Kirstin: Maureen, you cooked many more recipes than me from this book. What did you think?
Maureen: As the teenager in the house would say, “Meh.” For the most part, I found the recipes a bit bland. They weren’t bad, exactly, but they weren’t outstanding either. Maybe this is the curse of putting out one cookbook every year. He’s just not inspiring any more.
Kirstin: Maybe I should have tried a bit harder, but I was put off by the few recipes I did try. I could see where he was going with the saving money part, but I also realise that I’m not part of that audience.
Maureen: Yes. I totally agree. He’s trying to get more people to cook more and be less wasteful, but since we already do that, we’re already ahead. I really like how he included recipes that used leftovers, particularly from Sunday lunches. Then you get two completely different dinners from one main one.
Kirstin: Save Jamie. That’s what we should be doing!
Maureen: Yes! Save Jamie from feeling compelled to do an annual cookbook! Maybe next time he’ll do something more aspirational, but I’m not holding out hope.
“Save with Jamie”
Overall Grade (A- F): Kirstin: E. Maureen: D. I would have failed it but for the inclusion of recipes that use leftovers. If they’re all as good as the Beef Rendang, he’ll be on to something and I’ll upgrade the grade.
Best recipes: Kirstin: None. Maureen: Beef Rendang for the WIn! We really loved that. Also, the Mussel Pasta e Fagioli was delicious, though the boys didn’t like it as much as we did.
Grade for Photography (A-F): Kirstin: C: The usual closeup shots of Jamie holding up food. Nothing interesting.
Any disasters? No.
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Kirstin: Charity Shop Donation, for sure. Maureen: I might hold on to it for a bit longer and try some of the other leftover recipes, but if they turn out to be as uninspiring as the rest of them, it’s off to the charity shop for sure (though I will photocopy the beef rendang recipe first.)