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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Monday, June 20, 2005

Did they not eat?

A quiet Saturday afternoon browsing the shelves in Books For Cooks and wishing Ladro were serving for some of their fabulous woodfired pizza with bitter radicchio.
I had definite plans NOT to buy a Nigella book, as a service to my readers. I feel I would like to branch out to include other authors, but her writing just speaks to me so. I very nearly bought another Nigel Slater, but after noticing how he devotes entire chapters to 'Potatoes' 'Pasta & Rice' and 'Sausages' in Real Food, all of which I'm trying to eat in moderation at the moment, I decided to wait a few months. It'd be the perfect book for A. though. He would happily live on those 4 items.
Anyway, it was the book above that jumped out at me. What I love about the Melbourne Books for Cooks is that they include second-hand books on their shelves. And of the two copies of Nigella's How To Eat, one was second-hand and only $35! It doesn't look like it's been used at all. Perhaps even opened only once or twice. Considering a new paperback of it costs about $60, this was too good to miss!
I had always thought I didn't need How To Eat. A quick glance at it made me think it was a type of encyclopaedia like my Stephanie Alexander Cook's Companion. But I was wrong. It's not, and I'm really enoying reading it. She's just so down-to-earth and makes so much damn sense, particularly in the low-fat/losing weight chapter. I think more people with misconceived ideas about how to lose weight should read her first few pages of that chapter.
But, what is most interesting about this copy is the handwritten dedication in the flyleaf. I wonder who Karen and Nick are? The inscription seems to indicate the book was an engagement or moving-in-together present. I wonder what happened that this book ended up no longer in their house. A. came to the conclusion that they broke up. In acrimonious circumstances. I rather prefer the idea that they just didn't appreciate cooking and realised they could make a few bucks selling it. Who knows? I secretly think A. might be on the right track, but that's rather a depressing thought. Well, at least Rick, Melis and Henry can be reassured that it has ended up in the hands of somebody who definitely agrees with their sentiment that food and nurturing are important parts of any relationship, and truly appreciates the book they chose.


  • Hi Niki

    I agree. I loved 2nd hand bookshops, and I love pondering my own little explanations for mysterious descriptions.

    What a great find too. Well done!

    By Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop), at 6/20/2005 11:44:00 pm  

  • I love second-hand shops and check them regularly. Two months ago I found, at a second-hand bookstore here in Ottawa, a copy of "Le Repertoire de la Cuisine" by Louis Saulnier and the Larousse Gastronomique, English edition, both almost new for 1/3 of the price.

    I don't have a Nigella Lawson book and that one "How to Eat" seems like a good bet.

    By Blogger Ana, at 6/21/2005 01:50:00 pm  

  • I really love that about How to Eat. It reads like a good story rather than a recipe book and has so many basic and basically great recipes in it. I especially like the way she talks about making her baby's food and what they do and don't like to eat. It really is so much more than a recipe resource. It shares the same "personalised" persepctive that make food blogs so much more interesting than anuy old recipe database!

    Another great shop for used cook books is the used book store (can't recall the name! Shame on Me!)on Fitzroy Street a half block east of Grey St. Their selection of cookbooks is smaller, but generally fantastic and in great condition. I got a couple of Greg Malouf's, Forever Summer, and Ezard there just before I left and I think I paid $80 for the lot!

    By Blogger Lex Culinaria, at 6/21/2005 02:21:00 pm  

  • I love that book.
    Unfortunately it has been sitting in my mum's attic on the other side of the world for 4.5 years.
    My fave recipe was hot pan fried chicken served with cold greek yoghurt and cucumbers and chilli and lemon rind (as far as I can recall)

    By Blogger Sam, at 6/22/2005 01:16:00 pm  

  • Lex - Yes, I totally agree with what you've said. It's really like a friend sitting down and explaining why their cooking is so good, and how yours can be too.
    I must check that bookshop out!

    Sam - Do you think it's about time you got your book back? :-) I did see that recipe and thought it looked very good!

    By Blogger Niki, at 6/22/2005 03:26:00 pm  

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