When the June issue of Delicious arrived, the librarycook didn’t even have to open it to know what she’d be making.  A mere glance at the cover photo of a Caramel Sponge Pudding, aka, South African Malva Dessert had her all but heading off from work several hours too early, so keen was she to make, and inhale, the sticky, gooey goodness that the photo promised.

And yet it was well into June before the librarycook had all her ducks in a row and the much-anticipated pudding actually hit the librarycook’s table.  The pudding combined caramelised sugar, maple syrup and apricot jam, and if that wasn’t enough, was drenched in caramel sauce.  The librarycook has never, to her knowledge, previously used any South African recipes, and all she has to say is that if they’re all as good as the Malva Dessert, it’s just as well she doesn’t live there.  Its one downside was an absurdly short 20 minutes of reading time, but when a recipe is this good, even the librarycook can cope.

And then the July issue arrived.  Once again, it was the cover recipe that appealed most. This time it was an Ottolenghi creation – and if the librarycook’s readers have been paying attention, they’d know of her long-term addiction to all things Yotam.  His July contribution was a Parmesan and Polenta Bake which combined a savoury topping of crispy polenta over a spicy tomato and cheese filling. Delicious, warming, even better the next day AND just over an hour of reading time.

What books was the librarycook enjoying when she wasn’t cooking?  Adam Kays’ This is Going to Hurt : Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor – funny, despairing and heartbreaking all in one. And for something completely different, Christelle Dabos’s The Storm of Echoes, the final of her Mirror Visitor series which has enthralled the librarycook since 2018.  She’s a little sad to have farewelled Ophelia, Thorn, Aunt Berenice, Archibald and all the others.





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