From Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights (page 89)
I bought Sophie Dahl’s cook book for €10 at a bargain book store in Ballina, Co. Mayo when we were visiting John’s family at the start of September. What convinced me to buy the book was the fact that it was divided into seasons, and then further divided into meals. I definitely categorize foods into seasons, and I’ve been looking forward to Autumn foods. This one is in the winter section but it’s the main recipe that jumped out at me since it’s a breakfast that’s prepared at night and lasts a whole week - hello convenience!
It’s the most entertaining cook book I’ve ever read, (and in fact I read it cover to cover which almost never happens with cook books) since each section begins with something like a memoir. The recipes themselves seem more like she’s emailed them to you as a friend, since they are not in recipe speak as such: for example the recipe on Hangover eggs on page 91 calls for “2 slices of a bready thing - toasted potato farls or a roll split in half, for example”
While the recipes are simple to make, some of them tend towards elitism: this Winter Fruit Compote calls for Lapsang Souchong tea, which I had to go to a specialty tea store for. I’m sure something like Earl Grey would do very nicely, but I didn’t know that at the time because I’d never heard of Lapsang Souchong. (It turns out it’s a black tea that is dried over a pine fire, taking on a distinctive smokey aroma and flavour)
As for this recipe? It’s nice and mellow, and the prunes are surprisingly the best part. I’m going to have to try it again with a better quality of dried apricots, these turkish ones barely softened during their overnight soak. It also makes more than enough to get you through the whole work week. Dried fruit is high in vitamins and minerals such as potassium, and also high in fibre. Tea is high in anti-oxidants (although I have to wonder if the smoked tea contains carcinogens from the burning pine) I served as suggested over a natural probiotic yogurt with a sprinkling of toasted flaked almonds.
I’ll be trying a lot more of the recipes from her book, since a lot of them sound absolutely delicious and quite healthy as well.