Let me tell you the story of why the microwave permanently smells of burnt garlic. Once upon a time I thought it would be a good idea to test ALL of my recipe books…
How to feed your friends with relish aims to take the fear and stress out of cooking for friends; whether it’s a full on dinner party or helping out during a difficult time by popping round with something nice. There are plenty of helpful tips on what to cook, how to create the right atmosphere etc. Definitely one of those books that leaves you hankering after a particular lifestyle. However, I’m wondering how rigorously the recipes were tested.
A quick pea soup with ‘blasted’ garlic (perfect for feeding unexpected guests), asks you to microwave a bulb of garlic for 5 minutes until ‘soft and mellowed’. After 1.5 mins the kitchen was filled with acrid smoke as the papery outer skin did its best to burst into flames. The garlic itself was burnt and hard. And to this very day, the microwave stinks of burning garlic.
How to Feed Your Friends with Relish by Joanna Weinberg. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2007.
Why did you buy it?
Can’t remember. Probably because it has menus in it, I’m a sucker for menus.
Judge a book by its cover…
Classy. Nice size, nice illustrations, lovely thick paper. Very middle-class-younger-person-with-taste, which I’m assuming is the target audience.
Do you use it?
Not a great deal. The parts about entertaining are great, in reality the recipes often disregard her own advice and are more fussy and time consuming than necessary. A lot of the time there will be ingredients that at least one member of the family will veto, and after the fiasco with the microwaved garlic I’m treating other recipes with extreme caution.
What did you make?
Well. Pea soup… actually there were other issues with the recipe, there is no way that 500ml of stock is going to make enough soup for four. Other than that, it was nice. Then we tried a cottage pie, tarted up with the addition of chorizo. Not bad, but nothing special.
Sausage meat and cabbage casserole was really nice, but again there were issues with the amount of fluids, this time way too much. There were also some flapjacks, which were pretty good. Oh yeah! I forgot about the steak sandwiches, they were lovely.
Is it still in print?
Not sure, but copies are available in print or via Kindle.
Is it worth buying?
Hmm. It’s a nice book. I would recommend it to experienced cooks, who know when and where to make adjustments, and who want to entertain more; otherwise not really. I will be keeping my copy though.