Book Review: For Friends and Family

For Friends and Family

Nicky Stubbs

Human & Rousseau

Review: Brian Joss

This cook book will encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and stretch the envelope,  a lot. But the beauty of these dishes is that they are not difficult to make. With a bit of practise and if you follow Stubbs’s step-by-step instructions family and friends at your table will be yelling for seconds and even thirds.

The categories are Breakfast; Starters, Simple Meals, Vegetables and Salads; Main Meals: chicken, beef & lamb, pork, seafood; Condiments; and Baking and Puddings. Try the Coq Au Vin, Chicken Marbella or that Sunday standby, Roast Chicken and Vegetables, but with Stubbs’s special touch.  Beef and lamb dishes include Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, Slow-cooked Lamb and Bobotie. Under Baking there are recipes for everything from Farm Bread to Squidgies. Make a Malva Pudding, Pavlova, Traditional Christmas Pudding or a simple fruit salad. Unusually there is a recipe for Ginger Biscuits which you don’t always find in cook books.  When you make these dishes you have to add two of your own ingredients: passion and love, for best results, Stubbs says.

Included For Family and Friends is a list of kitchen equipment, pantry essentials and a useful conversion chart. Stubbs uses only butter in her recipes. Which does add to the cost: for example, with the price of butter today you are looking at R50 before you start making the Orange Syrup Cake. But everything does taste better with butter. So it’s worth it.  Stubbs also uses extra-large eggs, preferably grain-fed, which she says, give a better colour and flavour. And though Stubbs “default option” is good quality powdered chicken stock, she does make her own by freezing all roast chicken bones, skin, carrot and spring onion peelings in little packets and when she has enough she makes a cheat’s stock for delicate soups or a risotto.  For Friends and Family gets five stars and it will be well used – for everyday cooking and special occasions.

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