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September 2011 Cookbooks of the Month will be Tender and Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater

LulusMom Aug 18, 2011 03:50 PM

The winners of the September 2011 Cookbook of the Month vote are Kitchen Diaries and Tender by Nigel Slater. This marks our 5th anniversary. This has grown into such a wonderful part of Chowhound over those five years. A special tip of the hat to all the cooks who have made this past 5 years so exciting and fun. And if you’ve been lurking, please join us, we’re a welcoming bunch. If you're new to Cookbook of the Month, the COTM archive thread explains how it all works: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...

If you’re interested in finding out how we picked these books (and have a few hours) here are links to the voting (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/801727) and nominating (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/800883) threads.

Please use this thread to discuss techniques, ingredients, meal planning, along with interesting tidbits about these books and recipes.

If you discover any online sources for recipes from these books, please feel free to post them.

On September 1 I will post the official threads for reporting.

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  1. The Dairy Queen RE: LulusMom Aug 18, 2011 04:22 PM

    Note for those who may have difficulties acquiring copies of these books. All of these books are indexed on EYB. You do not need to be a member of EYB to see the listing of recipes on EYB:

    Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch

    A chunk of this book is available via Google books: http://books.google.com/books?id=7K7G...

    Tender Volume II: a Cook's Guide to the Fruit Garden

    The Kitchen Diaries: A year in the kitchen with Nigel Slater

    Many of Slater's recipes are online on blogs and such. I've had good luck finding out the exact recipe title on EYB, and googling "Name of recipe" slater tender OR "Name of recipe" slater "kitchen diaries"

    Remember that sometimes the US version of the recipe is online; sometimes the UK version. If you can't find the recipe under the US title, change the recipe to the UK title, ie., change "Zucchini" to courgette; fava beans to broad beans; eggplant to aubergine, etc. For Tender Vol I, you can search directly on Google books.

    Also, unless someone beats me to it, I will post a Slater "adjunct" thread to discuss recipes from all OTHER Slater books and the Guardian's online recipes.


    1 Reply
    1. re: The Dairy Queen
      LulusMom RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 18, 2011 04:29 PM

      Thanks for the links TDQ. You really are a queen.

    2. L.Nightshade RE: LulusMom Aug 18, 2011 04:28 PM

      Great job LulusMom! What a thread you had to slog through.
      Looking forward to cooking from Slater.

      1 Reply
      1. re: L.Nightshade
        The Dairy Queen RE: L.Nightshade Aug 18, 2011 04:29 PM

        Agreed! Thank you LLM!


      2. Peaches to Poutine RE: LulusMom Aug 18, 2011 04:32 PM

        YAY!!! I love Nigel Slater. He is so comforting.

        Also, thinking of planning a blog around The Kitchen Diaries.

        Can I please say "yay" again?

        1. s
          smtucker RE: LulusMom Aug 18, 2011 04:56 PM

          Wow! What a month you have had LulusMom for your initiation. Nicely done. Now to the library website to order up my books. Thank you so much.

          7 Replies
          1. re: smtucker
            herby RE: smtucker Aug 18, 2011 06:04 PM

            LulusMom, you have been an amazingly patient and cool-headed trouper through very difficult nominations and even tougher voting exercise. Hats off to you! I have a suspicion that Lulu trained you for that, didn’t she?:)
            Sad that I won’t be participating in the next COTM while I have an opportunity to cook for my daughter’s family (as opposed to just for me) during the first half of September. I do have Nigel’s Real Food and had it for years. Pick it up now and then, enjoy the read but it never once inspired me to go to the kitchen and cook a dish, a meal, a something. However, I am in love with Food of Spain and Radically Simple is growing on me - this is what will inspire our cooking for now with a recipe or two from Harvest to Heat thrown in.
            I will be following your Slater results with an anticipation of an inspiration!

            1. re: herby
              greedygirl RE: herby Aug 19, 2011 01:20 AM

              Real Food is actually the weakest of his books, imho. It was based on a TV series many years ago which was also a bit of a failure and put Nigel off the whole TV cooking experience for a long time.

              1. re: greedygirl
                oakjoan RE: greedygirl Aug 20, 2011 03:40 PM

                gg: I agree that Real Fast Food is the weakest, but it's one of my all time favorites for last-minute meals. I use it all the time. This probably shows me up for the last-minute-omigodwhatarewehavingfordinnertonight bad planner I am.

