I love my kindle and I use it well. Always reading before I sleep, a habit developed throughout stressful jobs in the past. I am also trying to become a little more minimalist about the house these days, but…I could not do without cookery books. It is one of a few things that borders on a bit of a sickness within me, some of the others being table cloths, shoes, little dishes, Chelsea FC, second hand china crockery, and so on. The cookery books really are treasured possessions, and I take them to bed to read. I love the ones that don’t just list recipes but which tell a story. A couple of years ago, I came by a Claudia Roden book “A New Book of Middle Eastern Food” and it is one of my favourite comfort reads. The recipes are also very straight forward but the stories transport me to another place – and time. Knowing this, Marmoset got me CR’s book The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand and Vilna to the Present Day. I’m working my way through it gradually.
Another great read is David Thompson’s “Thai Food” the recipes are bountiful and informative and again it’s all the background knowledge that is so beautifully put together.
Recently, it has been Leith’s complete fish bible which is brilliant for improving technical knowledge. My version is a bit out of date and I’m not sure of they have updated for current sustainability thoughts but it is a great reference book and takes you through the finer points of preparation and things that have previously scared me to death about prepping fish from scratch. When doing my City & Guilds in Seafood – all advice was gratefully received. I’m still ‘improving’ at filleting but at least I understand what I am supposed to be doing now.
It will become apparent that I do worship at the feet of Rick Stein. It has been a long-standing affair, one the cherished Rocket has had to put up with, and he has done so with aplomb. Quiet apart from his obvious passion, Rick’s recipes are so faithful, so well tried and tested, so true. I have doubted Ricky on occasion, the first time I did the prawn stuffed papads and there is a bit of folding and sticking to do I thought it wouldn’t hold together and did some ‘my own way’ as well as his. Well guess what? You cannot imagine the excitement when Marmoset, myself and another friend Oceana rocked up in Goa a few years later and on our first night we were served the delicious articles alongside a cold beer.They are crunchy, spicy, utterly delicious AND the ones I’d made turned out to taste remarkably similar – thanks to Rick. I LOVE RICK STEIN and I cannot lie!
Here is my take on the ones we had in Goa
Goan Prawn stuffed Papads