Our Verdict: “Home Cook”

Kirstin: It was always going to be difficult to follow last month’s book by Melissa Clark.

Maureen: Yes, because that book was utter perfection. This book, on the other hand, was not.

Kirstin: No, it was not.

Maureen: The disappointing thing for me was I had really high hopes for this book, but it just didn’t deliver. The time I had hunt for the salsa recipe really did me in. That’s an utter cookbook fail.

Kirstin: I felt the book was rushed. It seemed as though was produced in a hurry.

Maureen: That would explain the problem with the index, and also the missing recipes.

Kirstin: But also, some of the recipes I had to read over and over again to make sense of them. I even had to have Tom read one for me to make sure I had done it correctly. I never have to do that.

Maureen: You shouldn’t have to do that. Recipes should be clear from the start. That seems like an obvious rule for a cookbook.

Kirstin: The adaptions for the roast chicken were really hard to understand. It just came across as not as well thought out as it should have been.

Maureen: My disastrous chocolate cake experience is a good example of that. She said it was based on a recipe she stole as a child, but the instructions really lacked direction at points. Like how long to let the chocolate ganache cool so the whipped cream won’t melt.  It tasted good but it looked disgusting.

Kirstin: I wasn’t sure of some of her flavour combinations either.

Maureen: I don’t know if it really was that bad a book because it was so poor compared to the previous month. But thinking about it and all the cookbooks we’ve done, I’d have to call it just a fair effort overall.

Overall Grade (A- F):  C (Maureen)  C (Kirstin)
Best recipes:  Njuda with clams (Kirstin) The guacamole and the salsa recipes (once I found it) were sublime. (Maureen)
Grade for Photography (A-F): Kirstin: B
Any disasters? (Kirstin and Maureen) Maureen: The famous melting cake. Kirstin: I didn’t have any disasters, but there was nothing I wanted to make again.
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Unfortunately, charity shop donation for us both. (Though Maureen is going to copy down the guacamole & salsa recipes before she donates.)
Would you give this to a friend? (Both) Uh, no.

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Our Verdict: “Home Cook”

6 thoughts on “Our Verdict: “Home Cook”

  1. quiglz says:

    Quite surprised by this. I’ve now cooked a number of things from here and found them all to work really well, albeit not as fuss free as the cover would suggest. 😂 Although maybe that just shows the book is inconsistent. Particular faves have been crispy chicken thighs with olives, the melted leeks and chipotle tahini dressing, the cornbread and goats cheese…

    1. Maureen Stapleton says:

      We had the crispy chicken thighs with olives. It was fine: it didn’t blow the doors off, but neither did we hate it. Maybe it is inconsistent, but it’s definitely disappointing.

      1. quiglz says:

        To be fair, the (Perfect Felicity Cloake) fattoush I made alongside the Crispy Chicken was better. I’ll agree on the disappointing.. it’s certainly not a fuss free cookbook so it fails that brief for sure. Hope this month proves more successful!

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