Sunday, 19 September 2010

Nigel Slater's Tender II

There is nothing quite like the thrill of a new recipe book. Especially when it's from one of the best food writers in the country. Waiting for it to arrive is like waiting for a first date, with someone who you really fancy. I get excited, there’s the anticipation, a flutter of nerves even and generally within the first few minutes you know if you are going to get on. This one's a keeper. It was always going to be .. but this book is perhaps his best yet.

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.">Listen!


  1. What did Nigel say?! I've got a lovely butcher as well - I don't want to share him with anyone, he's that good!! x

  2. I Love Nigel Slater too!
    Fab magazine in the observer today too!

    His Cous cous, orange and chicken salad is so good - makes me look like a real domestic goddess when I take it to work for packed lunch!!

  3. Vanessa, thank you for a lovely evening and sorry it took me two whole days to say so... I had to go on a very long bike ride on Sunday morning to work of Nigel's (and your) tagine and I don't even like to think about how far I would have had to cycle to work off that fab eton mess.

    May I say that I agree with comments on Nigels book, that tagine was melt in the mouth gorgeous and yes, the paper in his book has the richness of a good novel. However, looking at the early samples of your book, I have every reason to think that yours will be equally exquisite!

  4. You're welcome !! I wish I had more hours in the day / energy to do more entertaining or even be entertained!!
    It was a delight to see you both and yes you're right .. Nigel's food is a cut above the rest..

  5. Becks .I emailed Nigel to say how much I enjoyed his book.. he responded!

    Needles to say I squealed with delight so loudly that my poor husband nearly fell off the loo. I kid you not.

    I shall brag about it all week .. I was tickled pink that he replied to my email..!


If you are reading my blog I must warn you that I am not impartial. I want to influence you. I want to make you stop for just a moment and consider the effect of a lifetime of seemingly insignificant decisions and how making small delicious choices can change the world.

I believe that we can change the world one bite at a time.

It's a delicious revolution.