Delia, Diets and Dilemmas

OK I know its a cliche going on a diet for the new year but it seemed timely in view of the government’s latest healthy living campaign besides I’ve also taken a break from alcohol – thought it was time to give my liver a wee rest following the extensive use I’ve made recently of the 2 bottles of gin I had for Christmas.

Also it fits in with my attempt this year to change the way I cook, meals being dictated more by what I have in than by cookbooks (finished my kitchen stock take, was pleasantly surprised by some of the things I found lurking in the freezer, threw a few frozen kitchen experiments away). I’ve also started Fitday again as I found that useful for keeping an eye on calories and exercise…and will be taking up the Bento challenge on the 13th. I don’t intend to mention this again in the next 6 months but Islay if you are reading the starting weight is 11st 11lb…

The cookbook cull continues and I have a dilemma over Delia. I do not read Delia for pleasure ( I prefer cooks with passion for food, the only passion I’ve ever seen Delia demonstrate was her infamous shouting at the crowd when Norwich were losing) , I wasn’t even taught

how to cook from watching her programmes ( I learned from watching Mum and trying to pass an o level in Home Economics – allegedly I even know what those symbols are on clothes labels…allegedly). However there is a generation and a half out there, about 30-65 which keeps a copy of Delia’s cookery course in their kitchen as a sort of lifebelt…It’s like that game “What would Madonna do” (or perhaps that only happens in India Knight novels) instead when you don’t know what to do in a cooking crisis you ask “what would Delia do”. Me I phone Mum and she consults her copy of Delia’s Complete Cookery Course. ..I only have her How to Cook Books 1 and 2.

There are things I would like to do properly, for example I can’t make rice but Husband can. One day after grimacing his way through my latest offering he took control, went into the kitchen for the How to Cook and next time we had rice he cooked it – and sickeningly it was perfect.

So do I stick it on Amazon as secondhand or do I bite the bullet and as a new years resolution work my way through it…we do have an abundance of eggs in the fridge at the moment…and cheese…and Husband did enter my life some years ago complete with his own omelette pan…

I can’t get this man out of my kitchen…(cookbook clearance)

I am not planning on doing any recipe cooking for awhile.  On the cake front I’ve just made the Brownies which may take some time to shift as I’m taking a break from sugar laden foodstuffs for a short time. On the savoury front we are still clearing the fridge of leftovers, last night was refrigerator rice (or refrigerator velcro as I’ve heard it called) and today I made 2 soups, one of which is known as “End of Life” soup and as you might expect has a variable ingredients list.

This year I am also cutting down on my reliance on recipes and returning to how I used to cook (what have we got, what needs using etc). Over the years I built up a collection of probably some 50 recipe books. In the last year this has been slashed dramatically due to lack of space (yes, I still lack enough space) and cash… periodically I list the surplus books on Amazon and on the intranet at work.

There is one cook book that I will never use, but I will never sell. Not because I’m particularly attached to it but because Husband would probably divorce me if I tried to get rid of the book.

The book in question is White Heat: Marco Pierre White.

I will never cook from this book because, MPW’s food, nice though it probably is, is just not the sort of food I want to cook or can afford to for that matter, even his pasta dough is OTT on the egg count as far as I am concerned – I’m sure if I had a really discerning palette then I would notice the difference, and if I’m paying those prices then I’d expect something above average.

So why will Husband divorce me if the book leaves the house ? Am I perhaps a very lucky girl and has a husband who cooks to Michelin star standard ? No, I have a husband (and whole family for that matter) who is heavily into photography and the photos in this book were done by Bob Carlos Clarke…I still have the text message my husband sent me in March 2006 which says simply “Bob’s Dead” and yes I knew who he meant.

ps. Husband has just been reading over my shoulder and has relocated Marco from the kitchen to the living room where the other photography books live – yay !