My guests have gone home. It is late. Almost midnight. I am a little the worse for wear, but I have decided to blog in the moment . Forgive this post for any mistakes .. it will be short. I have to get to my bed.
Today started with pancakes, and ended with the Tagine of Lamb with Apricots from Nigel Slater’s new book Tender II. As I finished looking through I dashed straight off to the local butchers, Chambers, in Brixworth. Keith diced some lamb up, as I tried to persuade him to start a blog of his own. He just smiled and carried on cutting up the lamb.
The recipe ( See page 712) was, on a practical level, simple and took minutes to make. It was the layering of the flavours and the composition that just worked. . The apricot sweetened the lamb. It was a complex well thought out combination of taste, texture and flavour.
As ever Nigel’s recipes work. But, it’s not just the feel, the texture and the color of this book that I love. It is the weight, the setting of the text and the beautiful photography that hold Nigel’s words together. The recipes are enclosed in the beauty they deserve to be in. From the heavy deep red cover to the weight and shade and texture of the paper it is printed on – this book evokes desire. I wanted to cook from the pages. In fact I couldn’t wait to create. Reading his turns of phrase, and intimate style it is as though I am listening to a classical piece of music. I am moved. He doesn’t write. He composes.
I can’t wait to cook from it again.. but it may have to wait a while as I get back to my own writing and recipe developing .. but when I am done writing my book .. I will return to Nigel and Tender, both Volume I and II.
This book is a practical work of art.
A rare thing indeed.