The cover looked so pretty that I was willing to ignore the fact that Sophie Dahl was a model, not a cook. To say that I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. It’s clear that she loves food; she grew up in a family of food lovers and for her, food is forever intertwined with memories and family and love.
The book is separated into four seasons starting with Autumn, and then the recipes for each season are separated into Breakfasts, Lunches and Suppers (Dinners, if you are American). At the end there is a chapter for Puddings (which means all sorts of Desserts, not just pudding).
At the start of each chapter there are essays that document Sophie’s love of food, starting from her childhood. I loved reading these; she has had so many adventures and travels and she manages to connect them all to food. It was also interesting to read about how she got to a healthy body and a healthy body image and how that relates to her food choices. The writing is very indulgent and almost lyrical, and quite posh (as is the author) but not in an annoying way. I actually found myself reading this cookbook at night, in bed, like a novel. Another thing I loved were the wonderfully styled pictures, both of food and of Sophie, throughout the book.
Her recipes are for the most part very simple; perhaps some of them feel a bit too simple for a cookbook, but they are always delicious. There’s a particular old-fashioned Englishness in them that I adored and, I appreciated that she’s all about seasonal eating. I will be showcasing my favourite recipes from this book, starting tomorrow with a recipe for delicious, crunchy granola.