Unless you’ve been living under a rock or are a banker/footballer you will have noticed that we are in the grip of recession. It was therefore, a very welcome sight when a review copy of “How to Feed your Family for £5 a Day” by Bernadine Lawrence came through the door. Harper Collins couldn’t have sent me a more apt book as I’m all about the Home Economics! The book was published 2 August 2012 and costs £5. So what do you get for your money?
Well Bernadine started experimenting and cooking with whole foods at the age of 18 in a whole food bakery in Notting Hill. Her dishes became popular with family and friends (including members of the Clash and Public Image Ltd who often popped round for a bite to eat). After the collapse of her business Bernadine had to feed her young family for just £28 a week and devised a hearty meal plan out of basic, wholesome ingredients. Having successfully raised 4 children on these delicious meal she is delighted that they are now cooking them for their children.
This book is very logically laid out with the first few pages devoted to what foods you should have in your store cupboard/fridge and useful hints, tips and suggestions. She even provides you with a very useful shopping list! Bernadine also points out that single people and couples can make great use of this book by dividing the recipes by 2 and chilling or freezing the surplus.
The book then runs from chapters on Breakfast, Light Meals and Snacks, Toast and Sandwiches, Soups and Stocks to Main Meals divided into Vegetarian, Fish and Seafood plus Meat and Poultry then Salads, Desserts, Basic Essentials and finally a very detailed Good Budget Guide which includes a Seasonal Food Calendar and a Weekly Meal Planner amongst other useful topics.
I wish more books were laid out like this as it makes finding inspiration for cooking a meal a lot easier when all the recipes are clustered together like this.
Recipes that I look forward to making include: Golden Banana Fritters (Breakfast), Welsh Rarebit, Minestrone, Sauteed Onion, Tomato and Red Split Lentil Tart, Chicken Macaroni, Decadent Winter Slaw, Honey Rice Pudding, Eves Pudding and Chapatis (I could go on). In fact out of the 150 recipes there are more in this book that my family would eat than not which is no mean feat, I can tell you!
Were there any negatives to this book (racks brain)? Well there were no fancy shots of the food but the whole point of this book is economy and being a paperback this keeps the cost down too.
So whether you are an old hand or new to cooking, whether you are single or have a family, if you want to eat healthily and inexpensively then this is a must have book – it might just be the best fiver you’ve ever spent!
To give you a little taste of what you get I have baked and blogged Bernadine’s Treacle Tart recipe with kind permission of Harper Collins. Click here for recipe.
NB: All views are my own and there is no financial gain to me.