I love the Palgrave books, their Student Planner, Study Skills Handbook and others from their selection have been faithful friends throughout my degree. They were pitched perfectly at the audience, well written, and full of useful content. In short, they were everything that Student Brain Food is not.
To be honest it is difficult to find a market for cookbooks these days, with so many websites full of great advice and recipes and websites like Supercook.com that will make suggestions based on what ingredients you have in the house. While it is well known that many students come to University with no knowledge of how to cook (one friend of mine didn’t even know how to grate cheese!), anyone who is likely to go to the effort of finding or buying a cookbook is more likely to have searched online first.
There are a couple of useful bits in this book, such as the sections on food poisoning, and the tips on reheating food safely. Things that I wish everyone was aware of before they started cooking; after being hospitalised by poorly handled chicken I am particularly fussy about such things! However there are also recipes that just feel like filler for the book. An entire page dedicated to boiled egg and soldiers felt unnecessary, but not nearly as much as the recipes for Classic Fruit Salad or Fruit Pot, both of which can be summarised as “mix some fruit in a bowl”. I am really not convinced on the mixture of kiwi and banana either.
Whilst the book attempts to make itself studenty by the addition of a vodka jelly shot recipe, I can’t help feeling the whole thing was a bit pointless. You would be better off with Nosh for Students by Jon May (£6.29 on Amazon), or my all-time favourite collection of simple and delicious recipes the Best Ever Three and Four Ingredient Cookbook by J. White and J. Farrow (£2.81 used on Amazon inc. post). Those looking for more advanced techniques like how to debone a bird, proper slicing techniqes etc. would be best off with The Cook’s Book by Jill Norman (About £10 used on Amazon inc. post).