producing out of leftover pieces of cold meat and potato a perfectly formed, lightly fried burger would have seemed odd if it wasn’t a meal so perfectly suited to her temperament.

There was little she liked more (save, perhaps, splashing paraffin on a stubborn open fire) than throwing a tantrum in the kitchen, filling the house with smoke and screaming at any one near enough to take note, ‘Anythingltry. . .’

Hash seemed an appropriately humble link with the past when I was asked to choose a recipe from the Student Cookbook (designed not for student cooks but for starving scholars).

The recipe appeared simple enough to follow. There were no difficult ingredients or processes that had to be looked up in other parts of the book. But quantities seemed inadequate: the student used to halfpounders as snacks would find 202 of corned beef a little derisory. How I wondered too, did the author Jenny Baker suppose that four tablespoons of mashed potato and 202 of meat could ever be made to cover the base of a frying pan?

Things however proceeded reasonably smoothly, with the potato mix (quantities were quadrupled) sizzling nicely in the pan, until the point was reached for flipping the hash to brown the other side. The book suggests placing a plate over the pan and turning the whole thing upside down. Unfortunately it doesn’t mention

that this can be a highly dangerous procedure if carried out over the stove. My Grandmother would have been in her element.

In the end the fire was containable but the hash was a hash. Obviously the thing had been on too great a heat. What should have been browned was black and still attached to the pan (actually even now it’s still attached to the pan). We cut our losses and decided to eat what there was. After all, we still had the glazed carrots simmering in the other pan. ‘Ifthere is sugar in that’ said my dinner companion, ‘watch it doesn‘t burn.’ But already the carrots were empathising with my granny.

AnythingItry. . . (Nigel Billen)

l Light Meals with Dlghy Law (Hodder & Stoughton £9.95) Mousses, terrines, salads, a little fish: meals for those who gasp at heaped plates and feel full after the hors-d'oeuvre. Influences are varied (Asian, Middle-Eastern and the author’s native New Zealand) and ingredients unusual and tempting. Much of this summery food is quick to prepare with the exception of some terrines and the like which, for all their lightness, have a heavy workload.

I Cooking in a Bedsltter Katherine Whitehorn (Penguin £1 .95) The

classic for the under-resourced cook.

Whitehorn tells how to impress and survive on one ring. Essential.

I One is Fun Delia Smith (Hodder & Stoughton £7.95 hardback/£4.95 paperback) The eminently sensible TV cook presents a varied menu to cheer up the solitary diner. Not always cheap and simple, but definitely reliable.

PATRICLA LOCSADA or, F ' 6::th {a . . f" " Nil‘" 41‘. IN " l 7&5" . is”. .


I Easy to Entertaln Patricia Lousada (Penguin £7.95) ‘Plan your meal like a military battle’ advises la Lousada, and her cookery style is reminiscent of trench warfare rather than the spring offensive. This book is full of headings like ‘Up to four days in advance‘, and is not ideal for the spontaneous party-giver. Doubtless invaluable to those who, weeks ahead, have to plot a course through visits to the hairdresser and endless bridge parties, but most of us don’t have the work-surfaces whereon to store all these marinading, soaking

and half-prepared ingredients.

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The List 10— 23 February 59