Book review Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries II

The Kitchen Diaries II coverI sometimes think of Nigel Slater as the favourite uncle I never had, and in a curious way this book is like a series of postcards from an affable relative, keen to ensure you’re eating well and taking good care of yourself.

It’s a beautiful, hefty tome, with a textured cover, elegantly patterned endpapers, a fat silky ribbon to mark your place, and page after page of sumptuous sounding recipes to pore over in a favourite squashy armchair rather than risk on a kitchen shelf.

Recipes are laid out by date (hence the kitchen diaries of the title) so you can look at a calendar then turn to see what Uncle Nige is recommending for that day, each flavour discussed with powerfully evocative descriptions. For April 15th, for example, the chapter’s heading is ‘A fistful of garlic leaves’, and begins with a dreamy paragraph on the scent of wild garlic encountered while walking in the countryside. “Each leaf crushed underfoot will send up an instantly recognisable puff of the sweet, fresh young herb.” Continue reading