Midnight Feasts by Charmain Ponnuthurai – review

cookbook review Midnight Feasts This is a treat of a little cookbook. It touches on childhood comfort and adult naughtiness – the midnight feast. We dreamt about such things when we were kids even if we didn’t have the chance to indulge in that adventure. We read about it in books and always with a backdrop of a boarding school. These days, we are regaled with images of Nigella Lawson sneaking a doorstep sandwich with a filling of leftovers by the light of the open fridge door.

This isn’t only a cookbook. It supports a worthwhile charity. You are reading this article and I hope you are enjoying it. There are many people who would love to – read, that is. Springboard for Children works within primary schools, and the majority of children referred to them are on the Special Educational Needs register. They work on a one-to-one basis with the children to provide intensive literacy support, additional to any support they may already be receiving in class.

Springboard for Children has a team comprising qualified staff and trained volunteers, and provides a cost-effective way of giving children with learning difficulties a supportive long-term relationship. Each child has an allocated tutor and is taught using a structured, multisensory, phonic-based programme. It’s important to tackle literacy issues before kids leave school. Sales of this book will help to finance further activities.

Midnight Feasts is a compilation cookbook with contributions from the worthy and wise who want to support this good cause. Don Foster offers a pot of plain yoghurt, crème fraiche and brown sugar and that does indeed sound tempting. It’s that combination of decadence with a hint of the healthy to salve the conscience.

HRH The Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson has a trio of munchies: Baked Eggs, Coronation Chicken and Chocolate Cake. They are separate recipes and you are not expected to eat them all at one sitting …although you can. The theme with these, and most of the dishes, is comfort, but these are foods that won’t lie like bricks, turning your midnight feast into a night-long indigestion fest.

Rafael Coleman’s Banana Fritters Flambéed in Rum has my vote for simplicity with a soupçon of incendiary daring and a lot of fine flavour. It’s an exotic little number which nods to a celebrated dish from old New Orleans, and which would work equally well as a dessert after a smart meal, at any time of the day. These are just as good served cold as part of a Sunday brunch.

Midnight Feasts: An Anthology of Late-night Munchies is amusing, and beautifully illustrated by Laurie Bellanca who has done a good job of introducing a degree of culinary whimsy. The recipes have been selected by Charmain Ponnuthurai who also wrote the introduction to get the taste buds limbering up. This is a charming book helping a worthwhile cause.

Midnight Feasts: An Anthology of Late-night Munchies
Compiled by: Charmain Ponnuthurai
Published by: Les Editions du Delirium
Price: £12.99
ISBN 13: 978-2952937061


Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018