Tana Ramsay has a book with one of the prettiest covers around, with a moiré silk-effect dust jacket. Home Made – Good Honest Food Made Easy gives a first impression of old-fashioned values and warmth. A marvellously well illustrated volume with lots of charming shots of Tana’s kids. This is, after all, a family cookbook.
Home Made – Good Honest Food Made Easy is divided into 11 chapters that reflect Tana’s key foods. The recipes are easy and designed to allow the cook some quality time with family and friends – lots of dishes that can be made in advance. This is something of a lifestyle book and presents a vision of convivial gatherings around the kitchen table… if you are lucky enough to have a kitchen table!
Soup is the original comfort food. Quick and easy to prepare and full of good things. It’s the sneaky way for hard-pressed mums to stuff some camouflaged vegetables into reluctant kids but these are smart recipes and good enough for entertaining – Sweetcorn and Coconut Soup, Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup with a Chilli Oil Sprinkling.
Pies of any sort make impressive meals. Tana has individual Chicken and Mushroom Pies. These would be ideal for children who when given shares of a big pie complain that Wayne got a bigger slice and Tinkerbelle-Twinkle got an extra mushroom. Ahh, the joy of family life! Tana lives in the real world and uses ready-rolled pastry.
Cinnamon Beef Stew is the dish you should make if you want to sell your house. I know the agents say you should have the enticing aroma of fresh brewed coffee but trust me, the hint of cinnamon in this stew will get any viewer reaching for the cheque book… well, at least they will say you have a lovely home!
Smoked Fish Pâté has a wonderful texture. Tana presents hers in a dish although it’s a handy starter served in small individual ramekins. Kippers are a healthy oily fish so you can feel good about offering this pâté to your family and especially if you can persuade them to eat brown wholemeal toast on the side. It’s best to use the fishmonger’s kippers but not many of us have access to a wet-fish shop. Boil in the bag kippers will work just as well.
Tana Ramsay has the taste for the good things in life and so has included a chapter devoted to Chocolate. Nothing wrong with that! White Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Topping is a no-bake cake with a biscuit base and a filling of cream and melted white chocolate. It has a gorgeous drizzle of dark chocolate sauce to finish. You’ll find yourself making this one often.
Home Made – Good Honest Food Made Easy has recipes that are a bit different but still sensible. Tana Ramsay is a mum with little time but plenty of imagination and talent.
Home Made – Good Honest Food Made Easy
Author: Tana Ramsay
Published by: HarperCollins
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018