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Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes and Stories

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There is so much around us that we cannot control, but food gives shape to our pleasures and offers both immersion and escape.

She has also co-hosted, with David Aaronovitch, Channel 4 books discussion programme 'Booked' in the late 1990s, and was an occasional compere of BBC2's press review 'What the Papers Say', as well as appearing on BBC radio. Read it for the careful pushback against what Instagram has done to eating; read it for luxurious ideas on how to treat yourself (it's not for nothing that Lawson says making a creme caramel for one person is ridiculous—and then proceeds to tell you how); read it for a gleeful reminder of how delicious and wonderful food and eating can be. Some of these felt a smidge repetitive compared to some of her other cookbooks, but I can't deny that I had a lovely time immersing myself in the gorgeous descriptions! Some cool recipes in this one but, really, I'm just not that into Nigella that I want to read her every thought on things. It is also not the easiest binding to keep open at the chosen pages when the time comes to get in the kitchen and cook!

Her style of presentation is often gently mocked by comedians and commentators, particularly in a regularly-occurring impersonation of her in the BBC television comedy series 'Dead Ringers', who perceive that she plays overtly upon her attractiveness and sexuality as a device to engage viewers of her cookery programmes, despite Lawson's repeated denials that she does so. Dedicated chapters include 'A is for Anchovy' (a celebration of the bacon of the sea), 'Rhubarb' , 'A Loving Defence of Brown Food' , a suitably expansive chapter devoted to family dinners, plus inspiration for vegan feasts and solo suppers. This is dense, essay-style food writing although it’s clear enough when it comes to the fundamentals (measurements, timings, ingredients, etc).

And on why she doesn’t have “guilty pleasures”: “Taking pleasure in the food we eat is an act of gratitude. I enter into the exuberance, but a continuous diet (true of any stylistic author, including Wodehouse, Trollope, Dickens, Karon, and others) of Nigella drains the sparkplugs.

She doesn’t believe in guilty pleasures—she thinks of all eating as pleasure and doesn’t believe in feeling guilty for that. She even tried some gluten free recipes and actually found she liked them better than her traditional way.

I don’t think I actually groan out loud when I’m asked, every time I’m interviewed, ‘What are your guilty pleasures? With this understanding of the relationship between recipe author and recipe user, I did make a few of the recipes and I did adapt them as I saw fit. I love looking at the recipes and the pictures but I especially love the reflective essays Nigella wrote for this book.I find her recipes extremely reliable, thus I have no problem rating a cookbook I’ve only read from cover to cover - and not actually cooked much from (other than the creme caramel and the wide noodles with lamb shank in aromatic broth). Most of her recipes are created for 4 people, but she offers changes for many to cook them easily for 2 or even 1 instead. I feel conflicted with this, while I worship the altar of Lawson and have cooked, and still do, many of her recipes over the years this one was not a hit with me. Cook, Eat, Repeat' obsahuje okrem lákavým receptov aj krásne eseje o jedle a ingredienciách, ktoré sú napísané svižným, ba priam elegantným jazykom (či dokonca niektoré pasáže majú nádych poetickosti).

No guilty pleasures with Nigella, food is love and sustenance and necessary and of course a total pleasure every time. You don’t have to take your pick: the glory of food is that, beyond sustenance, it comprises a little of everything—aesthetics and manual labour, thrown in. I associate ‘a new Nigella’ with Christmas, and I’ve spent many hours during that lazy week between Christmas and New Year’s leisurely reading my way through her latest cookbook.Those with a sweet tooth will delight in desserts including Rhubarb and Custard Trifle; Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake; and Cherry and Almond Crumble. Cook, Eat, Repeat is a delicious and delightful combination of recipes intertwined with narrative essays about food. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. A couple of the essays in Nigella Lawson’s Cook, Eat, Repeat refer to the lockdown she is experiencing while writing.

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