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To think jack Monroes recipe book is pretty shit

(229 Posts)
Itsgonnabeacoldone Mon 04-Dec-17 19:58:53

Secret santa present and i was interested to have a quick look through, but after 10 mins I've decided it's a waste of space and will be going to the charity shop tomorrow.

She often speaks as if she's doing charity work and helping the poorest people with these. But really who would buy it if you were that poor.

She talks about it being inexpensive as you just need a small amount of this and that but you cant just buy half a teaspoon of a spice. It might be useful if you already have the spices and end up broke, but honestly if you already have a collection of spices you are going to know how to use them.

Lots of the ingredients she says you can't buy from the local corner shop and this is where many poor people have to shop.

Some of her sage advice is to just have one type of oil and vinegar. If you are poor that's exactly what you wouldn't do - your not going to be stocking up on half a dozen different types of vinegar if you are skint. If you are not skint then why on earth would you limit the number of oils or vinegars - they are all used for different things.

I can't see who this book would help, if you have access to cheap ingredients you can make cheap food. It just comes all of as very middle class faux help.

milliemolliemou Mon 04-Dec-17 20:06:37

I think she started out honestly with basic recipes online - but even then they weren't accessible to people with no wifi or who had to travel to (disappearing) local libraries to look them up or get the ingredients. But to sell a cook book means it needs to go beyond the original audience - who couldn't afford to buy the cookbook in the first place. Which is why the original Katherine Whitehorn book for people cooking on a single gas burner in their bedrooms back in the Fifties was often bought by parents.

WaitrosePigeon Mon 04-Dec-17 20:08:04

She be on here moaning at you later grin

LemonShark Mon 04-Dec-17 20:12:16

YABU. She's trying to help people access decent food on a low income. It's not solely available from her book, her website has plenty of recipes on that really helped me out at a time of being very poor. Stuff that didn't need millions of ingredients or expensive ingredients. Yes she's branched out into a book, have you thought that maybe the people too poor to buy it might receive it as a gift, check it out on her website or get it from the library?

If you want to do a recipe book solely involving cheap recipes using expensive goods from corner shops in food deserts then go right ahead? Anyone can put the effort in and pitch to a publisher.

donajimena Mon 04-Dec-17 20:13:54

Is that you Jack? grin

ButchyRestingFace Mon 04-Dec-17 20:14:38

She be on here moaning at you later

Don’t call The Artist formerly known as Jack “she”.

RemainOptimistic Mon 04-Dec-17 20:18:32

So are the recipes rubbish, not to your tastes? Or is it just the framing that you object to?

I guess someone will be pleased to find it in the charity shop!

Reflexella Mon 04-Dec-17 20:19:46

Which book did you get? I’ve always got on well with the books. It’s one of the few recipe books that I’ve kept & used
I’ve made a few things that have stuck with me & a few hints & tricks.
Decent cooking from scratch on a budget stuff.

RickGrimesStoleMyHat Mon 04-Dec-17 20:21:47

Is that you Katie ?

Reflexella Mon 04-Dec-17 20:22:26

O if you are going to donate it, Please drop it off at local food bank, I’m sure someone will find it just as useful as I do in tough times

Sparklingbrook Mon 04-Dec-17 20:22:44

Has JM turned up yet? I think there's a klaxon.

noeffingidea Mon 04-Dec-17 20:22:52

I've never read her cookbook, her website is fine.
you can't just buy a teaspoon of a spice. Everyone already knows this. No one expects to buy the exact amount of food for any recipe. All recipes are costed in the same way.And as it happens, spices are pretty cheap in Aldis, about 55p for a jar.
Don't use her recipes if you don't want to but I've found her website to be quite useful, and other people seem to, as well.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 04-Dec-17 20:23:48

How much is the book as a matter of interest?

LavenderDoll Mon 04-Dec-17 20:25:18

I like her books - some of her recipes are lovely

bluebump Mon 04-Dec-17 20:25:41

I really like the book I've got and quite often browse the website for ideas. The vegan banana bread is a favourite in this house.

mustbemad17 Mon 04-Dec-17 20:26:20

Her first book was an absolute freaking god send to me when I was on my arse. I still flick through it now sometimes. Haven't looked at her new one (didn't even realise she had one) but her website is also amazing!

just5morepeas Mon 04-Dec-17 20:31:03

I've got the first book and wasn't impressed - tried a few recipes that were either not very nice or didn't really work.

Only book i ever threw in the bin rather than donating, as I wouldn't want someone genuinely hard up to use it and waste their money.

MikeUniformMike Mon 04-Dec-17 20:31:08

I borrowed it from the library. Didn't cook any of the recipes but they looked ok.
Probably cos I already know what I like to eat that is cheap.
If you don't want it pass it on or give it to a charity shop.
A book that I have used a lot is Hugh Fearlessly-Eatsitall's 3 things one - great for ideas.

Palegreenstars Mon 04-Dec-17 20:31:55

I like the recipes (and I got her book from a charity shop)

It was the First time I saw costings priced out like that and I quite liked it.

I used to think 'oh I can't make that as all the ingredients are too expensive' but it makes you realise you don't always need to buy the fancy ingredients and can find replacements.

PurpleCrowbar Mon 04-Dec-17 20:32:35

I like a lot of her ideas, & adapt them.

We aren't skint, but live overseas & often, when cooking from any recipe, have to substitute ingredients that would be mainstream in the UK but are definitely deli items here.

So I quite like the 'make do with what you CAN get' ethos.

I'm saving her first to pass on to dc for the student years.

milliemolliemou Mon 04-Dec-17 20:32:40

back again. Have just googled one Guardian "budget busting recipes"
from Monroe three years ago. Clearly written later than her/his original genuine pieces because they include olives and red wine which clearly busts the original budget. But what is he doing now? it would be great if Jack went to rural/poor city areas and got them going with ingredients they can walk/bus to - even get more coops going where people can combine to buy.

www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/feb/16/jack-monroe-10-recipes

mygorgeousmilo Mon 04-Dec-17 20:33:08

It’s still infinitely cheaper and healthier to do it Jack’s way, even considering having to buy spices etc. JM has actually lived in real poverty, and does lots still for people struggling. What’s the point in picking holes in someone trying to do their best. It’s not faux middle class whatever, it just is what it is.

OhForFrigSake Mon 04-Dec-17 20:38:15

I love Jack's cookbook and I'm not particularly trying to save money. I just think that they're good recipes that don't need 3 pages of ingredients to make (I'm looking at YOU Rick Stein!)

Her feisty soup which is loaded with garlic, lemon and ginger is always bubbling away on the hob when any of us gets a cold and we've tried (and gone back to) many of her other recipes too.

Queenofnight Mon 04-Dec-17 20:38:38

I'm not really a fan of her recipies myself I don't think they taste that great but if you're skint and new to cooking they look like they would be really useful.

MikeUniformMike Mon 04-Dec-17 20:49:07

Spices aren't cheap but if you grind them yourself they last ages. You can sometimes find them in the clearance section.
Oils vary and it makes sense to just buy one bottle if you are strapped for cash. Not all oils are all-purpose though so I would suggest rapeseed or sunflower. Knowing what to do with yellow sticker veg and one pan is a plus.

A lot of people don't know how to eat well cheaply.

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