Friend of the Blog #5 – Sam Stern

Many aeons ago, before I left home, I had this boyfriend who decided that he would do all the necessary cooking in our relationship. He also let me wear the pants and choose the playlists so it was an all-round good deal (actually, why did I break up with him???).

Let’s just say, I wasn’t the most confident in the kitchen. I’d never had to be. An endless stream of after-school activities had meant that I’d never had to cook at home and my brother had enough culinary flair for the both of us if Mum and Dad decided to spontaneously delegate. I wasn’t hopeless, I just wasn’t interested in anything other than the eating bit.

In stepped Sam. If I had to take one physical possession from this life to the next, I’m pretty sure Sam Stern’s Student Cookbook would be it. Gifted to me the year I went flatting, it has got the smeared pages and watermarked words of a book that has seen so many flat dinners it has worked harder than Richie McCaw. If you have a recipe question, Sam will answer it, if you don’t have a certain ingredient, Sam will offer a substitute, if you’re cooking for someone with a special dietary requirement, Sam will give you modifications. Sam has a recipe for whatever you have in your pantry. Seriously. There is even recipes in here for mussels, bulgar wheat and all manner of healthy staples to get you through the year, budget in check.

This ode to Sam came after I made a cake this evening in our flat’s oven which is so terrible (so terrible in fact, it once took an hour and a half to bake a banana loaf). I am also impeded in the baking department by my lack of attention to detail which really doesn’t bode well for exact recipes. As my cake rose, I looked at the book and asked out loud (the neighbours already think I’m a weirdo so it’s no biggie) “Sam you god, do you perchance know the answer to the meaning of life?” I don’t know what I was expecting, he didn’t reply. But for someone as gastronomically obsessed as I am, maybe this cheeky Pom does.

Sam Stern, let’s be friends xx

Sam Stern


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