Monday 22 February 2010

Confessions of a Domestic Goddess

It isn't fashionable, but I love being at home. I am not the most wonderful housekeeper, I'm not so hot on dusting, and the hoover and I have a very uneasy relationship. The iron, however is my friend, we get on very well! It makes me feel slightly less guilty about my mid morning Law & Order habit!

My other friend is my kitchen. It's so tiny, it looks like it should be on a boat!.The smaller the kitchen, the less to clean I suppose. There is room for my Kitchenaid Artisan, a large fruit bowl, and my big toaster. What more could I want ?

I am a collector of cookbooks. I have, rather aptly given my title, every single Nigella book. And suprisingly perhaps, her Express is my favourite, despite the lack of convoluted recipes for cakes and slow cooked extravaganzas. Every0ne needs one of those books that give you quick ideas when your pressed for time, or just can't face an hour in the kitchen.

My other cooking hero is Stephanie Alexander, not well known in the UK, she authored the epic Cook's Companion. If you only ever treat yourself to one, huge, encyclopedic cook book, make it this one. Its separated by ingredients, so if you happen to have a glut of one particular ingredient, or if you see something new at the supermarket, or especially if you get a veggie box and get some strange item in it and not sure what to do with it, this book is a lifesaver. As well as long recipes, she has quick short margin ideas. Its an invaluable resource. I love her other books too, especially Recipes My Mother Gave Me, a reworking of her mother's recipe book.

I love baking and I am a sucker for cupcakes. I love them. Partly because they are small, so you can always find a little space in your diet for a cupcake. Nothing is prettier than a nicely decorated cupcake. They also repay you if your fundraising. Out of one batch of mixture you would get one big cake, but 20 cupcakes. You can easily get £1 for a cupcake, but much less likely to be able to cut a big cake into 20 slices and comfortably charge £1 a slice.

I own a few beautiful baking books, but The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook is a current favourite, along with Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery. My dream would be to own such a bakery here in Ramsbottom or Bury, and bake beautiful cakes to brighten up a dull day (and we have enough of them up here!)

My biggest culinary challenge though, has been weaning Joseph, I will talk to you tomorrow (hopefully) about this delightful and somewhat daunting experience!

Until then, browse Amazon and drool over my favourite books!

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