ARTS AND FEATURES — 13 August 2014

jack

By Shelley Marsden

IN A Girl Called Jack, sassy Essex-based food writer Jack Monroe’s low-cost cooking ideas and refreshing honesty are as handy as they are moving.

The 25 year old Guardian columnist has taken the food-writing world by storm, but tends to have a Marmite effect on people, and since her career took off not long ago, she has already delivered a speech to parliament, fronted an ad campaign for Sainsbury’s and went to battle with Edwina Currie on Channel Five’s Big Benefits Row Live.

The blog-post which launched her however, Hunger Hurts, is hard to argue with and is as raw and compelling to read now as ever.  “Today has seen fourteen job applications go in,” it begins, ”painstakingly typed on this Jurassic mobile phone, for care work, shop work, factory work, minimum-wage work, any kind of work, because quite simply, this doesn’t work.”

At this point, Jack was on the dole, raising a young child alone and pawning everything she owned so she could feed him (on a budget of £10 a week). She only started blogging her “austerity recipes” in 2012, and now Penguin has published a book full of her genius tips on how to save money but still create flavoursome food.

There are some fantastic recipes in here, such as the one for gnocchi, which uses tinned potatoes rather than baking the real thing yourself; a recipe for her signature carrot, cumin and kidney bean burger (which she blogged for Great British Chefs last year); a peach and chickpea curry; school dinner style jam Swiss roll and a plethora of tasty soups.

Every recipe is accompanied by the heart-warming story of exactly how it came to light, and her knack for throwing a few ingredients together and making something wonderful. Her courgette, tomato and brie gratin, for instance, “was born of a sad-looking courgette in my fridge…”

For readers wanting to get their bargain cook’s hat on, A Girl Called Jack has a very ballsy attitude of making-do and getting on with things. This is certainly not the last we’ve heard of Jack Monroe.

A Girl Called Jack- 100 Budget Recipes is £12.99 and is published by Penguin.

Print Friendly

Escape from the country

Escape from the country

October 31, 2014
Walking the walk

Walking the walk

October 30, 2014
The Crooked Road not taken
‘All about my father’

‘All about my father’

October 21, 2014
The life of O’Reilly

The life of O’Reilly

October 14, 2014
The accused

The accused

October 14, 2014
Boardroom games

Boardroom games

October 14, 2014
Northern exposure

Northern exposure

October 13, 2014
Hacking it

Hacking it

September 17, 2014
Breaking the ice

Breaking the ice

September 17, 2014
Protest songs

Protest songs

September 16, 2014
Downton returns

Downton returns

September 16, 2014
Anywhere in Albion

Anywhere in Albion

September 16, 2014
The dog whisperer

The dog whisperer

September 04, 2014

Share

About Author

shelly

(0) Readers Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>