Good Food Magazine - July Edition

Maisie is missing! Send out a search party! No? So as she had the chop? Sacked? Replaced? Or is she on holiday?

The news from the July edition of  Good Food Magazine is that child chef, Maisie, known for her terrible teeth-infected smile has no feature this month. How will her famous cooking-father manage without Maisie's royalties from the BBC? And how will I cope without being able to comment on her unsuitability for cooking stardom? We will both have to cope. Hopefully, she won't be back next month either!

Good Food Magazine is no less interesting without Maisie. As readers might expect, the focus is on 'sunshine recipes', lazy garden lunches in the sun and summer party bites. I'm not sure about 'cooking pizza on the barbecue' though. Raymond Blanc has a great step-by-step guide to cooking restaurant-style sea base and there is an appealing focus on 'The good life' featuring bee keeping and foraging for food. There are plenty of recipes for summer dieting - 27 in fact, and Great British Bake-Off winner, Frances Quinn, creates a nostalgic centrepiece for a special summer tea - Giant strawberry shortcake (below). All in all its summer, summer, summer cooking!

With the Tour de France in the UK, Holly Brooke-Smith (I hate pretentious double-barrelled names!) does some Continental shopping, though none of the selected items has the 'wow' appeal. The baguette guillotine looks fun (below), but we have enough cooking gadgets in our house. Likewise Ms Brooke-Smith struggles to fill her nostalgic 'Cooking treasures' snippet and has to resort to including her deputy editor's O-Level Cookery text book alongside Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.

I love Pulled pork and so this edition's cover recipe of  Pulled pork in brioche buns with BBQ sauce and slaw is a winner for me. The photo stages made my mouth water and the added Tangy cabbage slaw seems to only add to a splendid summer dish. Sadly, I cannot say the same for Spiced squid pakoras with coconut yoghurt dip. These deep fried 'babies' seem to be leaking fat, while Barbecued squid salad is one dish I wont be adding to our summer-menu folder. However, there are some splendid and inspiring dishes in Good Food this edition. I can only list a few that got my taste buds buzzing - Spiced lamb kebabs with peas and herb couscous (below), Aubergine and chilli tagliolini, Italian-style salad with crispy pancetta and Thai chicken salad.

 I've written before, that we are not big on barbecues' in our house, much preferring a summer meal cooked in the kitchen and eaten in the garden, and so the thought of cooking a pizza on a barbecue is a real turn-off. The Good Food feature calls the idea a 'Hot New Trend'. I hope this means that the pizzas are hot! The article starts from the premise that your barbeque can reach the glowing temperature of 300'C, almost like a wood-fired oven. Then there is  pizza dough recipe and ingredients for five different toppings, of which the most appetising looks to be Pesto with aubergine and goats cheese (below) and the least appetising, Lemon fennel and prawn. Sadly, there are no photos of theses dishes actually cooking on the barbeque, Good Food prefers to show us the finished pizzas plated and perfect! How do we know their outside charcoal burner reached temperature?

''Food lovers weekend'' features Penrith, this month, a market town on the edge of the Lake District with great local delicacies like Cumberland sausage, salt-marsh lamb and Hawkshead preserves. The Eden Food and Farming Festival from 19-26 July, kicks off with Penrith on a Plate and is a chance to enjoy the food of this pretty Eden Valley town.

Beekeeping for Beginners, Making Cheese, Coastal Foraging and Backyard Chickens are covered in 'The Good Life' feature about learning new skills. A riveting two pages highlighted experts providing down-to-earth advice for the beginner to one of these ancient skills. Unfortunately the 'kick' came at the end of each article as the expert offered readers a costly course at their farm, house or cottage to further discover what is involved in being self-sufficient. Maybe I should charge folk to visit my allotment!

Fellow food blogger, Kerstin Rodgers, takes you into her kitchen this month. It is such a pity she did not tidy up before the photographer arrived. Yes it is eclectic but it is also a rag-bag of old saucepans, drying washing and cluttered shelves. It seems the word 'eclectic' can mean anything these days. 'Assorted' may be a better description! Being a vegan, Kerstin offers reads a favourite dessert recipe, Mousse au chocolat orange liqueur and choc-dipped physalis. Basically, posh nosh from Paris.

Finally Brooke-Smith reappears on pages 127 and 129 with 'In Holly's trolley' - a look at this month' new products and 'Updating your salad'. The former article offers some top-notch food delicacies from Selfridges, M&S and Waitrose like Exmoor caviar (below) and on-line gadgets, such as the child's special knife and figure guard, as she says, ''Cooking is back on the school curriculum''. Not in our comprehensive it isn't, they don't have any kitchens! As for updating salads, Holly suggests red basil, celery leaf, broccoli shoots and parsley. I like more crunchy additions to my home-grown lettuces - walnuts, pine nuts and French beans for example. 



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