If there are two things that my family knows how to do, it's making memories and making food.
I have a large family and when we get together it has the potential to be completely chaotic. But, then again, each family get together also has the potential for culinary genius. We bring dishes and chat about recipes we've hard about or tasted that were good.
But, what we really love learning about are, the recipes that have been handed down from my Nana to my Mom-Mom and to us, like my Nana's homemade chicken pot-pie squares, or the vegetable soup that my Mom-Mom makes every New Year's Day. There's nothing like good family tradition and my family has tons of it.
Maybe this is the reason that I enjoyed How to Eat so much. I felt right at home reading about Nigella Lawson's memories of the meals that her mother used to make and ones that she now cooks for her own family. In the beginning, (a chapter named "Basics, etc.") she describes her beliefs on how a good chef learns all that they know from cooking at their own stove, and the trials and tribulations that come along with learning as you go. Anything else is all built upon the basics. Other chapters include "Cooking in Advance" and "Fast Food", which refer to simple foods made sooner, rather than the greasy food that one would wait two hours in a drive-through line for. Recipes like Red Mullet with Garlic and Rosemary, Beef Stroganoff, and even Roast Sugar-Sprinkled Peaches can be found in the "Fast Food" chapter, under the subsection "Quick After-Work Suppers for Four".
Although these titles can sound somewhat intimidating, upon looking at the recipe it turns out to be actually quite simple and something that you may dare create in your own kitchen.
Now maybe Liver with Sweet Onion is not something that you would be willing to dive headfirst into, but it should certainly be something that you, at the very least, consider. She begins by explaining how she wanted to incorporate pomegranate juice into her cooking. How does this tie in with liver you ask? Lawson's approach is to absorb the pomegranate juice water, oil and butter into finely sliced onions, and lay it atop calf's liver fried for a minute or so, on each side. She then suggests plain boiled potatoes to compliment the dish. Changed your mind about not diving headfirst didn't it? It certainly changed mine.
When reading any cookbook I personally look for drool-worthy recipes that catch my eye. In How to Eat I discovered just that and more. Like chocolate raspberry pudding cake, or Roast Sugar-sprinkled peaches.
Nigella Lawson welcomes the reader into the pages of her first book, How to Eat, teaching them everything from the basics to a complex dinner, while entertaining them with her memories, experiences and the pen in her hand.
Recipe courtesy of "How To Eat," by Nigella Lawson, Wiley Publishing, 2007.
Liver with Sweet Onions Recipe