Wednesday 29 October 2014

Cooking the Books – an introduction

I’ve had an idea, which, the more I consider it, is a bit stupid. For a start, it’s going to involve quite a bit of cooking, and not the ‘old familiar’ type either, but new recipes I haven’t cooked before. You see, I have over 30 cookbooks, ranging from many Jamies, to Heston and back to the older Hamlyn types, but never use them. I tend to stick to a few firm favourites, despite almost continuously browsing the lovely pictures: I’m a particular fan of how Nigel Slater writes, and find his gentle words soothing and comforting, along with the simple yet tasty ideas. Jamie’s are always packed with delicious flavours and Heston’s? Well, I haven’t actually tried that one yet.

The Challenge:

Cook a starter, main and dessert from each of my 36 books, that’s 108 recipes;

Begin with the ones I’ve never cooked from;

Include Heston (even though it’s not technically my book);

Complete the challenge within the year (52 weeks – 4 for holidays = 48 weeks. That’s 2.25 a week!)


Those of you who know me will also know I’m not very good at following recipes. I have a tendency to glance through, collecting some of the ingredients together and foraging in the cupboards for the rest, then resorting to using something similar, but not quite right. I foresee this happening quite a lot over the next few months – heaven knows what’ll happen with the desserts – so I’m also going to include a ‘Cheat & Change’ option in each post, which I hope to write once a week. If the recipes can be found online, I’ll simply create link to each, otherwise, be prepared for a shortened, Hannah-style version that rarely includes weights and measures! I’d like to focus more on the end results, tastes and learning (!) that goes on.

If you’ve read Julie & Julia, the story of how a New York based writer, Julia Powell, cooked her way through Julia Childs’ tome, ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’, you’ll know she attempted to cook 524 recipes in a year. Thank goodness my challenge isn’t that huge, and hopefully, it’ll be much less stressful, but we’ll see!

Get Involved!

Like & share my new Facebook business page where you’ll find updates & links to new posts on the blog

Follow me on twitter @direbonappetit

Post your own ‘Cooking the Books’ photos and comments on the Facebook page and on Twitter using the hash tag #recipeasy

Comment, both on Facebook but especially on the blog posts. There’s a section under each post which gives you the opportunity to share your ideas.

So, that’s it. I’m scared now, but excited about which book to choose first. Maybe not Heston hey?

Let the cooking commence!


Damn…I found another! And, surprise, surprise, it’s a Jamie!

photo (2)


1 comment:

  1. Good luck Merlotti. Sounds like a big challenge. It`s a shame I won`t be able to try any of it...


Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
Merlotti x

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