Wednesday, 1 June 2016
He’s Leaving Home: The Shrieking Violet Guide to Hearty Vegetarian Cooking On A Budget
The emphasis is on the classic, hearty, simple and solid - think potatoes, pulses, pasta, pies and spices - although unfortunately I've had to leave out anything containing mushrooms or sweet and savoury flavour combinations (both of which I love) as he hates them. The book's also lacking in curries as I felt it was too rich an area to do justice to in this volume ...
I was inspired by a remark that my brother (who really enjoys cooking) made a while ago that he would like to eat less meat and cook more vegetarian food, but lacked inspiration. For ages I planned and thought about writing down all the recipes I make on a regular basis as a birthday present for him. I spent the first few months of this year finally doing that, alongside compiling a list of store cupboard staples I always have in to make sure I am never in the position of having nothing to cook! I have no idea if he'll like or use it, but I find the idea of giving and receiving material goods for the sake of it quite problematic, and would much prefer to share and receive time, interest, ideas and experiences.
Writing it has also been quite a therapeutic and cathartic process. A few of the recipes were developed in collaboration with Daniel Fogarty (baked bean pie and peanut butter jam tarts), and he also introduced me to ground rice pie. I spent last year cooking and cooking and experimenting and experimenting and perfecting recipes, as I was so determined that if only I looked after myself well enough (and ate enough spinach!) I could make myself feel better.
Everything I cook is vegan, but I've purposefully called it 'vegetarian' and used generic words such as 'milk' and 'butter' rather than 'soya milk' and 'vegetable margarine' as I know how alarming some people find the idea of vegan cooking ...
A paper copy can be found in Salford Zine Library at Nexus Art Cafe. It’s for my brother, but it’s also for anyone else for whom cooking for one is a chore rather than the pleasure it can and should be.
For optimum results, the recipes should be followed whilst listening to the song 'Bedsitter' from the Soft Cell album Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, which I have come to regard as one of the high points of 20th century British culture.
BEDSITTER by Soft Cell from paulvernon on Vimeo.