Day 8/10 of my cookbook challenge, the books and cooks who have influenced my kitchen over the past 40 years: Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course.
This picture is of my actual copy of this book; old and battered yet much consulted. Sounds a bit like me at work! Compared to the Keith Floyd and Nigella Lawson’s of the tv cookery world, Delia was never over-excitable or a glamazon, more like the nicest old-school domestic science teacher you never had, but what a loyal following of home cooks she has built over the years. The recipes are straightforward, easy to follow and, most importantly, they always work!
My late mother and father-in-law had this book when it first came out so I had eaten Delia-influenced food long before I became a regular home cook myself. I still use her Yorkshire pudding and Eve’s pudding recipe from this particular edition today and I went on to buy a number of her more lavishly produced books; the ones that spawned a thousand imitators such as her Summer and Winter Collections and her eponymous Christmas. If you visit someone’s house and they serve up a pesto rice salad, you can bet they’ve got a copy of a Delia’s Summer Collection in their house somewhere.