Gill Holcombe’s cookbook, How to feed your whole family a healthy, balanced diet with very little money and hardly any time, eve if you have a tiny kitchen, only three saucepans (one with an ill-fitting lid) and no fancy gadgets, unless you count the garlic crusher…, was published last year and was widely well received. I had heard many good things about it from the mothers at preschool and through the news, so I finally got around to getting it out of the library last week.
Let me say first that this is an excellent cookbook for a family that is hooked on prepared meals and take-out. It details basic recipes for many common meals here in Britain, such as scotch broth, shepherd’s pie, and Lancashire hotpot. However, I did not find the recipes very useful for me. Many of them would have been hard to convert to GF, and most of them had much more meat than I would serve.
It did prove a useful resource for me in identifying a variety of British foods that had previously baffled me, such as slug and celery soup (slug, as in a slug of wine). I also appreciate that Holcombe writes recipes in the same imprecise way that I cook. I did try out the veggie burger recipes, but didn’t find it flavorful enough for my family. I like the idea though, and will definitely be adapting it. Holcombe also clarified why I was having problems getting a nice texture in my Toad in the Hole, so I don’t regret spending the time reading it.
Basically, if you are new to cooking and need a place to start, then this is a very good cookbook to have. It also covers basic meal planning, along with offering a variety of sample menus. On the other hand, if you are already one of those cooks who plans meals and knows basic recipes off the top of your head, then this cookbook probably won’t warrant much more than a passing glance.