A guest post by Jen from Blue Kitchen Bakes.
A set of books that will give students the knowledge to eat well every day
I’ve been a student for far too long now, since 2005 if anyone’s interested, and during that time I’ve learnt a lot including how to fend for myself. This is perhaps the most important thing that I’ve learned in all my years at university alongside all of the academic work. Charlotte Pike recognised how important this is since finishing university herself not all that long ago. She has put together 3 books that cover nearly everything that a teenager leaving home for the first time will need to know about feeding themselves well on a budget. Considering how much it costs to study for a degree now compared to when I started and the fact that the general cost of living has also gone up, these books are a timely resource for anyone starting or even continuing their degrees this autumn.
There is an all-purpose cookbook, a vegetarian book and a baking book. The 3 books all have detailed introductions covering essential kitchen equipment and optional extras, store cupboard ingredients, advice on oven temperatures and food hygiene. These sorts of things seem obvious to adults or anyone who has cooked before, but I remember well from living in student halls that a couple of my flatmates didn’t have a clue. Fortunately me and the others were able to step in and offer words of advice before anyone got food poisoning or the kitchen blew up.
So far I’ve tried the falafels from the vegetarian book and they were delicious, something I’ve never actually tried making before and I was pleasantly surprised at how budget friendly they are. I’ve also bookmarked several recipes from the main book and the baking book including the vegetable honey tagine, ham and cheese empanadas, cappuccino slices and the peanut butter biscuits. The baking book has a good selection of recipes and at the beginning there are 2 whole pages dedicated to explaining techniques so anyone should be able to bake the recipes. Specific techniques are also highlighted in bold in each recipe with reference back to these pages. Both the main cookbook and the vegetarian book also contain baking recipes so there is a small overlap with the baking book.
After having a good read through of these books I’m a bit jealous that they weren’t around 8 years ago. The recipe ideas are a mixture of slower cooking comfort food to share with friends and quick dishes that are easy to prepare, including a chapter of things to put on toast, very useful after a long day in lectures or even at work for that matter.
I think the whole set complement each other well despite the small overlaps which are to be expected, after all Charlotte has managed to get 3 books full of recipes and advice ready for publication at the same time, not an easy task but it is one that is well appreciated. If you only want to buy one book for yourself or your teen who will be off to university soon then I would recommend the main cookbook or the vegetarian version if more appropriate. If however you think that you/they can’t live without homemade cakes and biscuits then the baking book is a good addition to have.
Fuss Free Rating
Hungry Student Cookbooks by Charlotte Pike: ****
The Hungry Student Cookbooks are published by Quercus, cover price £7.99 each
The Fuss Free Flavours guest reviewer received a complimentary set for review. All opinions are our own, we were not required to write a positive review.