Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Snippet: I am an omnivore, but...

 


... I do enjoy this cookbook immensely and recommend it. He is an omnivore too - but one doesn't miss anything here. In Bavaria I have time to cook - and though the recipes sometimes demand a lot of time for snipping and hacking the vegetables, the result is always very satisfying and often surprising - and the times he recommends are reliable and so exact that even the Gratin Dauphinoise was really done. 

The only fly in the ointment for "big success" in Germany might be his really, really complicacted name - even I - though I studied English literature and language - can seldom bring it to my mind if I want to recommend it. His book on Fruits was translated into German - and I found it in the "Books for cheap"-basket  - I can only see one reason: nobody, wanting to order it in a bookshop, could recall or pronounce his name. 
But "River Cottage" - that is in my mind and high on my list for future visits in England! 

If I had to give recommendation stars, he would get five out of five. 



16 comments:

  1. Don't worry. I have trouble with his name too.

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  2. We find it easier to refer to him as Hugh Nearly Whitsuntide.

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    1. You made me laugh-out loud, Tasker - my neighbour in Bavaria might think I might become strange. But "Hugh Nearly Whitsuntide" is such a great help to remember that name, thank you!

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  3. It's handy having a recipe book that you can rely upon, for so many have lots of wrinkles that need ironing out with. And you never know the flaws until you set forth. Tedious. I have his Fish book - it's huge, more like a bible, really. Lots of winning ways with winkles and such likes.

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    1. Yes, Pip - many pages have wrinkles and stains - always a good sign in a cook book!
      I try to buy English cookbooks written in English - when I translated "Leon Baking & Puddings" by Claire Ptak (she owns the acclaimed bakery Violet) and Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of LEON, for Dumont, I baked every recipe myself, to be on the safe side - but I know translators who generously translate the English lb (0.453 kg) = pound (mass) into the German 500 Gramm - that can make a huge misfortunate difference in baking recipes...

      The Fish book is new to me - it will thrill the Flying Dutchman (in Bavaria you seldom get tea fish).

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  4. Let's just call him Hugh! Wow, he's written so many great cookbooks but I don't have this one. Do have his 'RIVER COTTAGE VEG' - 200 inspired vegetable recipes (pub. 2013), which is highly regarded in the cooking world all over.
    Seems I'm just swamped now in 'plant-based' cook books acquired by purchase or gifts, so many since the pandemic hit.
    I am basically vegetarian having not eaten meat/poultry for the past 45 years. Most have fantastic recipes, many are just so beautiful to look at with awesome photography and design. I just can't keep going like this though, unless I purge some of my older books which take up space but are no longer opened/used.

    Oooops! Guess what just arrived on my doorstep via AMAZON. . . . . .another one I couldn't resist, Josh McFadden's SIX SEASONS - A New Way with Vegetables - beautiful book and it will be used I'm sure. I bought it myself!

    Happy days in your kitchen dear Britta.
    Hugs from chilly Raleigh - snow predicted for Friday - more of that 'snipping and hacking" of veggies planned for soups, stews etc.
    Mary x

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    1. Dear Mary, that is a great recommendation - I hadn't heard of Josh McFadden's book - and will look it up on Amazon.
      I still cook sometimes meals with poultry, free range, and sometimes red meat, but the last years that has reduced itself to not very often.
      I enjoy much more the preparation of vegetables.
      And am really astonished how many possibilities in taste you can find there.
      Vegetarian is something I can understand very well - with Vegan I have some difficulties, though on two narrow boat trips one of our friends is an American vegan cook - and what he prepared was phantastic. My reservations there are that you have to compose a lot of food items to be healthily nourished (still speaking of strict Vegans, not vegetarians, who eat eggs and milk and cheese).
      It is very chilly here too - and they predict snow for tomorrow (hope that it is not my turn to shovel...).
      I own a Kenwood - but mostly prefer to slice the vegetables with a knife. Yesterday I did a lovely aubergine gratin - recipe by "Hugh". Son & DiL and the triplets were delighted!
      Britta x

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  5. Cooking wholesome fresh meals is important to me as well. My problem is, I do not enjoy cooking. Any simple recipe that is wholesome and tasty is best for me.

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    1. Dear Susan, I collected recipes since I was 14.
      I always cooked, but started really enjoying it only lately - now that I have more time. The Flying Dutchman cooks marvellous - he can prepare dream-sauces (I have not enough patience to do that - but love to eat them).
      For normal life I prefer healthy and simple and quick meals - when I was a half-day working mom I used the rule of Rose Kennedy: 14 days every day something different - then rotating to the beginning :-)

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  6. He has been around for many years. Old Etonian, somewhat different to most of our cooks and obviously had a good start in life and was able to buy River Cottage. I don't think he is as popular as he once was but he is still a popular cook on some tv channels.

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  7. Dear Rachel, I didn't know that I carried coals to Newcastle :-)
    - that he is so popular in Great Britain! He is definitely not famous in Germany (but Jamie Oliver is - though Hugh's cooking is more interesting). In Berlin I met Nigel Slater years ago - he is very popular in Germany too. xx

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  8. My grandmother was a great cook and bake; my mother was a good cook but couldn't bake; and I learned from both of these important women in my life. My sons weren't too interested, until they were moving into their own university flats.. then I taught them all the basic meals a person needs.

    Do people read cookbooks these days, instead of learning from their parents or partner?

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    1. Dear Helen, I believe that today a lot of people buy cookbooks as "table books" - beautiful photographs, big format - I doubt whether they really cook the recipes. Same with those popular cooking shows.
      My grandmother baked for a huge family - and told me her secret for inner balance: "When you are angry, Britt: make a yeast dough - the more you beat it, the better it gets!"
      My son cooks very well - but that he learned while studying. He proved what I had written in my book HomeBasics: "If you can read, you can cook". (I did not promised that you become a three-star-cook).

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    1. Me too, Joanne - when I wake up in the night and cannot sleep again, I take a cookbook - it is not too upsetting and it is comfy.

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