Daily Archives: May 13, 2010

We interrupt this program for a cookbook…

I know, I know, this is not a cookbook review blog, this is a kidslit review blog, but I am able to say that Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights has a slim connection to the world of children’s literature, given that Miss Dahl happens to be Sophie Dahl, grand-daughter to the legendary Mr. Roald Dahl. Those who know and love me know that I am a total sucker for a gorgeous cookbook and that I am always ready to expand my embarrassingly extensive collection, especially when the cookbook in question happens to be pink, and also happens to have a wonderfully narrative style.

I bought this book a few weekends back when I was feeling a shade blue. Upon seeing the pinkness of the cover and the beautiful interior photos, I decided that the best remedy for this case of the grumps was reading a cookbook in the tub with a cocktail and a crunchy snack (this is my cure for many ailments, in fact). If you are the type to be seduced by the sort of cookery book (look at me, going all Brit on you) where the writer introduces every recipe with a little anecdote, then you will fall for this collection of recipes in a heartbeat. I love this book for many of the same reasons I enjoy Nigella’s books. Sophie Dahl tells a story through these recipes, she makes food that is simple and satisfying and unpretentious and her prose is a pleasure to read. She doesn’t claim to be an expert. She writes, “I am not an authority on anything much, but I do feel qualified to talk about eating. I’ve done a lot of it.” The book focuses on freshness, and is divided up according to season, with sections in each on Breakfast, Lunch and Supper. Oh, and there is a separate part at the end on Desserts. Just as there should be.

I decided this afternoon on the way home from work that Friday would be much easier to cope with if I made a batch of Sophie’s Swiss Muesli. I ended up having some for a pre-dinner snack. Most yummy. I am thinking that my busy upcoming weekend can be improved with a little Cardamom Rice Pudding. For a glimpse inside the book, head here. To see Miss Dahl making soup, click here.

It doesn’t seem fair that someone can be this pretty, this intelligent and come from the same creative stock as the man who imagined Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but the recipes here are so enticing and Sophie Dahl’s writing style is so winsome that I’m willing to forgive her for her beauty and her talent and her seemingly perfect and blessed life.

And don’t you wonder if it is a coincidence that she is seated on the steps of a gypsy caravan on the cover? Sigh. Memories of Danny the Champion of the World.

This one is destined to become floury and smudgy and to open up automatically to the page for Eton Mess with Rhubarb.