Wednesday, July 26, 2006


My pal Marcia (who now constitutes the single best reason to visit Salt Lake City, much as she used to be the single best reason to visit Tuscaloosa) has just returned from a trip to Portland, Oregon. She wrote me the following note:

I just picked up [Tamasin Day-Lewis's] Simply the Best for $15.98 at Powell's in Portland this weekend. I checked, and the sale price
is good on their website too. Thought I'd let you know in case you'd like to inform your loyal readers and/or pick up gift copies for anyone.

So I'm passing it on, because the book is one of the most interesting and appetizing reads on the shelf.

Now, I must admit that I have just had a rather catastrophic failure with Day-Lewis's Steamed Blueberry Pudding. It, um, failed to cohere. (It made a nice trifle, though. Ah, trifle! The repository of many a malformed cake.) And Liz and I recently had a discussion about the recipe for Blueberry Clafoutis. Like some other British recipes for clafoutis that I've seen, it overcomplicated what should be a very simple list of ingredients, and it called for what appeared to be much too short a cooking time. To my taste buds, anything less than 45 minutes results in something gelatinous and raw-tasting.

But there are so many other wonderful recipes and essays in the book that I still think you should buy it. Especially at $15.98! I think Day-Lewis is a genius at salads, for one thing: I love the Asparagus, Fennel, and Red Pepper Salad, and the Cos Lettuce with Cashel Blue and a Cream Dressing too. And I know I posted a pic of her Tuscan White Salad once upon a time.

I should add that the author makes a mean daube. And I have my eye on a lot of other goodies, too.

Anyway, do what you will with this information. I trust we will be hearing from Marcia about koftas or kebabs or seafood soups...