Books: Supper for a song1
We’d eat it for a whistle
By Tamasin Day-Lewis
This book is as well-suited to the fair folk of Gobbling Tower as it gets. ‘It’s about foraging in the fridge and field and larder, and still shopping for the best while spending less’ - we think that’s splendid, Tamasin. Splendid.
After a preliminary glance down the index, it’s straight to the something out of nothing suppers section. If Tamasin’s sources are to be believed, we Brits are busy throwing away 30% of the food we buy, and she couldn’t be more disgusted. There’s talk of pizza, ends of old goat, and chick pea curry, and although we can’t remember the last time we had that many leftover mussels (to chuck into Tamasin’s paella with spring vegetables), the recipes are handy and genuinely conjured out of nothing – ranging from classic pizza, to less classic aloo palak.
At the opposite end of the book lies an entire chapter devoted to making your chicken go as far as possible - How to cook a chicken again and again. We all know about the old stock pot routine, so we are pleased to report that Tamasin has a few more poultry tricks up her sleeves. These include poaching, and ‘saucing up’ your favourite bird, as well as a handful of delicious things to do with your roast chicken, before and after it has been cooked – lemon chicken risotto was a big hit chez Gobbler last week.
From here, the book works down the pantry shelf, addressing kitchen staples like mince, mash and chick peas, along with broader cooking techniques such as one-pot meals, soup, bread and ‘Saturday bakes’. Tamasin’s writing is lively and engaging, and the design and photography is attractive enough to make you want to cook, without the usual stirring of sadness when you realise you don’t own any rustic, hand-sculpted tableware. The recipes are hearty, appealing and very doable. Tip for a thrifty 2010.