I have a new book. It’s a cookbook. It’s not my first and it certainly won’t be my last, but it’s the first cookbook I’ve owned that I can’t keep my hands off, for some inexplicable reason.

I mean, I can hazard a couple of guesses why that would be so, like –

  1. The book is a hardcover with a matt surface with embossed lettering, and feels like wood when I run the palm of my hand across it, and I really like that texture.
  2. The cover is a simple picture of a top-down view of a wooden table top with two pork chops and capers in a creamy white sauce sitting invitingly in a well-worn iron saucepan. Very rustic, vintage, Kinfolk feel to it. I like that too.
  3. The pages feel and smell heavenly. It has a lovely paper-y smell, and feels nice, thick and generous between my thumb, index and middle fingers when I’m turning the pages.
  4. It features a little round beige sticker that has Nigella Lawson proclaiming, “This is everything I want from a cookbook”. How can anyone doubt the original domestic goddess?
  5. The recipes contained in this cookbook are (mostly) really as fuss-free as its title proclaims.
  6. We’re having a Christmas dinner party in a couple of weeks and I haven’t designed a menu for the night yet.

But mostly, I suspect, it’s got the most to do with points 1, 2 and 3.

Yum yum. I love the romance of an unexpected connection with a book. Like falling in love, but without the massive heartache, contempt and disappointment that comes with familiarity.

Last week, E and I had dinner with his parents and sister at this Italian place. One of the specials was a burrata rocket salad with these little red tomatoes which go by names like cherry tomatoes, or worse, honey tomatoes which is very often a misnomer cos they’re rarely sweet enough to be associated […]

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