I find Nigel Slater an odd lad and his autobiography may go some way to explain the origins of his eccentricity. His screen presence isn't as charismatic as some of the other TV chefs. Yet his recipes are inspirational which is why a number of his cookbooks grace the shelves of the Lovelygrey kitchen. For example, he has devised wonderful pasta sauces made from sausage, mustard and sliced onions or whole garlic cloves and goats cheese, a delightful potato pizza and a passionfruit pavlova to die for.
Eating for England is not a cookbook but rather a series of vignettes about the food that arguably has made this country great (!). As one reviewer on Amazon put it it's a gastronomic take on the fortysomething's annoying tendency to reminisce on programmes from their childhood. Memories of the Clangers, Captain Pugwash, Hector's House and even the Singing Ringing Tree are replaced by musings about Marmite, sausages and our own peculiar variety of milk chocolate treats with their low cocoa content.
It's been a book that's suited my recent state of mind, the equivalent of comfort food, easily digestible chunks of information with nothing too substantial or rich. But now I'm ready to detox and might be ready for something that, from a literary point of view, that is more nutritional and cleansing!