Last night I was up until 11pm trying to make some caramel pies for the in-law who are on their way for dinner as I type. Cooking from my Next Cookbook, the pie in the picture looked shiny and delicate… it had most likely been made in expensive pie moulds, and pruned and preened until it looked the part. The ones I made, although they taste delicious, look like I five year old have been has been making murky mud pies in a bun tray. See:
When I serve them up, I’m more than anticipating them falling apart. I’m sure they will. I’m already thinking about how I’m going to dress them up with chocolate shavings and cream so they don’t look as bad. But hey, you know what – if they taste good, what does it matter. I don’t have time (or care enough to make it look like the recipe book).
It was only a few weeks ago I was talking to my friend about famous cooks and their Twitpics of food. Apparently Nigella had facing a mini-backlash over her Twitter dishes looking nothing like the ones in her cook book. What do we expect? She’s a Mum… she’s not cooking there and then to cast her dishes in a multi-million pound book deal… She’s simple cooking to eat something that tastes delicious. Go Nigella, as far as I’m concerned. And if she can’t/won’t make her dishes look exactly like the ones in a cookbook… well, I don’t feel half as bad about it.
Let’s face it. When you go to a restaurant and pay lots of money for a dish, you do expect it to look the part. I know I do. However, when you cook at home, those extra few minutes of ‘tarting up’ your dish means that your food is at risk of going cold and your guests are waiting hungrily – just throw it all on a plate and get back to enjoying the flow of conversation with friends.
Tonight, my caramel pies may look messy – I’ll simply give them a messy name, throw it all in a bowl and hope for the best.
Oh, the in-law are here now! Must dash…
Hayley Jayne xx