                1. re: oakjoan
                  greedygirl RE: oakjoan Aug 22, 2011 04:54 AM

                  Real Food and Real Fast Food are actually different books, oj. Real Fast Food was one of his first, and is rightly considered a classic. I really like it too.

                  1. re: greedygirl
                    LulusMom RE: greedygirl Aug 22, 2011 06:33 AM

                    I have Appetite, which I bought sight unseen. I haven't cooked a thing from it. Not totally sure why, but I *think* I ended up finding it too meaty for my tastes. Obviously not a problem for most people, and it may all be a figment of my imagination.

                    *edit* Oh, and I have Toast, which I loved.

                    1. re: greedygirl
                      oakjoan RE: greedygirl Aug 22, 2011 02:52 PM

                      D'OH! I certainly wish Mr. Slater would stop naming his books almost the same as his earlier books! I think he should change the name to REAL FOOD NOT REAL FAST FOOD. What does he think? That we know how to read? Sheesh.

                      1. re: oakjoan
                        The Dairy Queen RE: oakjoan Aug 22, 2011 02:58 PM

                        At least he's not as bad as Molto Mario Batali!


            2. greedygirl RE: LulusMom Aug 19, 2011 01:16 AM

              Nigel also has a weekly column in a British newspaper, The Observer.


              Extracts from Tender 1, including a video of the man himself!


              His website has some recipes on it: http://www.nigelslater.com/tender_vol...

              Extracts from Tender 2:




              7 Replies
              1. re: greedygirl
                LulusMom RE: greedygirl Aug 19, 2011 03:20 AM

                Thanks to everyone for the kind words. And thanks to greedygirl for the wonderful links.

                1. re: LulusMom
                  greedygirl RE: LulusMom Aug 19, 2011 03:43 AM

                  Baptism of fire, are the words that spring to mind for this month. Good job, LLM! (This is my favourite Americanism and I like to use it whenever and wherever I can!)

                  1. re: greedygirl
                    bayoucook RE: greedygirl Aug 19, 2011 04:59 AM

                    second that - grueling start LM, fantastic job!

                2. re: greedygirl
                  The Dairy Queen RE: greedygirl Aug 19, 2011 03:53 AM

                  Great links. Good job, GG! ;-).

                  I notice there are several videos on the Amazon UK pages for Tender and Tender II.


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    greedygirl RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 19, 2011 04:12 AM

                    Did I mention it has to be said in the style of Jillian Michaels, with whom I have a love-hate relationship?

                    1. re: greedygirl
                      The Dairy Queen RE: greedygirl Aug 19, 2011 04:45 AM

                      Like this, GOOD ((*&%4!@# JOB?

                      Biggest Loser has crossed the pond? Actually, Jillian has one of my favorite recipes, shocklingly. I have bastardized this quite a bit and it's a great breakfast on the go. http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe...


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        greedygirl RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 19, 2011 08:46 AM

                        I think there is a UK version of The Biggest Loser, sans Jillian. I was referring to her DVDs though, which "kick my butt" on a regular basis. Thanks for that recipe. I am not a huge lover of yoghurt unless it's a dip/condiment, but Mr GG would like it I think.

                3. Gio RE: LulusMom Aug 19, 2011 05:08 AM

                  Here's a "Good Job" from me too, LLM. A Baptism by Fire can be scary but you certainly were up to the challenge...

                  Found these recipes from Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch

                  A Supper of Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Basil


                  A Soup the Color of Marigolds/Carrot Soup


                  Baked Finger Eggplants, Yogurt, and Cucumber


                  I've already made the zucchini &tomato recipe and I'll just say for now that it was a joy both to make and to eat.

                  17 Replies
                  1. re: Gio
                    LulusMom RE: Gio Aug 19, 2011 05:37 AM

                    thank you kindly, for both the nice words and the links!

                    1. re: Gio
                      The Dairy Queen RE: Gio Aug 19, 2011 05:42 AM

                      Hmmmm...I have a serious excess of zucchini, tomatoes and basil right now...I see this Slater recipe in my very near future.

                      I dug these recipes up (using my technique of googling "exact recipe title per EYB" slater tender) per dkennedy's request in the voting thread. Sometimes I had to search on "courgettes" then switch to zucchini (or broad beans then switch to fava beans, and so on) to get a hit:

                      An extremely moist chocolate-beet cake with creme fraiche and poppy seeds: http://www.scribd.com/doc/53373973/Re...

                      A Warm Pumpkin scone for a winters afternoon: http://www.fifthestate.co.uk/2009/09/...

