Well, the August issue of Delicious will certainly go down in history as one of the librarycook’s most-used.  From the cover recipe for Cavolo Nero & Cannellini Bean Soup with Parsley Salsa, to the Spiced Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Saffron Yoghurt, the Fish Shawarma-Style Wraps, and finally the (sadly yet-to-be-baked) Orange Marmalade Cake, as she leafed through the issue almost every recipe cried out to be made.

First off the rank was the soup, which was, as the recipe boasted, nourishing, warming and full of flavour, if somewhat deficient in its C:R * ratio, as it provided virtually no time for the librarycook’s literary pursuits. Sometimes, though, a quick recipe can be almost as good as one which provides generous reading time, and if its results are as good as this, the librarycook can almost accept that not all recipes have inbuilt reading time.

Next up was the Sunday roast, in this case, the Spiced Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Saffron Yoghurt.  This one had an excellent C:R, with roughly an hour of reading time at the librarycook’s disposal.  The resulting dish was pleasant enough, but didn’t entirely live up to the librarycook’s expectations and probably won’t grace her table again.

Finally, although the librarycook hasn’t yet given up on that Orange Marmalade Cake, the Fish Shawarma-Style Wraps hit the librarycook’s menu. Who doesn’t love a build-your-own-adventure dish, with most of its components assembled at the table?  And this recipe included at least an hour’s marinating time – more than enough for the librarycook to dive deep into her current read.  To make it even better, this was a deeply flavoured, messy, delight of a recipe, which will definitely reappear on the librarycook’s table.

And just what was the librarycook reading during the early weeks of August?  Two wonderful books, both published in 2022 – firstly, Sophie Haydock’s The Flames, which tells the story of the women behind Viennese artist Egon Schiele’s somewhat controversial early 20th century artworks.  And then the fabulous The Whalebone Theatre, by Joanna Quinn.  This is the tale of a family of upper class children whose upbringing is one of benign neglect, and who focus on making theatre in the skeletal remains of a beached whale. Their acting talent stands them in good stead during WWII when they become undercover operatives in Nazi-occupied France.


*C:R ratio – Cooking Time : Reading Time – the higher the amount of reading time, the better the recipe.

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