As you might know I am a huge book lover (in terms of numbers of books not my size) However what you may not be so aware of is that my slightly obsessive book collecting goes beyond crime novels, I also have quite a substantial collection of cookery books. Of course these are not just for reading, a fact which I suspect makes Mr F rather wish I stuck to crime books as he has to try the results of my cookery experiments. However for someone who includes Lancashire black pudding on his list of favourite foods I’m pretty certain any of my concoctions are a step up.
For obvious reasons (i.e me being a vegetarian) most of the books I own are non meat related although I do have a few themed ones and a smattering of celebrity. One of my latest acquisitions was Paul Hollywood’s ‘Bread’. Unfortunately my only trial out of this so far was not a particular success. The naan breads I attempted would have worked much better as small missiles than as edible curry accompaniments. Yet I suspect that it was my execution of the instructions that was at fault rather than the recipe. Therefore I was very excited this week when a friend brought me a ticket to see Paul on tour at the Barbican.
This wasn’t our first food related outing to this venue. Many years ago me and same friend went to see the student TV staple, Ready steady cook. This was at the height of its fame (is it still on?) and for those of you who haven’t heard of it the idea was that two people made something edible out of a few tins of tomatoes and a watermelon then the audience voted. Whilst it may not sound much now, this was 20 years ago when daytime television consisted of ‘This morning’ and endless repeats of Columbo. Plus I suspect the excitement of red tomatoes or green peppers was no doubt heighted by the consumption of a few pints. However now slightly older and a great deal more sober, we had no idea what to expect from Paul.
Luckily it was a good night and he turned out to be very entertaining with a mix of demonstrations and chat. We were sat right near the back, which I suspect was a good thing judging by the number of hormonal woman of a certain age that made up the audience. Any closer and there was probably a significant danger of being hit over the head by flying pants.
Sadly he didn’t demonstrate the art of making naan bread, although there was a very nice seeded loaf I’d like to try next. So like with everything I’ll just have to keep practicing, and buying new books in the belief that I am a good cook. In the meantime Mr F will just have to keep trying my attempts and pretending they are edible.