I spent my day yesterday with Nigel Slater. Not in the literal sense, of course, but in my thoughts and reading materials. It started when I walked into a bookstore and decided to peruse the cooking section (not an uncommon decision for me, I admit). Although I had ogled the gorgeous matte photographs on prior occasions, I had never before taken the time to read him. I have long been an advocate for reading cookbooks cover to cover, and Nigel Slater is no exception – in fact, he is the paragon of what I always hope to find in the cooking aisle.
Unlike the majority of modern nonfiction authors, Nigel Slater can write. If the introduction to Ripe were to be termed modern literature, I, sometimes snob that I am, would have no objections. He employs the ‘show, don’t tell’ trope masterfully, slowly revealing his love for his garden and passion for food without once saying those specific words. The introduction, which reads like an essay on heartfelt observation, lulls the reader into a tranquil, peaceful place where dreams of a perfect future garden, populated with rare varieties of fruit trees, float through your imagination. Whether you plan on immersing yourself in his simple, earthy cooking style by reading through both tomes, or simply relaxing in the introductory pages, these are books that cannot be missed.
Recommended Action: Buy –
Borrow – TBR – Avoid
Further reading: The mood and connection with nature reminds me a bit of The Summer Book by Tove Jansson, while for more high-quality food writing, you might turn to the collected works of M.F.K Fisher.