Perfect night

Writing book is a bit like having a baby (I imagine). There’s the thrill of the conception – the sealing of the deal, you might say – the long hard slog of the first trimester (nausea, sleepnessness, an ever-expanding waistline), another three months of corrections and anxiety, and then – waiting. Eventually, all goes quiet (book at the printers) and you forget the waiting will ever end; a pleasurable period of stasis before the tell-tale twinges, the advance copies, the interviews – the book’s thrilling birth pangs. This, as any mother will readily point out, is where my analogy breaks down, because the publication process culminates in a great big party – and actual gestation culminates in… well, you’ve seen One Born Every Minute.

So, Perfect: 68 Essential Recipes for Every Cook’s Repertoire, was launched into the world last Thursday (although Amazon and Waterstone’s seem to have ripped it untimely the weekend before) with a bash at Mason & Taylor in London’sTrendyShoreditch. Nice beer (including an intriguingly dark and salty IPA on tap which a very kind barman ran upstairs to pour for me), fab food, by all reports – sadly I never made it as far as the table thanks to a lovely crowd of well-wishers and fans of free drinks. Great review in the Evening Standard as well:

‘One rather engaging cookbook is Felicity Cloake’s Perfect (Fig Tree, £18.99), a collection of her admirable columns in The Guardian, talking herself through the best version of various dishes, from poached eggs to Yorkshire pudding. It’s rather a brilliant idea, to try out versions of a recipe, from anyone from Delia Smith to Elizabeth David, before plumping for the one that works best. You need finely honed culinary instincts, an open mind and a capacious cookbook collection for the formula to work; Miss Cloake has them all.’

Miss Cloake eh? Fancy. Anyway, everyone has been really very nice indeed about the book – the design, the illustrations, and even the bits I did. Remarkably, as my dad pointed out on Saturday, clutching the Review section, Perfect even appears to have topped the Guardian bookshop bestseller list last week – wooHOO!

Next stop: baby number two? It would be nice for Perfect to have something to play with, wouldn’t it?

More on the book here

7 responses to “Perfect night”

  1. 66 or 68? the pictured book cover says one, your text another.

  2. Just received the book yesterday. It would be the perfect gift for a parent sending their spawn off into the big world, but I am keeping mine. You should let your American fans know that they will be able to order from in another month.

  3. Just got this for my birthday and LOVE it, brilliant stuff. I’ve reviewed it here:

    1. Well, I can’t say I’m wild about the obesity cmeomnt, as though there’s a relationship between fatness in one country and famine in another—indeed, that seems to undercut the main point of the article. But why give up a chance to blame teh fatties for the world’s ills?Jonathan Mann, of blessed memory, made the point, in talking about human rights and health, that no reasonably democratic country with a reasonably free press has ever experienced substantial famine. Food shortages, of course, but famine requires a particular political system. (India, for example, experienced multiple famines up until independence [the last in 1943, with independence in 1947], and none since.)

  4. Thanks for two lovely reviews (I’m fairly tickled by the idea of having American fans – and pleased to have a vegetarian one.)

  5. love your list! thanks for the istairpnion to think about my own: baking m&m cookies for a friend’s birthday, having the time to sit in the sunshine, going to the library and picking up the books i’ve got on hold. have a fabulous weekend!xo, juliette

  6. Stumbled on your blog yesterday and in a few words, my mouth has not stopped watering since reading your articles. My heart has not stopped pounding with excitement. I will make your tomato soup tonight (in japan).

    Ive ordered the book from amazon (usa).

    sincere thanks,
    a home cook

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