Book Review – Food’s agony aunt

2012-08-24 14:42

Pan Macmillan
156 pages
R198

I am not usually a fan of advice columns, although I am guilty of occasionally reading them for a bit of light relief.

But then I met Dear Delilah, the agony chef.

She’s funny, occasionally quite rude, and always on the mark with the advice she dispenses freely and happily.
Actually, her recipes are quite good too.

Chapter 1 covers recipes for disaster, where she floats the notion of “passive-aggressive cooking”.

By the time she offered a 40-clove garlic-chicken recipe to the lovelorn young woman who had recently split from her boyfriend, I was a fan.

No need to worry about garlic breath when you’re single. For dessert – chocolate and booze (as if there could be anything else?)

My favourite chapter has to be Mother of the Year. Here she covers sleepover food, son-bringing-home-lover food, mums-who-want-to-provide-a-decent-dinner-but-have-no-time food (check out the blessed-cheese recipe, first you’ll laugh and then you’ll make it for the family and feel like a superstar) and dishes to feed an entire sports team.

There are no artful photographs – just little whimsical red sketches – but plenty of outrageously good advice and tips.

This is not only a cookbook, it’s a funny slice of life to be enjoyed over and over. And if you end up cooking some of the recipes, that’s good too.

Mostly, it makes you feel better about yourself, your circumstances and the food you put in your mouth.

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