Top positive review
21 people found this helpful
Delicious, whimsical, and do-able recipes
on September 1, 2012
Your criteria for cookbooks may differ, so I thought I'd lay mine out so you know how I am evaluating this cookbook:
1. Are the recipes do-able and practical for people who work a day job to pay the bills? YES. Recipes that call for 20 ingredients, and 2hrs of prep time don't make the cut and thankfully, most of Sophie Dahl's recipes are very do-able. I've made 7 of them on a worknight without feeling jammed for time. Cleanup isn't too much either, and this is important. The idea of having to use 11 pots and pans and other assorted equipment and then cleaning it up later kills most good cooking intentions in this house. I've also never taken a cooking class, and am merely an oft-harried, usually exhausted cook trying to put-together a meal for the family. These recipes are do-able, you don't need to be an expert to execute them with good results.
2. Are the results delicious? Yes, yes, and yes. Here, it's very subjective, but not only do I like the types of food featured, but I like her set of flavor combos. If your favorite flavor-gestalts are different, you may not like this, but for me (a lover of Mediterranean flavors, a lover of ingredients from Japanese, South Asian, and East Asian cuisines, as well as a smattering of classic English & French type flavors), her recipes really hit the sweet spot.
3. Do the recipes capture my imagination and transport me to some other time/place? Yes, they do. The author weaves in a brief anecdote with her instructions, and explains why a particular recipe is included. She does this without getting too wrapped up in the anecdote, but with just enough storytelling to infuse the recipes with whimsy. It's good to feed the imagination as well as the belly.