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Sarah Discovers How to Eat

5/31/2016 06:45:00 AM

Well hello there! I'm not sure how many of my current readers still remember the Sarah Discovers How to Eat days, but it's just coming up to the TEN YEAR anniversary of the completion of my project! (Official completion date was 31st May 2006). I thought it was timely to do a little post reminiscing on my year-long project where I cooked and documented all 395 recipes from Nigella's fabulous first book: How to Eat.

Linguine carbonara

I spent last week reading the blog from start to finish, and looking back, I'm not quite sure how I managed to do all that planning and shopping and cooking and eating and blogging! This was in addition to uni, part-time work, gym, family time and having a social life. (In fact, I got tired just reading about it, haha). But I suppose was young and energetic, and I lived at home, so I was lucky to have my mum and dad to take care of me, do most of the dishes, and help with the shopping if I was too busy or tired to go to the shops. (Thank-you Mum and Dad!)

Actual quote from me, from my April Progress Report: "I’ve got 2 months to do about 80 recipes. Easy!"

I loved exposing myself and my family to new, exotic foods (chorizo! elderflower! quince!), and learning (and mastering!) new cooking techniques - using leaf gelatine, making custards, pastry, risotti, pork crackling, and more.

And in addition to the skills I learned, it was just lots of fun! There were so many dinner parties, family lunches, late night blogging sessions, chats with the lovely folks at the (now defunct) Nigella.com forum, and endless MSN convos with my buddy Clarice.

Who can forget the Seville Orange Orgy;  the "Holy shit! A fan is involved!" roast goose; or the long and hard search for a non-stick brioche pan. I have more than a few favourite recipes - the Pig's Bum and Rhubarb Meringue Pie are obvious contenders, but I think the most useful recipes (i.e. the ones I still cook, to this day) were the pasta recipes: tagliatelle with chicken from the Venetian ghetto, linguine alle vongole, spaghetti carbonara, butter with pasta and stock cube juices. So delicious.

Let's look at some numbers!

The Statistics

  • Recipes cooked: 395 in 365 days
  • Posts written: 317
  • Comments received: 702
  • Items Autographed by Nigella received: 2 (thank-you Clarice for organising!)
  • Dinner / Lunch parties held: 19
  • Most Recipes made for the one meal: 9 - Christmas lunch with all the trimmings
  • Custards made: 12
  • Types of Crostini made: 8
  • Pies made: 23 (holy moly)
  • Pie or Sausage-related innuendoes included: Too many to count. Also, "in-YOUR-end-o".

Mushroom Crostini

The first Crackling I ever made!

Roast Beef, Beans, Roast Potatoes

Roast Potatoes

Poached peaches with baked Sauternes Custard


Autographed egg cup and saucer set!

Autographed photo from Nigella!

Sweet, sweet pie

Thanks to everyone who supported me and followed my cooking and blogging journey! Here's to many more delicious meals and fun times with family and friends!

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7 comments

  1. Wow you're definitely the biggest Nigella fan I've ever met. You put it on a cake for heaven's sake! :D

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  2. That is super impressive! How fun to look back on it all! :D

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  3. I loved your HTE project! Can't believe it has been 10 years! Xx

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  4. Brilliant! I was not following your blog then but I am going to read back through your posts. That book is the one that made me fall in love with cooking and like you I found the ingredients so exotic at the time.

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  5. I can't believe that was 10 years ago! I loved those old Nigella chat room days - I cooked so many new things, developed an expensive cookbook habit, and started my blog as a result! Also - thank you for the reminder of stock cube pasta (chickeny pasta as we took to calling it, it's long overdue a revisit). Gx

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  6. Your How To Eat blog was my introduction to food blogs. I was looking for a Nigella recipe, stumbled across your blog and a whole new world opened up so thank you :) And can I add how in awe I am of your pre trip organisation! So many posts!!

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  7. Happy 10 years! I will definitely read back your posts!

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My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.

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