I first started to take a proper interest in cooking about 12 years ago in 1994. I was out of school, out of a flat I shared with 3 girls (where dinner involved a baked potato or a takeaway), and on my own. Well, not really on my own, but with a new flat and a hungry boyfriend who liked to eat at home.
I started off with “doctoring” spag bol from a jar (Barilla of course), and one year later when we moved into a little house by Victoria station together, it was by pure chance that one of the books the landlady left in the kitchen was an old copy of the book you see above ” Delia Smith’s Complete Illustrated Cookery Course” – which I promptly devoured.
Fast forward to 2006 – 5 kitchens, 2 continents and 2 kids (I married the hungry boyfriend) later. As a friend who stayed in my home rightly observed of the current state of my lifestyle ” …she’s in the kitchen all day!”.
Yes, I do spend a large part of the day pottering around the kitchen preparing something for someone in my family, but I love it. And what I can honestly say is that I owe a large part of my love for cooking to Delia and that cookbook.
I dont know if it was her non-nonsense approach, the way she taught in words that made it seem so easy, or the simple food that always tasted good – but she really did teach me the basics of cooking, and as I discovered, millions of other people in Britain as well.
She doesn’t have the panache of Nigella, the funky youth of Jamie, or the celeb-suave of Wolfgang, but what Delia does is actually get you to cook (and enjoy it too).
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