My Best Bargain (this week)

I lovelovelove a market, and I ADORE a stall with secondhand books. So, you can imagine my joy at finding a book (at Gorman House Markets for local people) that I have coveted since it was published in 1994. ‘Why didn’t you just buy it new?’ you may ask, as has my Stepford husband, many a time. Well, it was a pretty flash hardcover book, and my propensity to be cautious with my money and my complete lack of maturity in 1994 meant that, when it was available, this was a pretty serious purchase for a grownup kind of person, which I was not.  At that time.  I am, like, way grownup now. Anyway…

Have you ever had one of those torturous dreams where you have found the most perfect boots/skirt/jacket/armchair and it is in your size, looks fantastic and has been reduced to $20 – which you have in your back pocket? And then you buy it?! And then you wake up?! Without it?!  When I saw this book, leaning on the wall behind the paperbacks, I had that moment, that this has GOT to be a dream moment. It is Jill Dupleix’s New Food, a reprinted 2000 copy, and it had a $12 sticker on it.  I’ve tried to buy this book on ebay and lost the race at $28, so you can imagine why I started wheezing and why I grabbed the book, knocking over a little old man and 20 other books on a swivel stand. Not really. The little old man actually tripped on a table leg. No matter, the book is MINE!  For the first few days, I couldn’t even open it to look inside, I was so excited. But then on the fourth day, I sat down with a glass of wine in my favorite chair, and opened the book and started reading.  My cries of “yes, yes, YES!” had the Stepford husband somewhat concerned and a bit cranky, but this woman speaks to me. Her credo talks about the importance of questioning all cookbooks, including her own; that some of the best recipes come from old people; and that the beloved food of our childhood memories is great and should be enjoyed still, in small portions – like when you were a child.  Smart, no? And here is a direct quote which rang bells allover the place for me:

“Eats lots of fruit and vegetables and grains. Nutritionists recommend five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, but try to ignore that. I find as soon as nutritionists recommend something, I don’t want to do it.”

Jill Dupleix, New Food, New Holland Publishers 2000

I love Jill Dupleix.  She taught me to cook by making it friendly, so you can imagine my joy at my new purchase. Now I must end my burble of worship from afar, and actually cook something instead of reading and talking about it or the kids will hang me up and flog me. Backup kids, I’m done.

2 thoughts on “My Best Bargain (this week)

  1. I love Jill Dupleix’s recipes, too, but I have never actually bought one of her cookbooks. I get my fix from delicious. BUT she has a new book out, something with the word “light” in the title, and I’m dying to get it, but I cannot find it anywhere.

    Is New Food the one with the roasted pumpkin with honey pureed with horseradish and poured over penne with english spinach? If it is, make sure you try it, it’s d’lish. My friend wrote it out for me on the back of an envelope years ago and I’ve made it more times than I can count.

  2. I can’t find that one in any of my Jill Dupleix’ cookbooks, but it sounds fab..and very posh? Probably easy, though, knowing Jill, yes? My absolute fave of her books is ‘Take Three’ – I can highly recommend it if you can’t get your hands on ‘Lighten Up’ at the mo’. New Food has a picture of a pear on puff pastry on its cover and it looks so lovely it could be a watercolor…familiar? You know, I always love those recipes that friends write out on the back of electricity bill envelopes!

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