Hardcover: 295 pages
Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (September 12, 1981)
Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #444,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #115 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > English, Scottish & Welsh
If you have spent time in England or are (as I am) married to an Englishman, this will be one of the best investments you could possibly make. All of England's favorite foods are here, and thankfully, it is very sensibly written, in American measurements, etc. Instructions are clear and the recipes are not terribly complicated. The writer's extensive knowledge of food and cooking is obvious, and many recipes contain brief explanations, interesting facts and helpful cooking hints. Virtually all of the dishes I have tried so far have been superb. The cauliflower cheese is unbelievable and the rice pudding is absolutely heavenly. I'm thrilled with this book, as it allows us to enjoy the fine foods of England right here in America. Praise for Ms. Garmey's OUTSTANDING achievement with "Great British Cooking". You will love this cookbook!
Jane Garmey aims this book at the American cook, artfully dispelling the myth of stodgy, heavy English food. The recipes are traditional fare such as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower cheese (my British husband's favorite!) and fabulous puddings (desserts). Make no mistake, this is not California-lite cooking, but it may remind you of Sunday dinners at Grandma's or Great-aunt Molly's. The recipes are well-written and easy to follow. Ms. Garmey liberally shares out anecdotal information about the curious names and history of some of these dishes. She also has sections devoted to English High Tea and Beer. I recommend this book for Anglophiles, expats living in England and trying to get to grips with the food, or anyone who loves cooking for the sake of the art.
The delight in this book is not only in the recipes, which I have enjoyed immensely. Jane Garmey's wit in the presentation makes one sense a wink at the poor reputation British food generally holds, just as her recipes give it the lie. Generally, British food at its best is wonderful... trouble is that finding it 'at its best' often requires a journey.The volume is not exhaustive, but presents many classic dishes, most easily prepared (and some which would appeal to, for example, one so avidly traditional as to spend the two months it takes for genuine plum pudding.) It is a pleasant sampler of varied main dish, savoury, pudding, and tea favourites.I would highly recommend this book to those who enjoy cooking. There are many items here which do not require unusual effort or odd ingredients, and can have wonderful results.
The Foreword by Calvin Trillin is worth the price of this book; it captures all the stereotypes about British food in three richly funny pages. I am originally from England myself, and have spent years cooking mostly French and Italian meals, but Garmey's recipes gave me nostalgia for things eaten long ago in the British Isles. Her recipes are clear, sufficiently detailed without overkill, and with this book propped up on the counter top I have recently produced things in my kitchen which have surprised friends at table. The beef in Guinness Stout is a great stew, Cockie Leekie and Mulligatawny are good soups, and the recipes for Irish Stew, Lancashire Hotpot, Hindle Wakes and all the vegetable dishes are wonderful. But it is in desserts and cakes that this collection excels - steamed sponges, a Queen of Puddings and Guards' Pudding to die for; and a Victoria Sponge and Madeira Cake - they all come out really authentically as far as my taste buds can tell. I'm happy finally to count myself an English Cook again, thank you Jane!
British cooking has been a much maligned cuisine over the years. One is reminded of the joke which goes: In the European conception of heaven, the French are the chefs, the British are the police, the Germans are the engineers, etc., while in the European conception of Hell, the Germans are the police, the British are the chefs, etc. While this joke is based on national stereotypes, it does illustrate the common perception of British cooking.Jane Garmey's book does much to dispel this myth. British cooking, done correctly, is indeed quite good. Some of the best and most distinctive dishes of the cuisine are the savory pies and both the sweet and savory puddings. We have tried and enjoyed many recipes from this book, including the one with the horrifying title "Steak and kidney pudding." This turned out to be a flaky steamed dumpling, filled with beef and mushrooms in a rich gravy. The small amount of beef kidney only served to enrich the sauce. It was delicious. Possibly our favorite recipe in the book is the deceptively simple dessert called Summer (Hydropathic) pudding. It consists only of three ingredients (fresh berries, sugar, bread), which are combined in a unique way. We made it with fresh blueberries and raspberries, and topped it with whipped cream. My wife and I both agreed that this pudding was arguably the best dessert either of us have ever had: pure culinary genius!The British clearly have nothing to be ashamed of with their national cuisine, as demonstrated by this fine book.
Like a previous reviewer I too have spent time in the U.K. (as I married a Scotsman). The recipes in here are the standards to British cooking. I've tried many other and this is by far the best for anyone wanting to cook British meals in the U.S. The measurements have all been scaled for an American kitchen and every recipe I've tried has come out wonderful. A LOVELY BOOK!!!!
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