I have been on a hellish "Jacob's Ladder" style journey to the depths. I have paid the piper for my Christmas gluttony. A stomach bug. A bad boy of a stomach bug that slapped me around nicked my wallet and installed a perpetual motion machine deep into my cranium, making me feel like I was permanently at sea in a gale. I have only really just got my appetite back and even then I have to avoid anything too daring. The soft, the warm and the bland are as far as I can take it right now. I was doing some shopping today and the smell of various fast food emporia hit me like a freight train as I passed them making me gag and making my vision swim.
Anyway, despite my lack of enthusiasm for cooking generally I had my very own Italian Mama to hand in book form. When feeling low and liverish, incapable of even considering cooking a meal, you need The Silver Spoon, every Italian mama's secret arsenal for the last 50 years and now translated into English. I love it, from its very encyclopaedic nature to the short, staccato instructions; no flowery writing here, just to the point and with a level of expectation regarding the cooks abilities that most English cookbooks blushing. Not that this is sophisticated stuff, it beautifully simple, a depository for every familiar Italian dish to others you have never heard of and would never consider trying. This may well become my favourite cookbook.