A Foodie Book Review

 The thing is…

…when I started blogging, ooh, ages ago, it was going to be a food blog. And about computers. But suddenly, politics got a bit too intrusive in our lives, and I ended up writing quite a lot about the dreadful crooks who were messing up everything for everyone.

Don’t panic! I am not going to stop lambasting the criminal gang who have hijacked our country, and dragged us unwillingly out of the EU. [Yes, I can justify that claim, and probably will quite soon.]

But… but there are a lot of really good food blogs, mostly about restaurants I couldn’t afford to eat in, even if I wanted to eat their rather too fancy food. And how do you even begin to compete with Jay Rayner’s restaurant reviews, especially the magnificent ones where he really dislikes both the restaurant and the food?

Loaf Story
A Love Letter to Bread

And then, he only went and started writing about cookery books, a while before I had come up with the idea, and doing it really well, the monster. However, there’s this book that I chose as a birthday present for myself…

You know how some books are so good that you keep reading bits out to the significant other in the room? This book has so many bits like that, that the ordinary bits are hard to find.

It’s by Tim Hayward, whose “Food DIY” was the inspiration for a lot of my early blog posts about things like home made charcuterie. It’s a book with recipes, not a recipe book. 

You might think that a book based on bread, with sections on toast, sandwiches, and various bread-based concoctions would be a bit ordinary. I took this to bed, to read myself to sleep. Bad mistake. I was laughing my head off for hours, fascinated also by the interesting footnotes. Yes, this book has footnotes. The author reveals his opinions about many food items that people have firm opinions on, like Marmite, salad cream – has to be Heinz, but he tells you how to make your own, baked beans – must be Heinz, and not the low fat, sugar, salt version. I suppose the fact that I agree with him on all these things explains in part why I think this is a truly great book.

Weird stuff in recipes, part 94.


“After boiling for six to six and a half minutes, she cools them under cold water, peels, then fries in a pan filled a third of the way up with 160C sunflower oil (if you don’t have a thermometer, drop in a cube of bread and it should turn golden in 25-30 seconds).”

No. If you don’t have a thermometer, get a thermometer. They’re not expensive. Standing there, timing cubes of bread until one turns “golden” in the right time is silly.