This must be one of the most amusing but practical books around. Lara DePetrillo and Caroline Eastman-Bridges have collected and compiled a treasure chest of good advice that they are happy to pass on to novice cooks. Fresh Eggs Don’t Float has a number of recipes but it’s more a book of cooking tips laced with witty observation.
Lara and Caroline are friends who have a passion for food. Although separated by the Atlantic, they decided to further that interest by cooking a new recipe every day for a whole year. Now, I reckon that’s quite an undertaking! Many of us view the prospect of preparing a new dish for every day of a weekend with a mix of horror and adrenalin-pumping anxiety.
Fresh Eggs Don’t Float is the result of culinary collaboration and a wealth of experience. There are charming quotes from famous chefs, food writers and food lovers that express their passion for cooking. Louis Armstrong loved beans and rice so much that he signed his letters with “Red beans and ricely yours”. The celebrated American chef and food writer, James Beard wrote “I don’t like gourmet cooking or ‘this’ cooking or ‘that’ cooking. I like good cooking”.
If you have a terror of all kitchen-related things then this is the book for you. It pretty much starts with the assumption that you have an empty kitchen and no idea! The authors offer lists of equipment, utensils, gadgets that are either essential or nice-to-have. Once you have the hardware you’ll be considering food and so Lara and Caroline steer you through stocking the storecupboard, spice rack, freezer and fridge.
Each chapter focuses on a particular food and discusses that item in considerable depth. Let’s take Chicken as an example. Did you know, dear reader, that chickens are considered to be the closest living relatives to Tyrannosaurus Rex? The lifestyle and life expectancy of chickens is described (battery, barn reared, free range, organic). There are some good safety tips as well. It’s said that there are more chickens than people on earth and that they can be vicious. I guess a good safety tip would be “Don’t annoy the chickens”. There is lots of sensible information on stuffing and cooking methods.
Fresh Eggs Don’t Float will make you smile but it is good solid food writing. It presents information on shopping for produce, food preparation and cooking. Its light-hearted style makes its serious advice more accessible to a new cook.
Fresh Eggs Don’t Float
Authors: Lara DePetrillo and Caroline Eastman-Bridges
Published by: Piatkus – Little, Brown Group
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018