                      Ground pork with baked marrow:


                      Broad beans with Serrano ham and mint:


                      Fava Beans, Herbs, Bacon and its fat:

                      Jerusalem artichokes with walnut oil and lemon:


                      A salad of raw zucchini, lemon, and toasted parmesan:



                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        dkennedy RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 19, 2011 06:31 AM

                        Thanks to all you CH who have provided links above. I have a question re the recipes on Google.com. I have tried to copy the recipes I want to print but they seem to stay stuck on the page. Then, whenI tried to print the page, it comes out blank. I am guessing this is so books available on Google still sell, but, has anyone found a way around this....or do I have you pen and paper?

                        1. re: dkennedy
                          smtucker RE: dkennedy Aug 19, 2011 06:36 AM

                          In order to print the recipes from Google books, you need to do a screen shot. The recipe pages appear to be protected, embedded images and I haven't found a way to access them directly.

                          1. re: dkennedy
                            Gio RE: dkennedy Aug 19, 2011 06:37 AM

                            Ok... here's what I say:

                            (I can't stand Google books)... go to the Nigel Slater pages at The Guardian and there you'll find 669 Slater recipes. Some are from Tender, some from Kitchen Diaries and some who knows. But, they're all Slater's.


                            It's easy to check a recipe you find there against the listing at EYB.

                            1. re: Gio
                              tcamp RE: Gio Aug 19, 2011 08:05 AM

                              Thanks for the link. Neither book is in my library system and the recipes I've clicked on so far look really good.

                          2. re: The Dairy Queen
                            dkennedy RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 19, 2011 07:02 AM

                            Printable Beet Cake:


                            1. re: dkennedy
                              greedygirl RE: dkennedy Aug 19, 2011 08:49 AM

                              I need to make that beet cake, I think.

                              1. re: greedygirl
                                The Dairy Queen RE: greedygirl Aug 19, 2011 09:14 AM

                                Me too. :).


                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                  Tom P RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 29, 2011 10:34 AM

                                  I really hope one of you makes the beet/chocolate cake. I am not much of a baker but every time I go through Tender (I love this book!) I am so intrigued!

                                  1. re: Tom P
                                    greedygirl RE: Tom P Aug 30, 2011 12:34 AM

                                    I made the beetroot seed cake on the previous page and it turned out well. Took some to work and it turned out that my colleague had made the chocolate beet cake and he was very positive. Will be trying it at some point.

                              2. re: dkennedy
                                The Dairy Queen RE: dkennedy Aug 19, 2011 10:56 AM

                                So, what's golden caster sugar? Very fine brown sugar? Can I just take my coarse (and that's meant to modify "brown sugar" and not "American") American brown sugar for a few spins in the food processor?


                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                  greedygirl RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 19, 2011 12:04 PM

                                  It's unrefined caster sugar - so not really brown sugar. If you have "golden" or unrefined regular sugar, you could process that and use it.

                              3. re: The Dairy Queen
                                The Dairy Queen RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 19, 2011 10:01 AM

                                Sorry to have imposed the hated Google books on everyone. It was the only place I could find the recipe for Fava Beans, Herbs, Bacon and its fat and it seemed a lot easier than paraphrasing the recipe. I see that the Jerusalem Artichokes recipe is in the Guardian after all, page 7: http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images... I guess that's what you get for trying to help a fellow chowhound while entertaining an infant.


                                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                  dkennedy RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 19, 2011 12:57 PM


                                  Please know how much I appreciate you searching out those recipes for me. I have transferred them to a word document and plan to make them next month (cross fingers). I wasn't complaining about Google, just trying to figure it out. I can always tote the laptop onto the counter if I am too lazy to use pen and ink!

                                  1. re: dkennedy
                                    The Dairy Queen RE: dkennedy Aug 19, 2011 01:40 PM

                                    Oh, I didn't think you were complaining. I just wish the solution were a little more kitchen friendly. I do sometimes bring my laptop into the kitchen when I'm working from a recipe online. It makes me verrrrrrrrrrrrrrry nervous. I know how the pages of my cookbooks get splattered: I sure don't want my computer keyboard to be subjected to that!


                                2. re: The Dairy Queen
                                  oakjoan RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 20, 2011 03:44 PM

                                  A friend made a beet/chocolate cake for her husband's birthday party a couple of weeks ago. Realllllly good.

                              4. Jay F RE: LulusMom Aug 19, 2011 09:01 AM

                                I'm going to make this tonight:

                                A Supper of Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Basil

                                Thanks for posting it, Gio.

