Anna: I think that if I hadn’t been doing this project, I probably wouldn’t have cooked anything from it by now. So I’m glad we did, because I’ve got some recipes I’ll do again. But the recipes are just too wordy on the page, so it’s kind of a flick-through book, look at the pictures, look at the titles, then see the page is too dense with words and conclude: that’s too much bother. But actually the kefta can be done on a Wednesday night. Case in point: tomorrow lunchtime I have a bag of spinach that needs eating, some pecorino, and Peter has got me a lovely loaf of sourdough from St John. So I’m going to make the lovely Greek greens for lunch, the starter we had. And I’d never have thought of doing that. The layout makes the recipes look complicated, and it makes them look as though they’ll take a long time to make. They’re very verbose, because he’s writing the way he talks. It’s great when you’re watching him on telly, but not in a book.
Tom: He is, of course, simply dictating the book rather than writing it, rather as you are now. Oh, the irony.
Kirstin: Yes, and I made that honey cake again. It was really easy. Bish bosh, as Jamie would say. Easier than the recipe makes it look. I’ll definitely use that book again. I’ll do some of the recipes in winter, because they are more wintery. Everything we did worked. It was a good book to start with.
Anna: But we ran out of recipes to try.
Kirstin: That was because of the weather; if it had been cold, we would have done different recipes.
Anna: And you ruled out anything with fruit in it, so that knocked out all the Moroccan stuff.
Kirstin: Fruit? It just shouldn’t be there. It’s just… no!
Anna: And the French stuff was all too rich. I would try that confit of duck, but… three litres of duck fat? I exaggerate. But it was a hell of a lot.
Kirstin: We’ll do that one in the autumn. You can’t have confit in May.
Anna: So, that’s it. Don’t be afraid to try the recipes. Don’t be put off by the words. It’s by no means his best book, but not his worst. Jamie does… nicely, thank you. Yes!