Many of us have a well-worn copy of ‘How to Eat’ in our bookshelf – and now, it’s celebrating 20 years’ of inspiring recipes.
Nigella Lawson, past MiNDFOOD cover, released her classic cookbook, How to Eat some 20 years ago, and it’s still as relevant today as it was back then.
If there’s one thing Nigella Lawson knows how to do well, it’s to eat… with joy. This classic cookbook will help you rediscover the pleasures of eating well. Hailed by chefs, reviewers, cookery writers and millions of home cooks as one of the best foodie books ever written, How To Eat is more than just an imaginative collection of some 350 delicious recipes.
You can tell from the title this is more than a recipe book. From the first entry for roast chicken (stick half a lemon up its bottom) to the last – Marmite sandwiches (cream the butter and Marmite together as if you were making a cake) – the book is clearly the work of a roll-your-sleeves-up cook. Someone deeply familiar with the appetites of food-loving friends and a growing family. This is not some pictures-of-plates coffee-table tome.
Lawson’s prose is lustrous, seductive and reassuring. You feel you are sitting by the cooker, Lawson passing you slightly-too-hot fritters from a pan as you gossip. She gently guides and cajoles her readers rather than barking orders at them. This is less a cookery manual, more a guide to having a good time at the table. This is about meals rather than recipes, be it a solitary supper (pasta with anchovy sauce) or lunch for six (roast pork, red cabbage and gingerbread).
“There are people who say there are things you should do – ‘read that book, eat that food’ – but I feel it’s very important not to get hung up on that stuff. People often have a lot of anxiety about what they are eating. I think [food is] too important not to have too much sauce or this or that. It should be about the pure enjoyment of making the food and sitting down and eating it,” Lawson previously told MiNDFOOD in an interview.
“When I read a cookbook I put the words in my mouth and savour them. I read a recipe and think, ‘That sounds delicious, but I will use swordfish, not lamb.’
“I think the family style of eating is important – the more involved kids are in the meal, the more they are happy to eat,” Nigella says. “I also love to chat to my kids while I’m cooking. I love it when my son comes and says, ‘Oh, is that coriander?’,” she went on to say.
If not already in your bookshelf, How to Eat comes highly recommended.