How to be a Domestic Goddess, Baking
and the Art of Comfort Cooking has made quite a splash on
the cookbook stands. The title definitely is an eye catcher
that intrigues women of all generations. Nigella Lawson explains
in the preface of her book that she feels some women have
lost a level of comfort and ease in the kitchen. Her book
is designed to help you feel confident, to relax in the kitchen
and take pleasure in baking.
It is a beautiful book with lots of colorful pictures that
help entice you to try a recipe or two. This is very appealing.
Then, each recipe starts with a paragraph that describes the
baked goods as if Nigella was standing in front of you tempting
you to indulge in a bite of pastry pleasure. If she hasn't
hooked you yet, her practical straight forward style of recipes
will finish you off. She exudes confidence and a personal
touch. If I could be so bold as to suggest that she is attempting
to recreate the way recipes used to be handed down from one
generation to the next.. Her style of writing lends a sense
of familiarity and friendship among the cooks in the kitchen.
She gives you little warnings when you are approaching a difficult
step and tells you what to do just in case. She try's to answer
your questions before you ask them. In her custard recipe
that I tried Nigella's tip saved the day.
She writes" the only problem really is a fear of it splitting.
Feel the fear, and cook it anyway. But first, half-fill the
sink with cold water so that if you think the custard's about
to split, you can plunge the pan into the sink and whisk like
I actually had my "apprentice" husband whisking the custard
for ten minutes while I was preparing the rest of the meal.
I turned around and recognized the beginning of the custard
splitting in the pot. l quickly grabbed the whisk and pot.
Shouted, "fill the sink". I whisked like fury and saved the
custard. Thank you Nigella. Our meal might of deteriorated
in to a disappointing argument about paying attention to what
you are doing. Instead we patted each other on the back for
making such a nice custard.
As an American, I found that some of the recipes reflected
Nigella's British influences like the steamed syrup sponge.
There was an occasional British phrase that I was not familiar
with like "pudding basin" but nothing that could not be deciphered.
One really nice touch that Nigella adds at the beginning in
her notes on equipment and ingredients is that she gives you
her e mail address for any questions that might arise. [email protected].
Test drive "My
Mother-In-Law’s Madeira Cake" a recipe from Domestic Goddess