how to be a domestic goddess: baking and the art of comfort cooking
by nigella lawsonThose who love comfort food have cause to be grateful for Nigella Lawson's book How to Be a Domestic Goddess. Cause, too, perhaps, to wonder that she isn't the size of a house, since baked comfort foods typically encompass large quantities of butter, cream, eggs, sugar, chocolate, nuts, cream cheese and all the other foodstuffs to which with dreary inevitability attaches the deadly word "sinful". But in Nigella Lawson's hands these dangerous, even feared, substances are transmuted alchemically into the healing balms of the goddess, who presides (perhaps a little ironically) over a harmonious kitchen realm.
The recipes are suitably divine, covering cakes, biscuits, pies, puddings, breads, with special sections on cooking for (and by) children and Christmas. Most are sweet, though there is a choice selection of savoury pies and puddings--Pizza Rustica, Steak and Kidney Pudding, Cornish Pasties. The sweet things range from the airy elegance of Pistachio Macaroons, through the luscious spiciness of Norwegian Cinnamon Buns, to the trailer-trashiness of Coca-Cola Cake.
Nigella Lawson's poise never falters, whether she is discussing serving mulled wine with mince pies ("Don't fight it") or a strange passion-fruit liqueur required for one of her trifles ("the most divinely camp liqueur you could ever come across"). She plays a kind of game with her readers, insisting constantly on her greed, but really invoking our own. What a fascinating book: hints of obsessiveness revealed behind the beautifully projected personality of a laid-back voluptuary.--Robin Davidson
posted 30 Apr 2006 at 13:25:29