steveandsarah, Feb-7-05 16:29:49:|
I (this is Sarah) decided to tackle this issue more literally (my excuse: I've just been teaching _Robinson Crusoe_ and am hopelessly caught up in the televsion show, _Lost_, so I've actually been thinking about surviving on desert islands recently which naturally involves much consideration of what I will be eating...).
My first instinct was that I would would gain comfort and sustenance from some of the grandes dames of Anglo-American food writing--Elizabeth David, M.F.K. Fisher, Jane Grigson--but, especially given I don't actually own books by any of these eminent ladies, this seemed a bit precious given my plight. Restricting myself to books I actually own, then, I must concur, first of all, with Leah's choice (and I feel sure it is Leah's choice, not Will's, despite Nigella's undoubted gourmand's-crumpet status) of Nigella's _How To Eat_. I have to say I really don't cook all that much from this book, but I probably read it more than any other cookbook I own. It is companionable reading, which I think would be what I would crave. On more practical note, I think Fergus Henderson's _The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating_ would come in handy. In fact, the only way I'll attempt the majority of recipes in this book will be if I am stranded on a desert island, and desparate enough to consider a recipe like "Warm Pig's Head." Food for the soul would be Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin's _The Physiology of Taste, Or, Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy_ trans. M.F.K. Fisher, which I could finally get round to reading; it would also bring back fond memories of our wedding ceremony. For more nostalgia, I'd turn to _Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course_, which I don't actually own, but I can picture each dog-eared, stained volume from my Mum's kitchen so vividly, that I feel it counts. Finally, and most honestly, it would be, yes, _Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking_ by Marcella Hazan, the book to which we find ourselves turning most often week in, week out (in the last couple of weeks alone we've made bolognese meat sauce; chicken fricassee with porcini mushrooms, white wine and tomatoes; olive oil cake; and polenta shortcake with raisins, dried figs, and pine nuts: all delicious). I'm beginning to look forward to being stranded...