Nigel Slater’s prose makes you salivate. It makes you want to sink your teeth into a juicy chorizo sandwich or inhale the sweet fragrance of a pound cake rising in the oven. In his columns and books, Slater describes food with such passion you feel the need to rustle up one of his recipes right away. In this memoir, however, things are different. Slater recollects in detail his boyhood meals, most of which came from a packet or a can. You can taste Slater’s loneliness of growing up in a disjointed home in Wolverhampton, where “finding an upturned tin of baked beans with chipolata sausages left to congeal” is a better option than “coming home to an empty oven.” Self-aware even as a child, Slater doesn’t blame his parents for him not having a storybook childhood. This is a life where burnt toast edges and divine-tasting banana puddings make alternate appearances.
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