Maureen: What did you think?
Anna: I was surprisingly disappointed with the outcome of the recipes. Not just the fact that some were bland, but some of the recipes didn’t work properly for me, and I was very surprised by that. If there’s one thing you know about Fragrant Mary, I though her recipes would be dependable and some of them weren’t. Some were real failures.
Maureen: I know what you mean. For me, they weren’t bad, exactly, but they weren’t good either. The Triple Tomato Risotto is a perfect example. I thought it would be great, but it wasn’t. It was really disappointing.
Anna: But I also had some real successes which I’ll be making again.
Maureen: The chocolate tart I made was absolutely a winner. Everyone already wants to know when I’ll be making it again.
Anna: I want to make the Suacy Brownie Pud but I’m waiting for people to come over. I’m sure it will work. The double chocolate chip cookies were also good. The secret was the self-raising flour. I wasn’t convinced when I was doing it, but it really did work. It made the cookies more cake like.
Maureen: I think we can say that she’s very dependable when it comes to the puddings.
Anna: Well… you say that, but I made the bananna cake yesterday and it was flat. It didn’t rise.
Maureen: That’s unfortunate. As much as I love Mary Berry, I have to say this book definitely felt like a throwback to an earlier time.
Anna: Let’s say it will be popular with ladies of a certain age, but those of us who developed our culinary skills through the Jamies and the Moros and the Nigellas of the world, it’s not going to appeal.
Maureen: I agree.
“Mary Berry Cooks”
Overall Grade (A- F): Anna: “It’s a C, I”m afraid.” Maureen: C “Yes. Average at best.”
Best recipes: Anna: Beef stew and the double chocolate chip cookies. Maureen: Chocolate tart, by a mile.
Grade for Photography (A-F): “There’s a lot of pictures of Mary, not so much of the food.” C.
Any disasters? Anna: Shepherd’s Pie. Maureen: Garden vegetable casserole.
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Anna: I’m going to give it to my mother-in-law. Maureen: I’m going to mail it to my mother, I think she’d appreciate it more than me.