                                And thanks to Lulu's Mom for herding all us cats into this very nice choice. Which means thanks as well to whoever suggested Slater, about whom I knew nothing, in the first place.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Jay F
                                  Gio RE: Jay F Aug 19, 2011 09:07 AM

                                  You're welcome Jay and of course I hope you like it . The vegetables we used came from our local organic farmers' market and were very fresh. If you can, have some fresh baguette or Italian bread to mop up the juices....

                                  1. re: Jay F
                                    greedygirl RE: Jay F Aug 19, 2011 09:23 AM

                                    That would be me - he's very, very well known in Britain. He's one of those cooks who everyone calls by his first name, btw, a bit like Nigella (Lawson) or Delia (Smith). I love the way he writes.

                                    1. re: greedygirl
                                      Jay F RE: greedygirl Aug 19, 2011 09:25 AM

                                      Well, thank you again, GG (or, in this case, nongreedygirl).

                                      1. re: greedygirl
                                        Caitlin McGrath RE: greedygirl Aug 19, 2011 10:35 AM

                                        Slater has been mentioned in nominations a number of times, and in fact he lost out in the voting in July. Like Jamie Oliver before him (whom oakjoan had nominated any number of times), it just took time but it seemed like an inevitability that he'd eventually be chosen.

                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                          The Dairy Queen RE: Caitlin McGrath Aug 19, 2011 10:52 AM

                                          The road to Slater has been long and torturous, but I'm so glad we're finally cooking from a couple of his books.


                                    2. LulusMom RE: LulusMom Aug 19, 2011 05:28 PM

                                      Just want to give a giant shout out and thank you to L. Nightshade for faxing me the Tender TOC, and brainstorming with me about Kitchen Diaries. Many thanks and a glass of great champagne to you LN.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: LulusMom
                                        L.Nightshade RE: LulusMom Aug 20, 2011 07:17 AM

                                        No problem at all. A toast to you too, and all your work for our September cooking adventure!

                                      2. BigSal RE: LulusMom Aug 20, 2011 04:50 AM

                                        The more I read through the books, the more excited I am to cook from Slater. His prose is so lovely that sometimes I forget that I'm reading a cookbook. And best of all, the recipes are uncomplicated and sound delicious.

                                        This bit about the mundane baked potato made me chuckle. "To achieve a fluffy interior, the steam must leave the flesh quickly. A good karate chop will suffice, though wrapping a tea towel around the hand first is worth thinking about. Your blow should be hard enough to break the skin but not so hard as to send potato shrapnel all over the kitchen."

                                        12 Replies
                                        1. re: BigSal
                                          Gio RE: BigSal Aug 20, 2011 05:05 AM

                                          Yesterday I read through the August, September and October chapters and it was as if I were reading Henry David Thoreau. What a beautiful writer Mr. Slater is. How descriptive and evocative. In good weather while he cooks he leaves his kitchen doors open to the terrace outside and the flora and fauna. I love that. This is going to a Very interesting month indeed...

                                          1. re: Gio
                                            greedygirl RE: Gio Aug 20, 2011 07:02 AM

                                            Are you wavering about Tender yet, Gio?

                                            I was reading the entry for cauliflower yesterday, which is "a bugger to grow", apparently, and Nigel hasn't yet managed it. Made me laugh.

                                            1. re: greedygirl
                                              Gio RE: greedygirl Aug 20, 2011 08:00 AM

                                              No...not wavering at all. GG. I ordered it from Amazon a few days ago. (giggle)

                                              1. re: Gio
                                                greedygirl RE: Gio Aug 20, 2011 08:06 AM

                                                Dear Gio, you're an inspiration to us all! (laughing)

                                                1. re: greedygirl
                                                  LulusMom RE: greedygirl Aug 20, 2011 09:00 AM

                                                  Or what my parents used to call "a bad influence."

                                                  1. re: greedygirl
                                                    Gio RE: greedygirl Aug 20, 2011 06:18 PM

                                                    I firmly resolve to read only the recipes and disregard all gardening notes.
                                                    So help me Chowhound.

