Just spent 20 minutes - twenty whole minutes I'll never get back - googling and futzing, futzing and googling, an attempt to work out why the shutter on my 'blad won't fire. Turns out I am an idiot (hardly news) as all it was was something I could have worked out if I'd not been near a computer. Sometimes ones own wiles really are enough (note to self). I should be in the country, in the kitchen garden from where we see this lovely old lady mowing all day, but as our house is currently roofless, here I am in the office instead, getting the web to do the work for me. D'uh.
Whilst I am here - and brief I shall be as our builder Jack tells me the roof is, as of now, on - I thought I'd have a quick chat about cookbooks. Partly 'cause in the bookshop we see so many and partly 'cause a newsletter my inbox receives weekly recently suggested that one should stop cooking from books as magazines and newspapers are more seasonally appropriate (a-hem). There were a lot of very pretty things that arrived at xmas, but not many of them appealed, perhaps because I've so many already, but also, I suspect, losing weight and changing my attitude to food over the past 12 months have played their respective parts. All the years I spent cooking from recipes have made me an excellent on-the-hop cook, albeit one who no longer pays food the kind of attention she used to. Hell, why don't I just quote my beautiful northern hemisphere friend Alison who, as per usual, sums things up far more eloquently than I:
it's about not only what we eat, but how much, and the timing of certain kinds of foods through the cycle of a day. and soon the seasonal part will all change again, with the oncoming spring weather. one thing i do realize is that in paying attention to eating in this way food is honored, but also it becomes somehow de-emphasized. it's interesting.
"food is honored, but...somehow de-emphasized". YES. That.
In truth, the only cookbooks I've actually parted cash with lately have been Nigel Slater's Eat (lovely little thing that it is), Sarah Wilson's new I Quit Sugar one (still not entirely convinced, but the Inside Out Paleo Bread is really rather good) and, best of all, my mate Lesh's Nourished e-book. Lesh's book is by far the most useful and wise, and I am unashamedly suggesting you have a squiz on her site.
Any cookbooks I've missed? Any that you adore??