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Can you recommend a basic cookery book?

(31 Posts)
Badgerwife Thu 04-Oct-12 18:07:59

My brother in law is utterly clueless when it comes to cooking, but very keen to learn as his rubbish diet is starting to seriously damage his health (he's in his early 30s).

I would quite like to offer him a cookery book for Christmas but don't quite know which would be best!

When I say he is clueless, I mean that he wouldn't know how long to boil an egg, so we are talking basic recipes with pictures!

I've got Delia's How to Cook, but I suspect it's a bit too wordy for him.

Any ideas?

SizzleSazz Thu 04-Oct-12 18:12:27

I like my old Good Housekeeping Step by Step cookery book. Really good for the basics (white sauce, crumble topping etc) plus loads of basic meal recipes. If i ever wonder how to make something (from soup to cake to jam) i can be sure it is in there.

There are loads of second hand copies knocking about or I am sure GH do an up to date version (but not sure how comprehensive it is)

Itsjustafleshwound Thu 04-Oct-12 18:13:17

Jamie's Ministry of Food

Or a Australian Woman's Weekly Cookbook ...

tabbycat7 Thu 04-Oct-12 18:14:28

Jamie Oliver 's Ministry of Food. Lots of easy recipes and a nice variety.

QuickLookBusy Thu 04-Oct-12 18:14:33

Yes would second Jamie's Ministry of food. Good basic recipes for people, who haven't cooked very much.

tabbycat7 Thu 04-Oct-12 18:15:09

X posts! smile

lindsell Thu 04-Oct-12 18:16:25

I like the good housekeeping cookery book too but I suspect a Jamie Oliver one might appeal more to a bloke who isn't particularly interested in cooking grin I like the 'cook with Jamie' one as it's quite straightforward and all the recipes I've tried from there are easy and work well

SizzleSazz Thu 04-Oct-12 18:17:35

Step by Step. Classic 'encyclopaedia type' cook book.

SizzleSazz Thu 04-Oct-12 18:18:12

You're probably right Lindsell grin

BikeRunSki Thu 04-Oct-12 18:18:43

Cooking for Blokes, it was written by a man who'd been in the same situation.

GraceK Thu 04-Oct-12 18:20:51

Delia's How To Cook - covers everything from how to boil an egg to proper meals with glossary of terms and clear photos. Also a big fan of her original Cookery Course which I've used so much the spine's dropped off mine & it's held together with duct tape. Still find it invaluable when confronted by a new vegetable for instance.

Jamie might be good but he does assume some basic knowledge. He also might enjoy Julian Barnes' Pedant in the Kitchen which is about his attempts to learn to cook in later life & his frustrations with cookery books.

BoffinMum Thu 04-Oct-12 18:22:18

One of the Dorling Kindersley children's ones? Great recipes with step by step instructions, not too patronising.

Badgerwife Thu 04-Oct-12 18:32:35

I love that there's a book called 'Cooking for Blokes'. It might be bit less offensive for him than a kids' book.

I'm going to go online to have a look at all of these, but do keep them coming if you can think of any other good ones!

WowOoo Thu 04-Oct-12 18:35:16

I agree with GraceK.
I learnt all the basics from Delia.
Hsome Good Housekeeping ones as a wedding present many years ago. They assume you know nothing.
Delia assumes a basic level of common sense and isn't so patronising, I thought.

sashh Fri 05-Oct-12 06:32:30

I was about to say Delia - I find her recipes are great for someone who can't cook.

The Hermes House books are also good, each one has a section at the beginging explaining things like where a cut of meat is from and utensils.

I don't know if they have a basic 'all round' book, I have 'meat', 'mexican' and 'Spanish' and they are big glossy books that cost about £2.50 from The Works.

exoticfruits Fri 05-Oct-12 06:44:03

I don't think you can beat Delia.

poachedeggs Fri 05-Oct-12 06:46:59

I also like Jamie's Ministry of Food - I think the attractive thing is that he doesn't get too tied up with weights and measures, and gives a new cook the confidence to just chuck things in.

In your shoes, whatever you give him, I'd type up my favourite staple recipes (bolognese, shepherd's pie, carbonara, some soups etc along with some basic stuff like how to cook pasta, eggs,vegetables, a cheese sauce, a tomato sauce ...) then laminate them.

somebloke123 Fri 05-Oct-12 10:51:55

This is good and simple I think, with basic and good recipes explained in comic strip format:

MrsJohnDeere Fri 05-Oct-12 16:49:49

A other vote for Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food. Very good on the basics, but with a good range of different meal types.

fossil97 Fri 05-Oct-12 16:55:02

The good thing about Ministry of Food is that it covers all the basics that you actually want to eat on a week by week basis, not fancy pants stuff. Pies. Roasts. 4 or 5 variations on curry. Ditto Chinese. Vegetables. Stew. Bolognaise. And there are step by step pictures and a good clear photo of the finished dish. Far better than most other Jamie Oliver books in fact!

NettoSuperstar Fri 05-Oct-12 16:57:21

Another vote for Jamie's Ministry, great book for new cooks.

FireOverBabylon Fri 05-Oct-12 16:58:29

How about Len Deignton's cook book? I've seen copies in Home bargains so you might get one as a cheap stocking filler in addition to a proper book.

It is a serious cook book though, not some pastiche.

EnglishGirlApproximately Fri 05-Oct-12 17:03:01

I would second either Ministry of Food or Cook with Jamie. I like Jamie because I find its very much stuff that you can cook quickly after work. Plenty of pasta dishes, curries etc. I like Delia but ime Jamie would appeal more to a 30 year old novice

Badgerwife Fri 05-Oct-12 21:52:19

Step by step pictures?! That's totally what I want. Ministry of Food it is then!

petitfiloser Fri 05-Oct-12 21:53:04


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