My bank holiday weekend has mostly been spent at work, there was an interlude stripping wallpaper with friends, which due to excellent company and potable liquor was far more fun than it may sound. Outside it's dark, not very warm, and raining - which I don't mind at all because I have a new cook book which looks to be full of good things.
I didn't go into Waterstones looking to buy anything, which is always when it's most dangerous, and of all the things I didn't mean to buy 'Hugh's Three Good Things' would probably have topped the list. I knew it was in the offing but was inclined to be dismissive because really - how much Hugh does one woman need in her kitchen? It had also occurred to me that this might be a slightly lazy book, I'm not especially opposed to cookbooks based around specific concepts and the idea of'Three Good Things' isn't so far away from Nikki Segnit's 'Flavour Thesaurus' which I really rated, but there's always the risk that this kind of thing is a gimmick.
One quick look dispelled any such suspicions. A second look convinced me that I couldn't go home without this book - there was no question of waiting for a slightly cheaper amazon delivery, and never mind sticking it on a Christmas list and hoping for the best. Obviously I bought it. First impressions suggest that it's the best Hugh cookbook yet - at least for my purposes and preferences. The three good things refer to the main ingredients in a dish, not as I had assumed all of them. The range of recipes is inspiring - everything from honey and olive oil on toast to good things to do with a pheasant. There are familiar River Cottage staples, though de-constructed and simplified - this is what I expected from Jamie Oliver when he was the naked chef - and never really got. I'm really looking forward to using this book, expect to hear more about it soon.