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February 10, 2010


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Thankyou for this, so beautiful. Nigel sounds like he belongs on our bookshelf too!


It is Nigel's particular genius to come up with recipes which are familiar, not a cooking stretch, and just the kind of thing you could imagine yourself making. I think it's Corrigan who talks about Nigel's intense and in-depth knowledge of ingredients. And how that informs all his writing and of course all his recipes. Those tomatoes look wonderful, yet again it's a recipe I haven't yet noticed in his book.


I just love Nigel's recipes, and his writing is just a joy to read. His recipes feature regularly in our house and are much loved. I never new plum crumble could be so good, or chocolate souffle so easy until Nigel :) In fact I'm so sad I even have a nigel book (kitchen diaries) in my fire box to take if we have to evacuate due to a bushfire!


I love Nigel, and I love Tender too. Great photos!

sophie munns

I love your prose Lucy!

Clare W

you've got my tummy a-rumblin' and I've already eaten!!

Kim (frogpondsrock)

My Grandmother used to do a similar dish but she added sliced onions and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs mmm comfort food. I used to grow grosse lisse tomatoes up here and always wonder why I still had green tomatoes as the first frosts hit. Then only by chance I found out they were a late fruiting variety. *doh*


Yep, Nige is great. It took me some months to get into him as well, but now he is my cook of the moment. Its his best book so far and I love his knack for extracting max flavour with min ingredients and effort. Your photos are spectacular, Lucy.


Em: I think it's worth it, this one, though it's not my favourite of his. Yet. The gardening component is largely irrelevant outside of the UK, but that's not why anyone reads Nigel anyway - no-one writes like him, though I think we all try!

Kathryn: The other thing that I think makes Nigel's work shine is how well we know him. I found him in the very early '90's, a flatmate and I buying imported copies of English Marie Claire and instantly adored his pizza sauce, with it's 'wineglass of quaffable red'. His love of certain ingredients (eggplant and potato); the fact that meat used to appear far more often in his work; and his slow acceptance, over the years, that he's a very good baker. My word, he is.

For all the celeb cookery writers, no-one (except for Heidi of 101 Cookbooks and Mr 'Bogman' Corrigan) is humbler, nor as connected to simple, do-able as you say, kitchen things. I loved Kitchen Diaries because he wrote truthfully; that some days you want to pull out all the stops and others, all you want is yesterday's potatoes and a beer. I took Corrigan off the shelf again last night, but it was too hot to read him. Damn rain never arrived!

Margo: Oh, yes. Kitchen Diaries is on my list of books I'd save too. I love that you're fire ready and I'm pretty sure there's no greater honour for a cookbook writer than that! It's a treasure trove of ideas, that one, and Lovekin, his photographer, really came into his own there...plum crumble I am off to look up, thank you. AND, I must say, your blog's name made my day! I can just hear Margo's voice calling out to Jerry in panic about what the Good's next door are up to...

Agnes: Hi, and thanks. Glad you're loving Nigel. Your eggplant stew looked glorious.

Sophie: Lovely thing! Thank you.

Clare: Reading food blogs'll do that to you. Happens to me all the time...

Kim: Brillant thought. Definite comfort food and so simple. Noting down your Grosse Lisse info...and now know why mine aren't trundling along as quickly as I'd like them to.

Ganga: And it's his way with words. He describes vegetables with such love, such understanding. It's the sexiest food-writing in the world. My pepper photos came back slightly wrong...what happens when you go using expired film...


Lovely pictures..as always
I swing with Nigel, I have just been given Tender as a gift but I haven't really looked or cooked yet. I do like his kitchen diaries, they make sense.... but he annoys me sometimes..... I suppose that always happens wth people you love.....I made his ginger cake and a winter salad this weekend and they were both lovely.
I like this idea very much, why didn't it occur to me ?.


Oh good! Tender is on its way to me, sure to arrive when this absurd amount of snow can be pushed away from our mailboxes. Now I'm sure I'll love it - your photos are stunning and hearing of your successes I really just can't wait!

And those tomatoes look incredible - what variety?


love the top photo - I love them all but that top one has a wonderful light full of nostalgia and promise.

I have got nigel beside the computer but haven't had time to just relax with him and really get my head around the recipes - the photos are indeed gorgeous

Daniel Chan

The second paragraph. I could smell the rain in the air.


Looks delish-must give it a try!
Pop used to grow Grosse Lisse most successfully.
Nanna used to say there's no such thing as an indoor plant. Make sure you take it outside once a week! (I was just looking at Flickr!)


Rachel: I've never made a dud recipe from Slater, though I have from other cooks like Nigella (she and I have major issues), and yet I do understand why he makes you waver. There's a passage or two in the introduction to Tender that, truth be told, irritated me. At times he seemed too wordy; waxed a little too lyrically, but, as you say, then you cook something and bam, you're back in love. It's growing on me, but Appetite and The Diaries are simply better books.

Chelsea: As a gardener, you're going to adore Lovekin's photos and, being Northern Hemisphere-ean, it will probably make good garden sense to you. Beautiful object, gorgeous recipes. Tonnes to read, too, so good value. Just ordered Vol 2, about fruit which I'm fairly sure will be useless for me down here in drought-land, but hey, a girl can dream, right? As for the toms, they're Grosse Lisse, or so the man at the market told me. Mine are so slow it's killing me...

Johanna: Ta, love. The light at the end of our yard is enough to swell your heart most nights. When our lease runs out, it's that light, framed by the trees, that I will miss most. I leave my Holga by the back door so I can run out whenever it's pretty. Which is a lot. Put those feet up and get cracking on Nigel!

Daniel: What a sweet smell that is! When it fell last night, I threw off my shoes and ran about in it, despite the thunder and lightning...we've collected enough water to keep us going for a while. And that feels more precious than anything.


Mum! Why aren't you at French?

Anyhoo, I didn't forget you - we were just writing here at the exact same moment. Don't think I remember Pop's toms, which is a shame, but I do remember Nanna saying that. Will do.

I bought a crazy Madagacan pink-flowering thing a few days ago, and it's been getting a couple of hours a day outside. Our wee aspidistra-like friend on flickr gets out twice a week, in the afternoon - do you think that will be enough?

Also, how funny is it that dad signs off his emails to me, "Regards, Dad." - so formal it made me chuckle.



here is no French yet- not till next week.(You will now have noticed my mistake. But I don't know how to fix it!) Yes, that should be right for your Madagascan friend. Papa can be rather formal at times. We must correspond in the normal way! (We had 200mls i.e. 8 inches of rain last week.)


But mum, I LOVE your comment, precisely as written. It's stayin', I'm afraid.

We had so much yesterday, and I've no measure-y thing, but I think it'd be about that much. It was heaven.


You write so beautifully. I am so happy you commented on my blog, because now I know about yours and I can check in for some of your lovely word therapy. Hmmmm, summer, you must be on the other side of the world from me. We are definitely still in the winter season, albeit our January and February have averaged -6C instead of the typical -20C...just one of those small things I am so grateful for :)

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