Yes, I know that Nigel Slater's The Kitchen Diaries has been around for a while. However, I only managed to get my hands on my very own copy this week when inexplicably, there was a copy in the bargain bin of a bookshop in my hometown, where I have travelled for Christmas.
I had heard quite a lot about The Kitchen Diaries from other blogs, including Adam at The Amateur Gourmet, and had been keen to buy it for some time. It seemed the gods were smiling on me for waiting, and I snapped up the sole copy in the bookshop I visited.
Once I got The Kitchen Diaries home, I devoured it from cover to cover. It is really that kind of book - it's Nigel's food journal for one year, complete with mouthwatering recipes. The great thing about his recipes is that, on the whole, they really are the kind of thing that you would make at home. They are no fuss, and use ordinary ingredients that are generally easy to obtain (with the exception of the two or three recipes which use gamebirds like pheasant and partridge, as these are not that easy to come by in Australia and are quite expensive when you can).
Nigel writes in a really relaxed style, just like he's having a conversation with you over the garden fence. He quite openly confesses to his kitchen mistakes and his lazy days where he eats only bread and cold cuts or gets a takeaway. It's the kind of book you can't help but love. He also cooks and presents his dishes in a no fuss, realistic fashion. I particularly adored his cake recipes, all of which I would make, and none of which is extravagant with its ingredients.
Nigel's love of growing his own fruit and vegetables and buying fresh produce shines through the pages. I don't have a garden, but I have been inspired to take more care and attention with buying produce, and hope to apply some of Nigel's tips.
There are photos to accompany a large number of the recipes, and these pictures are so mouth-watering as to make me want to dive straight into the pages and eat them (although alas, I would be bitterly disappointed if I actually tried to do this).
When I get back from holidays, I will be going straight to this book to make one of the many dishes described in it. I am in love with The Kitchen Diaries!
Happy holidays one and all!