Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries is a book I bought as part of a cookery book club I used to run. We all bought the same book and tried out various recipes and then met up a month later to compare notes on which recipes we rated and which books would be on their way to the Charity Shop now we’d tried them out. Unfortunately, three of the other members moved away and then I moved and it all fell by the wayside after a year. I have quite a few foodie friends so I really should try to start it up again.
The Kitchen Diaries did manage to survive the Charity Shop cull although it isn’t a book I go to very often. I think it’s downfall for me is also part of what I quite like about it too – yes, I know that’s a contradiction – in that it doesn’t have easily accessible sections for food types/groups. It is what is says on the tin – a diary. So the recipes are all seasonal and appropriate for the time of year. But if I am looking for a chicken recipe, I can’t open a section on poultry and have to trawl through the index and flip back and forth to see if there is something I’d like to cook. So for example, the roast chicken with cheese mash and garlic gravy is very simple to make and it is true to say, really suits a cold, wet, November day, but baked onions with Parmesan and cream is a dish I’d eat all year round but didn’t really notice until I started writing this review and is hidden away in November too. Going to try it with a watercress salad for lunch today!
I like the rich feel of the thick cream paper the book is printed on and the slightly dull effect this has on the photography which makes the food look real and not airbrushed and glossy. Overall, I can’t say I’m a big fan of Nigel Slater as a TV personality, although he does get a big thumbs up for not being an over-salter! I do, however, like his style of writing and have since purchased a couple of his other books. You don’t need to be Masterchef material to follow his recipes and the results are on the whole tasty and rather good.