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She’s got fabulous teeth. She can do wonderful things with just a can-opener and a few peas. In fact she just may be the McGyver of celebrity chefs. She’s not afraid to lash into dairy products, whip up the cream and politely leave any nods to vegetarianism at the oven door.

Yes, I speak of Nigella. Nigella Lawson. More precisely I speak of her book Feast (2004) and how it is a most fabulous cookbook. My grandmother gave me this book for Christmas a few years ago and it’s a book I often take to bed with me. To read.I would take it on the metro but it’s a little heavy. More then a cookbook, this is a a journey, an inspiration and revels in a genuine delight in what it means to cook, eat and celebrate with those closest to you. What is brought home is just that, the idea of home, celebration, warmth with a splash of decadence and a dollop of what is clearly her own personal experience and history.

Everyone is catered for, kids, lovers, mothers, the faithful, those in mourning… Holidays are celebrated purely for their culinary raisons d’ĂȘtre and even when preparing a feast for a funeral, the food finds a way of comforting you from the pages.

From Hanukkah to passover to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Halloween and breakfast turkey leftovers and Easter banquets, this book is a lesson in what it means to provide sustenance and to bring people together around a table. This all may seem very lofty but seriously, the chocolate cake hall of fame will have you drooling.

This is her hokey pokey….made with maple syrup because there just wasn’t any golden syrup to be found. Works just as well but Lyle’s Golden Syrup is pretty amazing too. This stuff will rot your teeth so just serve it to your guests with their coffee and allow them to admire it and politely refuse it.

Ingredients

4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 and a half teaspoons bicarb of soda
100 gr sugar

(Makes about 125 gr, not very much)

Making

Before doing anything lay out a sheet of parchment paper

Before placing over the heat, mix the sugar and the syrup together. Then heat. Do not mix while on the heat.
The mixture will form a goo and then bubble upwards. At this point (after about three minutes) take it off the heat and whisk in the bicarb of soda.

Immediately pour out this golden mess over a sheet of parchment paper.

Let it set then splinter into pieces.