                                                    1. re: Gio
                                                      smtucker RE: Gio Aug 20, 2011 06:35 PM


                                                  2. re: Gio
                                                    Breadcrumbs RE: Gio Aug 20, 2011 08:51 AM

                                                    That's very funny Gio, I was envious of your firm stand against yet another gardening book. Since you're "collecting" them now, you should keep an eye out for Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion. It hasn't been released in the US or Canada as yet however I'd read so many great things about it I couldn't wait and ordered mine from the UK. It's an absolutely stunning book w so many recipes that appeal. ; - )


                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                      smtucker RE: Breadcrumbs Aug 20, 2011 12:09 PM


                                                      1. re: smtucker
                                                        Breadcrumbs RE: smtucker Aug 20, 2011 12:20 PM

                                                        Neh-vah!! ; - )

                                                  3. re: greedygirl
                                                    MelMM RE: greedygirl Aug 21, 2011 05:31 PM

                                                    Slater is the only person I can think of to write a gardening book, and include vegetables which he admits he can't grow, or doesn't bother to grow. And it's hilarious and you forgive him for it. Martha Stewart he is not. A brilliant writer, now that he is.

                                                2. re: BigSal
                                                  Allegra_K RE: BigSal Aug 20, 2011 05:49 AM

                                                  I picked up Tender for the first time only about a month ago, and I also was pleasantly surprised at the beautiful wordsmithing contained within the pages. He is a pleasure to read. I find myself constantly smiling at the descriptions of recipes and methods. I'm smitten with his lyrical prose, and am really excited to delve deeper into his books.

                                                3. pikawicca RE: LulusMom Aug 20, 2011 05:59 AM

                                                  The presence of tiny Brussels sprouts and baby rutabaga at the farmers market this morning opens up new Tender horizons. The sprouts are so sweet and tender that you really don't need to cook them.

                                                  1. The Dairy Queen RE: LulusMom Aug 20, 2011 06:41 AM

                                                    Turns out, I'm not going to be around at the end of Aug/early Sept (or much of September at all) to post the adjunct thread. Can someone please post the adjunct thread for me if there still is demand for one? Thanks, all. Happy cooking.


                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                      greedygirl RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 20, 2011 07:19 AM

                                                      I'm happy to do that, TDQ.

                                                      1. re: greedygirl
                                                        The Dairy Queen RE: greedygirl Aug 20, 2011 07:47 AM

                                                        Perfect, thank you!


                                                        1. re: greedygirl
                                                          oakjoan RE: greedygirl Aug 20, 2011 03:45 PM


                                                          PLEASE SEND ME YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. THE ONE I HAVE DOESN'T WORK ANYMORE. Please excuse all caps format.

                                                      2. j
                                                        JaneEYB RE: LulusMom Aug 22, 2011 01:59 PM

                                                        I am so, so excited that these three Nigel books have been chosen. I've been AWOL for a couple of weeks and when I checked in today and saw the COTM for Sept I whooped for joy. I love, love, love him, own every one of his books but haven't cooked enough from any of these three so it's such a thrill that they were chosen (without me even nominating or voting!). Though I don't think a month is long enough! Of course I can carry on posting after the month is over.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: JaneEYB
                                                          dkennedy RE: JaneEYB Aug 24, 2011 12:45 PM

                                                          PIcked up my copy of The Kitchen Diaries from the library earlier this week. This is my second time checking it out. As I mentioned before, for some reason I haven't been drawn in by his books - yet. This time my approach will be to read KD cover to cover.

                                                          During my first reading, I couldn't deal with the layout, but second time around it slowly grew on me. After a few months of entries I found his musings to be, well, amusing. I even found myself going back and rereading passages to see if I got more out of them the second time. I envy his lifestyle: finding time to go to the farmer's or other small markets everyday; cooking out of his own garden; having small non-meals as meals; it all sounds wonderfully relaxing. Having said that, I still don't think this is a book I need to own. I am finding a lot of recipes to tab but I find myself more intrigued by his non-recipe entries. The ones that say grab a hunk of cheese and eat it with a freshly torn hearty bread. I wish I could pass off non-meal meals on my family but they firmly rejet them. Personally, I would really enjoy eating a bowl of fresh favas drizzled with oil and calling it dinner, but for everyone else complaining.

                                                          So, I will continue tabbing and I reading and I look forward to hearing about everyone's experience with these Slater books. Still hoping to be swept away.

                                                          1. re: dkennedy
                                                            Jay F RE: dkennedy Aug 24, 2011 02:13 PM

                                                            I brought home Kitchen Diaries and Toast from the library yesterday. I'm nearly finished with Toast, and I have to say I have yet to fall in love with Nigel Slater the way I expected to. He comes off as a judgmental twit for the most part. Maybe one of his cookbooks will present a more sympathetic, or at least a more balanced, view.

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