Jack Knight Cooks
Hello Gentle Readers! Thank You for joining me for my second Guest Blogger post. So pleased to have my Best British Friend, Jack Knight of Jack Knight Cooks (Jackknightcooks.wordpress.com) write for us based on a recent passion of his. Jack loves cookbooks, vintage cookbooks, particularly, and old family recipes, of which he has boxes and folders full of them from many, many years back. He has graciously posted his favorite cookbooks for us and, he has graciously created a quiz for us! Please take a look at what Jack has in store for us! Thank You!
To mark my return to the role, I've decided to tell you a bit about my favourite cookbooks. This is inspired by a series of posts on a site called Serious Eats.
I hope you like this post. Maybe we could persuade Martin to take part?
The Jack Knight Cooks book quiz:
How many cookbooks do you own? The truth. - I have about 170 books and twenty folders and notebooks full of recipes. A little obsessed I know. I used to have over 300, but before I moved to Hampshire from Essex, I did a mass clear-out. Anything that didn't pass the test got donated to a nearby secondhand book shop.
What do you look for in cookbooks? - Good old-fashioned home cooking. None of that bloody "towers of risotto and sprinkles of ostrich eyeballs" shit for me, what Elizabeth David very aptly called "theatre on a plate".
I also like a good well written text, especially if it tells the story of the author in the kitchen.
Which ones do you go to when you're entertaining? - I am currently building a repertoire for entertaining. Thus far I've found How to Eat by Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver's Italian book best for ideas for appetizers like bruschetta.
Which ones are your go to baking ones? - I love the Hummingbird Bakery books. Their cupcakes and layer cakes are divine. I also like Brilliant Bread by a young guy called James Morton and The Boy That Bakes by Edd Kimber.
What are the ones you go to for everyday cooking? - I love Small Adventures in Cooking by James Ramsden for everyday food. I also like Donal Skehan's books. Do check them out.
What's the most used cookbook on your shelf? - The most used cookbook is Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries. The brownie recipe in that book is the best one ever.
Which lesser known cookbooks/authors do you feel deserve more recognition? - I think that us Brits need to know more about Amanda Hesser, and Americans should know about Delia Smith. They are both wonderful writers.
And the books that I feel that every one should have are The Essential New York Times Cookbook and Cooking for Mr Latte, both by Amanda Hesser. The former is a compilation of the best recipes from across a hundred and fifty years of food writing in the New York Times; the latter is a collection of Ms Hesser's articles telling the story of her romance with her now husband, Tad Friend.
Which titles do you recommend for a beginner cook? - Anything by Jamie Oliver, Nigel Slater or a British food writer called Delia Smith.
What was the first cookbook you ever brought? - The first proper cookbooks I ever purchased were Jamie Oliver's The Naked Chef book, and a boxset of classic cookbooks, Elizabeth David, Jane Grigson, that kind of thing.
What cookbooks have you brought recently? - A book of recipes for European peasant food. I am also awaiting a delivery of the books that were published to go alongside the second, fourth and fifth series of BBC's Great British Bake Off.
What future cookbooks are you most looking forward to? - Nigella Lawson's latest, and anything written by Nigel Slater, or the team behind the Great British Bake Off.
But one cookbook I would really like to purchase is if and when my friend and fellow food blogger, Sebastian Holmes, who is a chef at a London restaurant called the Smoking Goat, writes one.
Electronic cookbooks or proper ones? - Proper ones are best for reading and cooking from. I have no time for electronic book readers. I am reminded of a great quote I read somewhere: We need to make books cool again. If you're dating someone and you go to their place, if they don't have any books, don't fuck them.
Do you mind having secondhand cookbooks or do you prefer brand new? - I love new cookbooks, but I adore secondhand ones. Particularly ones that have notations from the previous owner.
A friend of mine once brought a book on baking and it was just full of notes. The author's apple cake was thought excellent, a moist chocolate cake however was thought "As dry as a nun's fanny". My, how she giggled.
Do you write notes in the margins of your cookbooks? - Yes, of course I do.
Finally, which food writer, living or dead, would you most like to have a meal with? - Why that's easy. Elizabeth David. We'd have French omelettes and champagne, followed by coffee and her chocolate cake from French Provincial Cooking. We'll talk about food and books. Oh how I wish I was doing this right now.
Thank You, Jack! You have an incredibly awesome and varied collection!!! I love your culinary passion, sir. Thank You so much for sharing with us!!!
Below are just a scant few of my cookbooks. I have a ton more in my bedroom. You cannot tell that I am a huge Rachael Ray fan, right? Love her or not, if it were not for "30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray" back in winter of 2004/2005, I would not have found my passion in cooking.
If you have not yet found your passion, such as mine are teaching, writing and cooking, I do hope you find yours. I am living proof that you are NEVER too old Nor too young to find your passion!!!
Now, Go Cook something for someone you love!!!