Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights

I am not cooking at the moment, well, not proper cooking and I hate that, as an indicator on how much I’m cooking, how many times I use the dishwasher in a day, well I’m struggling to fill it once a day at the moment, meaning that we’re always running out of cups, because obviously we’re still drinking and actually still eating, just stuff that can go straight from oven or fridge, with not much in between. But there is a part of me that is getting rather excited about a new foodie hour coming up on BBC2, starting this Tuesday and a new Jamie Oliver book out in April, so maybe something in all that will kick me up the bottom and get me back in the kitchen.

First up though is the new foodie hour (where Mr. Lacer will absolutely not be able to watch any of his sci-fi), with another Grow Your Own Drugs (where I feel sorry for his goldfish and wonder how his patio can be full of weeds between the cracks and still look trendy, whilst mine doesn’t) and a totally new series The Delicious Miss Dahl (heck on the subject of food programming, I’m getting excited that them dramatising Nigel Slater’s Toast and making a new series of Simple Suppers, for before Christmas). Anyway, I’ve been tempted by Sophie Dahl’s book, Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights (is that not a wonderful title?) for some time, but I’m tempted by a lot of things and I managed to control myself, but knowing that watching half an hour a week on the subject, I would not be able to control myself any longer, so bought the book before the show even aired, first cookery book I’ve bought in a while.

And ooh it’s a good book, very pretty, gorgeous photography and not just all of Miss Dahl herself (although looking at the photos of her and this promotional clip here, BBC2 have so found a new Nigella). The recipes are nice and healthy-ish and not heavily into meat (as a not much of a meat eater, I hate buying cookery books too full of meat recipes). The book feels nice to look at and hold and Dahl writes very well, in a chatty, informal style about each recipe and with longer pieces at the front of each season’s section.

Anyway, as per usual, when I review a cookery book, these are the dishes I particularly want to try –

In Autumn Breakfasts –

  • Rice pudding cereal with pear puree – oh my god, I love milky rice pudding for breakfast (cooked in a pan, not in the oven), so this recipe is right up my street, although it would have to be a very lazy morning to find time to make this, this may become lunch.
  • Omelette with caramilized onion and Red Leicester – I haven’t had an omelette for years ‘but . . .  I . . . want . . . one . . . NOW!’ now.
  • Tawny granola – a granola with the rare distinction of having absolutely nothing I don’t like (nuts, raisins (I eat raisins, just not in breakfast cereal, banana) and absolutely everything I do like (pumpkin seeds, almonds, desiccated coconut, allspice, dried apricots).
  • Musician’s breakfast  – home made brown bread, thick with oats, topped with a slice of parma ham, Dahl makes for her partner, he’s a lucky man.

Autumn lunches

  • Spinach barley soup – mmmmmmm
  • Buckwheat risotto (with something other than mushrooms, which I can’t eat) – I love buckwheat!

Autumn suppers

  • Lily’s stir fry with tofu – sounds nice and fresh.
  • Aubergine Parmigiana – yum

Winter breakfasts

  • Pear and ginger muffins – sometimes, when I’m browsing in the recipe book section and I flick open a page at random, the recipe on that page can sell me the book alone and this was the recipe for me for this book.
  • Porridge with apricots, manuka honey and creme fraiche – yum to!

Winter lunches

  • Holler’s curried parsnip soup – I love how there’s so many soup recipes in this book!

Spring breakfasts

  • Lemon and ricotta spelt pancakes – lovely, but oh to have the time and energy to make these in a morning.

Summer breakfasts

  • Cinnamon roast peaches with vanilla yoghurt – I think this looks more achievable, you can bung the peaches in the oven and get dressed.
  • Blueberry and strawberry smoothie – made with frozen fruit rather than fresh, I approve!

Summer lunches

  • Quinoa salad with tahini salad – yum!
  • Beetroot soup – hot or cold

Puddings – now Miss Dahl gets voluptuous

  • Ginger parkin
  • Clover’s carnation milk jelly – oh I had this as a kid, somehow though, knowing my kids, I’m not sure they’d like this, more for me then.
  • Cardamom rice pudding – more rice pudding
  • Elderflower jelly – more jelly
  • Flapjacks – the kids are allowed flapjacks at school now during snack time, hmmmm
  • Banana Bread – banana bread with no nuts in, yeah!
  • Orange yoghurt and polenta cake – me like polenta cake


I had some interesting post this morning, amongst which were these

Free business cards from Etsy and Moo.com. There have been times when I’ve been talking to people and I’ve told them about my minuscule shop, they’ve more often or not gone “Etsy? Et-sy? What’s that?” and then proceeds a long conversation whilst I try and spell out my shop web address and they try and remember it. Hence, business cards will be useful and free is always good.

I’ve always wanted to try out Moo and I’ve been quite impressed with the speed of service and their website was pretty easy to use to. I searched through some old photos to use, with not many product shots to use, I extended my criteria to include my more ‘arty’ photos and photos of stuff I made from patterns I’ve made up myself.

Anyway, after the postie had come, it was my turn to go and take Girl Lacer to tap, now normally I take along a piece of embroidery to do, whilst waiting outside, but due to the continued dearth of black embroidery thread, I didn’t have anything I could take with me, so instead I got my biggest bag and bunged my editing folder inside instead and then promptly sat outside tap and played with my phone instead (editing is going slowly, if anything because I took a week off for the (still ongoing) room reorganisation and then the kids were sick or had medical appointments, so I had only one afternoon to myself all last week, where to my credit, I did do some editing and found quite a few corrections to make, which made me wonder, did I, during my last major burst of editing, having read the text so many times, did I miss stuff?).

After tap, me and Girl Lacer went into town, principally to get some cat’s cradle cord (yes, I know I could have made one). Cat’s cradle is a craze sweeping round school at the moment, faster than the tummy bug that is also going round. So we bought the cat’s cradle and once out of the toy shop, Girl Lacer proceeded to demonstrate and made me turn into a grinning, literally clapping in delight buffoon, as she effortless did the cat’s cradle and then attempted to teach me, which wasn’t so easy. I had no idea she knew how to do that, I remember attempting cat’s cradle whilst at school and getting as stumped as I am now.

We then went onto the book shop, where she convinced me to buy a Where’s Wally book and she spent a large part of the rest of the shopping trip walking round with her head buried in it (where we also popped into John Lewis and hurrah, they finally had black thread, guess what I bulk bought?).

We’re now at home getting ridiculously excited about Doctor Who being on in a fortnight, you know I think I’m a little in love with the new Doctor already and all it took was a couple of trailers . . .