
I just really love Nigel's writing. The way he can bang out a simple paragraph about working in the garden and having salad for lunch... That's what I aspire to. One day. Oh, and the food? Yeah, that's good to. Although I must admit I haven't properly cooked through it yet, I just like reading it over and over again.