by nigella lawsonHer devotees will be relieved to learn that, in Nigella Bites, the goddess returns among us, her attributes unmodified: the cashmere twinsets, the hair, the postmodern penchant for trailer trash, the eerily intense gaze, the Kim Novak eyebrows, all are present in this lavishly illustrated accompaniment to the TV series. To these may now be added the Playboy-bunny T-shirt and the lilac pashmina worn recklessly and negligently at the barbecue. So much for the essentials, now what about the food?
The Nigella formula of fashion-flouting comfort food with knobs on is now pretty firmly established, so it will come as no surprise to find here American Pancakes with Wafer-Bacon and Maple Syrup, Chicken Soup with Kniedlach, Italian Sausages with Lentils, Whitebait or Chocolate Fudge Cake; yet there is room too for more sophisticated fare such as Thai Yellow Pumpkin and Seafood Curry, Bitter Orange Ice-Cream and Bagna Cauda. The chapter titles give as good an indication of the approach as one might want: they include All-Day Breakfast, Comfort Food, TV Dinners, Rainy Day and Trashy. Trashy (and one feels this chapter will in many ways give the most pleasure) offers a modified version of the now-notorious Ham in Coca-Cola from How to Eat, deep-fried Bounty bars in batter and the calorifically devastating Elvis Presley's Fried Peanut-Butter and Banana Sandwich.
This exemplifies the Lawson approach, teasing but serious, liberating too. It would be fair to say that there is probably nothing in this luscious and clever book that you wouldn't find a pleasure to cook and eat at home. --Robin Davidson
posted 30 Apr 2006 at 13:26:54