It was the cover of the August Delicious issue that caught the librarycook’s eye.  A mouth-watering pot of a rich tomato soupy sauce, with tiny mozzarella-filled bread rolls bobbing enticingly on its surface.  She might have known that this tempting pot of goodness was the work of her cooking hero, Yotam Ottolenghi.  And, leafing through the magazine, the librarycook found several other recipes that looked more than worth a shot.

Naturally, first off had to be Yotam’s soup thing.  Even after it was made and eaten, the librarycook was still not sure exactly what it was – a dip, as described on the cover, or a tomato sauce (its nom de recipe), or something entirely other – a souce, perhaps – or a saup – a very non-mellifluous mix of soup and sauce. Whatever it was, it was OK – not brilliant, not terrible, although it did provide a very long reading time – who knew yeast could go off?  It wasn’t until the following day, now equipped with fresh yeast, that the librarycook could finally sit down, spoon in hand, to enjoy. Her rating?  6/10 for the recipe (sorry, Yotam), 8/10 for reading time.

Another, more successful soup was next to be tried.  And the Hot Smoked Trout and Parsnip Soup was a winner on all counts.  A reasonable amount of reading time, albeit split into 20 minute blocks.  And a delicious, smoky and warming soup, topped with smoked trout segments and herbs.  Just the thing for a cold winter’s evening.

Herby Pork Meatballs with Pesto Spaghetti was the final recipe to complete the triumvirate. Valuable reading time was wasted choosing just one recipe from the feature article on meatballs, but the librarycook is happy to say that her choice was a wise one.  Oven-roasted Chorizo Meatballs with Tomato Ragu, Massaman Meatballs with Vegetable Curry, and even Chilli con Carne Meatballs with Smoky Veg and Beans vied for her attention, but almost any recipe featuring basil is always going to come up trumps for the librarycook.

Almost the only negative was the comparative lack of reading time – a mere 20 minutes or so while the meatballs (and the librarycook) rested, but the flavourful result was almost worth the lack of any meaningful time curled up with a good book.

So just what is the librarycook filling her reading hours with?   A most excellent retelling of Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath’s Tale, told from the wife’s point of view, The Good Wife of Bath : A (Mostly) True Story – highly recommended. And an epic, sweeping historical saga – Dublin, by Edward Rutherfurd – who doesn’t enjoy a vast, historical epic telling the story of a city and its people from pre-history to the 16th century?

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