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Nigella Lawson’s How To Eat is a feast of favourite recipes and high camp

The glorious sense of indulgence is matched by a life-saving sense of humourA still-warm yorkshire pudding is placed in a bowl. It’s darker than I might like, but then my oven sometimes runs hotter than intended. I refuse to be judged for it. On top goes a dollop of thick, fridge-cold cream, bright white against the burnished brown. I lift the spoon from the tin to my side and hold it over the bowl to allow a slow, shimmering stream of golden syrup to join its pals. I pass each serving around the table to my family. There’s a gentle chorus of sighs as they go in and, from my wife, a breathless “Oh God”. Thank you, Nigella. You’ve gifted me my family’s admiration. I can ask for no more.It is hard to describe this dessert as a recipe, although, of course, the yorkshire pudding demands one. It’s more of an idea and a bloody good one at that: normally you eat yorkshire puddings that way but you could, you know, try it this way. That gets to the heart of How To Eat, by Nigella Lawson. It was first published in 1998 and announced less a cookery writer than a beguiling sensibility. It does, of course, contain many recipes. A lot of them are original to Nigella – excuse the first name familiarity; to do otherwise would be like referring to Madonna as Ms Ciccone – but many come from other people, because she thinks they’re great. It’s a cookbook with a bibliography. Here are nods to Arabella Boxer and Darina Allen, to Jane Grigson, Marcella Hazan and Alastair Little. Continue reading…