If you’ve been following this blog, you will notice a “cheerier” note to my posts especially when it comes to cooking.
One, we went and bought ourselves a toaster oven, which has been great for me to bake small items including a really yummy baked salmon
Two, I’d packed some of my favorite cookbooks from home, which means I’ve got an arsenal now hahaha.
Recently, an angel flew over from the UK and lugged with him this wonderful cookbook (in hardcover and weighs a ton!!!) over for me. Bliss!!!
If you know “The Naked Chef” and love his recipes and his way of cooking, then you’ll LOVE
Jamie’s Great Britain.
At the beginning of the book, Jamie Oliver dedicates the cookbook to his old boss, Rose Gray (28 January 1939 – 28 February, 2010) who trained him at the River Cafe, to always aim for the highest standards in food preparation and cooking i.e. “Her food, philosophies, natural flair, simplicity and unforgiving single-mindedness in pursuit of perfection…”
Then, you come to the bold blue page of contents with the recipes listed according to breakfasts, soups, salads, pub grub, new British classics, afternoon tea, seaside, pies and puddings…right up to condiments. Thank you, Jamie, for the easy reference for busy Moms like me!
I truly enjoyed reading the “Welcome” note because he’s really proud of the Great Britain he grew up with and also the Great Britain it is today. He also acknowledges the multicultural influences the West Indian, European, Jamaican and Indian immigrants (oops, you forgot to mention the Moslems although he dedicates a couple of pages to the Welsh Yemeni community and their interesting cuisine) brought to British food:
“And to me, that’s what Britain today is: a tapestry and patchwork quilt that embraces the best of the old traditions as well as the newer additions to our repertoire, which are joyful, colourful and resourceful in their own right.”
Then, the kids interrupted me as they pounced on the cookbook and started flipping through pages with my older child saying:
“Mmm…this looks yummy, Mummy. Can you cook this?”
Here’s their list of “favourites” (or orders):
1. Bubble & Squeak (I like the One-Pan Breakfast but he said it looks “a bit yucky”)
2. Old Boy’s Omelette
3. Breakfast Crumpies
4. Almost every cake, sponge, pie and and tarts under “Afternoon Tea” LOL
5. Puddings!!! (I love English trifle so WILL definitely try out Jamie’s recipe…)
6. Vegetables!!! Nah, that’s my attempt to “propagandize” them with “vegetables are nice…vegetables are yummy…”
The only section I wasn’t too excited about was the “Wild Food” section, which is actually a big part of British culture i.e. pheasant, partridge, quail, pigeon, rabbit, venison. And I didn’t like the photo showing men on a hunt with their guns pointing towards the sky.
Aww…why did you have to go and spoil it, Jamie, especially when you’ve got such lovely photos of your kids and family? I don’t like guns, I’m not a fan of bloodsport so photos of delicious food, cute kids and family dinners together with men out there with guns just do not work with a Mum like me. Luckily, the dull greenish black pages did not attract the kids’ attention…
Other than that blip, you will love Jamie’s Great Britain because Jamie really loves good food, loves cooking good food and also teaching / encouraging others how to cook good food.
I also thought it was generous of Jamie to pay it forward especially in encouraging young Brits who are out there starting new businesses that focus on producing good food the good old way. Keep it up, guys – you give Tesco and Walmart and all the those food gobbling giants something to think about!
If you think that you’re getting traditional “British” i.e. English food as part of this celebration cookbook, you are and a whole lot more because you’ll also get Chinese, Indian, West Indian, Scotch, Welsh and Yemeni recipes
Licking your lips already? Get yourself or your favourite cook Jamie’s Great Britain. If you’re lucky, he / she will cook you a meal or two from the cookbook
Here are other Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks I’m checking out:
Let’s get cooking!