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Mirimirage

Allusion is not Illusion

You'll pry my books off my cold, dead body. By the time you shift them all I'll be flat and dessicated.

Currently reading

Winter's Tales
Karen Blixen, Isak Dinesen
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Penguin Classics)
Rebecca West, Christopher Hitchens
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Already Dead
Charlie Huston
The Rings of Saturn
W.G. Sebald, Michael Hulse
Lady Audley's Secret
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, David Skilton
Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" - And How You Can Fight Back
Thom Hartmann
The City, Not Long After
Pat Murphy
You Can Sketch: A Step-by-Step Guide for Absolute Beginners
Jackie Simmonds
Lonely Werewolf Girl
Martin Millar
Plenty - Yotam Ottolenghi
Jonathan Lovekin's food photography is splendid, if not exactly ground-breaking. (Is there ground to break in food photography?)



It may seem a bit odd to start a review of a cookbook by talking about the illustrations, but in this case I think they're one of the main selling points of the book. This isn't a criticism of Ottolenghi's food -- the recipes are interesting and most of them look quite tasty. However, Ottolenghi is a famous chef and food columnist, and almost every recipe (in fact, every single one I looked up, although I didn't check them all) is available on the internet. Also, the index is not great (it's arranged by primary ingredient but secondary ingredients are not listed), so I found it actually easier to look up specific recipes on good rather than searching thought the book. In short, I enjoyed the book but am glad I got in from the library as I don't need to own another large cookbook that I rarely consult.

Most recipes involve a large variety of ingredients -- ones most casual cooks are unlikely to have at hand -- and a number of steps and preparations that might be intimidating to inexperience cooks; however, most of the recipes are not technically difficult. That is, they rarely involve things needing to be cooked to very precise temperatures or times, or by methods that can easily go wrong (sauces that "break" for instance). Also, he often notes which steps can and can't be done ahead of time, which is helpful in planning.