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Nigella Lawson
cookbook reviewsNigella Lawson
How to Be a Domestic Goddess Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking
By Nigella Lawson
List Price: $35.00
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Reviewed by Chef Sarah Stegner

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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 fury."

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

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