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

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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. 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
    http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/7...

    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
    http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/7...

    The Kitchen Diaries: A year in the kitchen with Nigel Slater
    http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/2...

    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.

    ~TDQ

    1 Reply
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

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

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: L.Nightshade

        Agreed! Thank you LLM!

        ~TDQ

      2. 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. 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

            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

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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

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

                        ~TDQ

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

              http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

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

              http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

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

              Extracts from Tender 2:

              http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddri...

              http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

              http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

              7 Replies
              1. re: greedygirl

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

                1. re: LulusMom

                  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

                    second that - grueling start LM, fantastic job!

                2. re: greedygirl

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

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

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    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

                      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...

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        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. 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

                  http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recip...

                  A Soup the Color of Marigolds/Carrot Soup

                  http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recip...

                  Baked Finger Eggplants, Yogurt, and Cucumber

                  http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recip...

                  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

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

                    1. re: Gio

                      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:

                      http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                      Broad beans with Serrano ham and mint:

                      http://bluebellbooks.blogspot.com/201...

                      Fava Beans, Herbs, Bacon and its fat:
                      http://books.google.com/books?id=7K7G...

                      Jerusalem artichokes with walnut oil and lemon:

                      http://books.google.com/books?id=7K7G...

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

                      http://books.google.com/books?id=7K7G...

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        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

                          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

                            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.

                            http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

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

                            1. re: Gio

                              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

                            Printable Beet Cake:

                            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddri...

                            1. re: dkennedy

                              I need to make that beet cake, I think.

                              1. re: greedygirl

                                Me too. :).

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  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

                                    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

                                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?

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  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

                                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.

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  TDQ,

                                  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

                                    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!

                                    ~TDQ

                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

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

                              4. I'm going to make this tonight:

                                A Supper of Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Basil
                                http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recip...

                                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

                                  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

                                    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

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

                                      1. re: greedygirl

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

                                          ~TDQ

                                    2. 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

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

                                      2. 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

                                          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

                                            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

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

                                              1. re: Gio

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

                                                1. re: greedygirl

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

                                                  1. re: greedygirl

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

                                                     
                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      +1

                                                  2. re: Gio

                                                    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. ; - )

                                                    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stephanie-Ale...

                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                      ENABLER!

                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                        Neh-vah!! ; - )

                                                  3. re: greedygirl

                                                    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

                                                  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. 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. 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.

                                                    ~TDQ

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      I'm happy to do that, TDQ.

                                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                                        Perfect, thank you!

                                                        ~TDQ

                                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                                          greedygirl

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

                                                      2. 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

                                                          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

                                                            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.