Thursday, September 26, 2013


My affair with Jamie has come to an end. The book had to go back to the library, and there wasn’t enough good stuff in there to justify spending  the 26 quid Jamie  wants for it. Having said that, it is a decent book, and not nearly so aggravating as the telly series; it gave me some good ideas to do with leftovers, and almost converted me to brisket.

I deviated slightly from Jamie’s recipe for the brisket. I seasoned it and topped it with mustard, as I was told, but then poured half a bottle of wine into the roasting tray and cooked it for 6 hours. It came out alright, ‘twas still only brisket though. I didn’t make a meal with it, couldn’t be arsed, nor did I make any of the leftover recipes, but it made bosting sarnies, with a bit of red cabbage. Some might argue that spending 12 quid on a lump of brisket and cooking it for hours, just so you can have a nice sarnie at work is a bit of a false economy, and they might be right.

The major problem I have had with this new book is that it is really, really heavy on the meat……………..the main premis seem to be to buy a huge fuck off lump of meat and have a Sunday dinner with it, then spice and rice some of it up a bit and have a sarnie or a wrap with the rest. That’s OK, up to a point, but you do get a bit sick of scarfing down the same thing day after day. This morning I opened the fridge door and was confronted with leftover veg curry, leftover bean and chorizo stew, leftover lentil soup, leftover rice and half a bastard chicken. Couldn’t face any of it, made a load of brie and ham sarnies. On sliced white bread. To be fair to Jamie, as we must, none of that grub came out of his book.

I had a go at Jamie’s broccoli and cauliflower bake last week. It was alright, if a bit of a faff. I noticed on the box that he used frozen veg, and he reckoned it was as nice as with fresh veg, if I do it again, which is unlikely, I might try that, not for increased cheapness but for decreased faffness. Another faff was his fish pie, which I did make with frozen fish and veg. It went straight into the bin. I don’t mind a bit of faff, but I want the results to be spectacular, not just OK, and that fish pie, even using frozen ingredients, was bastard expensive. That's not why it went into the bin though; it went into the bin partly because I had been cooking like a bastard and we never got round to eating it, and partly because it looked shit

I finished “The Cook” in no time at all, having taken to my sick bed with it. It maintained its brilliance throughout, although the twist at the end, while delicious, stretched credibility a bit too far.

I’m now reading Denise Mina’s new one, “Red Road”. The jury is out. I read one of hers years ago, and thought it was brilliant, and then read another, which I thought was shit, and then didn’t read any more of hers until this one. I’m feeling quite poorly and sorry for myself, and have a very thick, fuzzy and painful head, so it has done well to keep my attention for the 60 odd pages I have read: however, a bunch of shady toffs are becoming more prominent, and I am fast losing interest.
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