Delia's Frugal Food by Delia Smith

Delia's Frugal Food by Delia Smith

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Category: Cookery
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An updating and reissue of the nineteen seventies best seller provides nutritious, tasty and economical food for the family. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: October 2008
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0340918562

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Following a lamentable lack of ability to predict the way that public opinion was heading when she published How to Cheat at Cooking it's good to see that Delia's returned to form with an updating and reissue of her original classic bestseller, Frugal Food. Frugal Food was first published in the nineteen seventies when we were having a little local financial difficulty and it caught the mood of the times with its preference for spending time in the kitchen to produce economical meals rather than spending money to buy time.

The 1997 edition is still in print and you might want to buy this, in the spirit of frugality, given that the paperback is rather cheaper than the recently reissued hardback. You'll miss the fact that oil is substituted for lard, but avoid such idiocies as the statement that free range eggs are unrealistic nowadays whilst lamenting the poor chickens produced by battery farms. Thankfully there's a little more joined up thinking with regard to animal welfare these days.

There are cheaper ways of eating than those provided by this book – as Delia points out, anyone living at subsistence level doesn't need a cookbook - but the recipes provide economical, tasty and nutritious meals, generally for two to six people. The emphasis is on buying food when it's in season and looking for less expensive alternatives for ingredients. A dry cider can be substituted for wine in recipes: it doesn't produce the same result, but it generally produces one that's equally delicious for a fraction of the price.

Cheaper cuts of meat are encouraged and it was with relief that I found someone who agrees with me that sausages are not a second-class food but a delight in their own right. Buy the best that you can afford and they make a superb meal and I've met few people who don't enjoy toad in the hole.

The range of recipes takes you right through a good three course meal and ranges from the food the family eats at the kitchen table to meals you would share with guests. If you have the Complete Cookery Course you might well find that some of the recipes are familiar but there's still a good range of dishes to suit all tastes.

For another look at frugal food you might like to try How to Feed Your Whole Family a Healthy Balanced Diet, with Very Little Money and Hardly Any Time, Even If You Have a Tiny Kitchen, Only Three Saucepans ... - Unless You Count the Garlic Crusher... by Gill Holcombe. The recipes aren't quite so foolproof as Delia's but there's a good reason why it's sold so well, despite the tediously long title.

Booklists.jpg Delia's Frugal Food by Delia Smith is in the Top Ten Books To Help Down-Size And Make Ends Meet.
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Buy Delia's Frugal Food by Delia Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Delia's Frugal Food by Delia Smith at


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Last modified on 2 March 2018, at 11:17