Cupboard Love by Laura Lockington
|Cupboard Love by Laura Lockington|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A life story with recipes - wonderful writing which will have you laughing, crying and wondering if you have time to cook today. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 191||Date: September 2008|
|Publisher: Book Guild Publishing|
There's something extraordinarily refreshing about a book by someone with whom you can empathise – not a celebrity, a victim or an axe-grinder, but a real person leading the sort of life which you can recognise. It's even better when that someone unashamedly loves good food and wants to share that love with the reader. Meet Laura Lockington, writer, playwright, bon vivant and feeder of a greedy fridge.
There's a long line between those who eat to live and those who live to eat. I'll confess to being awfully close to the 'living to eat' end with good food being one of the real pleasures in my life. I don't need expensive food, or rich food, but I do need good food, so Laura Lockington's foodie memoir was compulsive reading. It's a life remembered by meals eaten. She can't describe her wedding dress with any degree of certainty, or her first day at school but she does remember the food and she's even planned the menu for her own funeral.
Laura Lockington looks at her life in nineteen chapters each starting with a recipe which sparks memories of the time associated with the food. For the most part the recipes use good, old-fashioned pounds and ounces – there's little of the new-fangled grams – and cooking temperatures are broad ranges rather than specific numbers, but these are delicious recipes. From the ham cooked in cider served at her paternal grandmother's funeral through to her mother's unusual Christmas cake, containing simmered clementines and rather a lot of ground almonds you'll find something to make you drool. I made the Cornish pasties (chapter fourteen) for supper last night and they were delicious. There's homemade lemonade and the best bread sauce imaginable too.
It's a life both ordinary and extraordinary. The manner of the telling put me in mind of Toast by Nigel Slater and this book didn't suffer by comparison. There's the same knack of capturing a moment, such as when her parents separated whilst on holiday, or an escapade like the illicit trip to see Jimi Hendrix on the Isle of Wight. She's unflinchingly honest about herself and others and the refreshing lack of criticism or point scoring made this an uplifting read. There's great joy, fun, enjoyment and even at her lowest moments after her mother's sudden death there's a sense a life being lived to the full.
If you know someone who loves good food, buy them this book. They might say Laura who? but I guarantee that when they've read it they'll thank you.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
Cupboard Love by Laura Lockington is in the Top Ten Books For Your Mother.
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