Kirstin: We don’t often make cakes in his house because we don’t really eat cake. But we had guests for dinner and I thought this might be a fun, quick recipe to make with Miles. Indeed it was super easy and lots of fun. I didn’t do the whole piped icing thing because I’ve never done that before and I’m not on the Great British Bake Off so didn’t feel any need to show off. Miles has already asked if we make this again!
Maureen: She’s the nation’s sweetheart. Everybody likes Mary Berry!
Kirstin: I love her grin in all the photos.
Maureen: I think reading this book is like stepping back in time.
Kirstin: I can’t believe you said that! That is EXACTLY what I felt. It’s like going back to the 80s. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Maybe we should all listen to Duran Duran while we’re cooking from it, or something!
Maureen: I am sure all the recipes will work. We all know that. But equally they look a little old-fashioned.
Kirstin: The photography is so old fashioned. It really is like stepping back in time to looking through my mother’s old cookbooks back in the day.
Anna: Another dependable cookbook from dependable Rachel o’Rachel.
Kirstin: I was surprised by all the Asian food in this one. I didn’t think it all worked, but it was lovely to have the variety.
Maureen: It said what it was on the tin: “Simple, delicious family food.” All true.
Anna: I only had one disaster and that was the upside down apple butterscotch thingamajig which was unusual for Rachel because you can usually count on her baking recipes.
Maureen: The onion bread didn’t work, either. It didn’t taste bad, exactly, but no one ate it. It could have been operator error, but one disaster out of a month of cooking is pretty good.
Anna: there’s lots more things that I’m planning to cook after this month and like her other cookbooks I expect this to be part of my weekly rotation.
Kirstin: I think this might be my favourite of her books. Very un-fussy and good recipes.
Maureen: Yes, I agree. I didn’t have to go to any stores for any exotic ingredients and they were all good recipes. It’s definitely a keeper.
“Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen”
Overall Grade (A- F): Kirstin: B. Anna: A-. Maureen: A-
Best recipes: Kirstin: The sunny fish curry. Anna: The fish pie. Maureen: The pork belly.
Grade for Photography (A-F): Kirstin: B-
Any disasters? See above.
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Kirstin: Bookshelf. Anna: Bookshelf. Maureen: Bookshelf.
Love pork belly? Want to have it for Sunday lunch? Then click through on this sentence to find the recipe reprinted in Red magazine.
Nicholas (10): Pork belly for the win!
Maureen: That’s right. You asked for this specially. Who doesn’t love pork belly, especially when you’re talking about Sunday lunch?
Andrew (14): We all love it, that’s for sure.
Tim: How did this compare to the usual Gennaro Contaldo one that you make?
Maureen: This one you marinate, and then roast for longer at a lower temperature. It also includes instructions for making gravy. I don’t think you need gravy with it.
Andrew: But the gravy is nice on the mashed potatoes.
Maureen: That’s true.
Tim: I think I like this better than our usual one.
Maureen: That’s funny, because I think I like our usual one.
Nicholas: A house divided against itself can not stand! Abraham Lincoln said that.
Maureen: Thanks, Mr. History. Now what about the bread?
If you want to make this, please click through this sentence to find the recipe on UK’s Good Food Channel. Trust me. It’s good.
First, an important note. This photo doesn’t do this cake justice. While it may look more like a big blob of dark red on top of cake, or even, dare I say it, an edible blood clot, it tastes better than it looks.
This is a perfect cake to make when you’re short on time, which frankly, is much of the time. I’ve now made it twice– once for the grand finale of a Sunday lunch, and again last night for my book club. Both times it was a winner.
The cake is such a resounding success because of the simplicity of the ingredients. There’s no running around to specialty shops to find something obscure. It’s just sugar, butter, eggs, self-rasing flowers and raspberries. Even the raspberries are frozen, which I easily found at my local Co-Op.
Making the cake itself is also a doddle. I finished last night in less than 15 minutes, which a real win.
One thing to note if you do decide to make this– the quantity of raspberries is a bit miserly, only 250 grams. The first time I made this, it didn’t really cover the bottom of the pan. Last night when I made it, i went a bit overboard and added 600 grams of raspberries, which was too much. So maybe 500 grams would do it, but 250 grams is definitely not enough.
All in all, a triumph.
Louis: Aunty Woffy meatballs! Louis eat meatballs with Aunty Woffy!
Kate: I’m flattered to be associated with meatballs.
Anna: Kofta actually. But he knows meatballs, so that’s what I’ve told him they are. I’ll be interested to see if he eats them.
Peter: This is nice.
Anna: How many meatballs would you like Louis?
Anna: How much couscous?
Louis: No. No couscous.
Kate: Well I like it. In fact I’ll have a few more meatballs.
Anna: The pudding is a bit of a failure I’m afraid.
Peter: It tastes fine.
Anna: But there’s no sponge to speak of. It’s a sweet soggy mess. I think the cooking apples gave off too much moisture. It’s similar to Bill Granger’s banana butterscotch pudding recipe but doesn’t work as well. Oh well.
Kirstin: I adore the idea of one pot meals.
Tom: This smells and looks delicious.
Miles: I love it! Can we have this again?
Kirstin: Yes, of course we can! It’s an easy mid-week meal that I will definitely cook again. Stick everything in the pot and cook. I was especially impressed about putting the pasta in there too. But I’m bored of taking pictures in the dark, so here’s one I prepared earlier.