I’ll Never Be Delia Smith ………….. ( Day 6 of NaBloPoMo )

I used to harbour the misapprehension that writing a Cook Book would be fairly easy. Something that could be dashed off without much thought.  I mean ……….. where is the difficulty in thinking up a few food combinations ……….the weirder the better ?  Then jotting it all down accompanied by beautiful, glossy photos of the finished dish …………. obviously liberally sprayed with some glycerin concoction, to make it look even more enticing.  Perfect !  Oh, yes, I could picture myself at the book launch …….. dressed in a delightful little floral,  Laura Ashley frock,  smiling domestically.  I would be asked to endorse a famous chain of cookware shops and my recipes would cause queues for ingredients in  Waitrose and a  World-wide shortage of quinoa !

No wonder Gordon, Jamie and Nigella always had such smug smiles, when their photos appear on the covers of their books.  It was money for old rope !

But last night a friend ……….. a totally novice cook, who has never wielded a spatula or tossed a salad ………… was asking me for culinary advice. He is just starting out on this cooking lark,, fending for himself after previously being more or less barred from the kitchen. I  think the most ambitious thing he has attempted has been baked potato with cheese.   With so little cooking experience, he  wanted to know all about the preparation of various vegetables.  The timing and method of cooking.  Which pans would be most suitable, etc. etc.

Oh my goodness !

That was when I realised just how difficult it is to explain to someone else,  when I am used to just  ‘doing’  it, without thinking of the ‘why and wherefores’. Oh yes, I could show someone, face to face.  Follow them round in the kitchen and keep them on the right  tracks.  But, how to actually write it down, put it into sentences that can be easily understood ?

How do I begin to explain how to ‘saute’ ? What is the optimum time to parboil a carrot ? How long does it take to bring onions to that perfect sticky/sweet state of caramelisation ?  I have, I suppose, learnt to cook through  ‘trial and error’  and good, old-fashioned ‘instinct’ . So, I found it almost impossible to tell my friend any really accurate cooking times for each ingredient. I could only offer the rather weak and watery  “erm…… cook it till its done” sort of advice.

Suddenly, I realised that writing a cookbook must be equally as difficult as writing any other book.  So …… I’ll never be Delia Smith. Never make my fortune selling millions of books on  “What to do with a handful of lentils and an aubergine” !

Another dream bites the dust !!


About rosiewrites2

Growing old, disgracefully and enjoying every minute.
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2 Responses to I’ll Never Be Delia Smith ………….. ( Day 6 of NaBloPoMo )

  1. Hmm… I disagree wholeheartedly. This is what you taught your friend.


    Barley (50g)
    Olive Oil
    Boiling Water
    Ground Pepper


    1) Rinse the Barley in a colander, put it into a pan and cover with cold water
    2) Caramelise the Onions (30−40 mins, until brown and translucent)
    a. Peel and slice the Onions
    b. Heat some Butter and Oil in a fairly large pan
    c. Put the Onions into the pan and let them cook gently
    d. Cover the pan with its lid and turn the heat down to slowly simmer, stirring occasionally
    e. After 20 mins of simmering, add a teaspoon of Sugar
    3) Cook the Barley (40 mins)
    a. Pour boiling water over the Barley and boil for 10 mins
    b. Reduce the heat and simmer for a further 30 mins
    4) Parboil the Carrots (10 mins)
    a. Scrape and dice the Carrots
    b. Put the Diced Carrot into a pan of boiling water for 10 mins
    c. Once done, drain
    5) Sauté the Mushrooms, Garlic and Herbs
    a. Chop the Mushrooms and Garlic
    b. Heat some Butter and Oil in a large frying pan
    c. Add the Chopped Mushrooms to the pan and toss for a couple of minutes
    d. Add the Chopped Garlic, Parsley and Pepper to the pan and toss
    6) Put everything into the pan with the Onions, stir and serve

    P.S. Excuse the lack of proper styling with <ol> tags…


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