Blog, book review, Book Reviews

First there was the podcast now there is the book ‘Table Manners’ by Jessie and Lennie Ware

‘Mum. Guess what?’

‘What Jessie?’

‘We’ve written a cookbook’.

‘I know darling! Do you think anyone will want to buy it?’

‘ Well, it’s the recipes we’ve made our guests – the really good ones.

Like the Sausage and Bean Casserole we made Ed Sheeran, the

Drunken Crouton and Kale Salad we made Yotam Ottolenghi and

the two Blackberry and Custard Tarts we served Nigella.’

‘You ate a whole one before she arrived, darling.’

‘It’s a bloody good recipe mum.’

If you have read my interview with Lennie Ware, or listened to any of the, very popular ,Table Manners pod casts, you will know that you are in for a treat with this book.

It feels like the podcast, warm, welcoming, inclusive and fun, just the same as a great family meal. Table Manners opens with introductions first by Jessie describing how the Pod Cast came about, and how she roped her mum into it.

She describes her passion for food and her family.

“ We have learnt a lot about cooking through the podcast: what is easy and what requires a little more preparation or at least a knowledge of your equipment before using it for the first time. Sometimes our best laid plans have fallen by the wayside: the latkes for Loyle Carner that sizzled so loudly we couldn’t hear him speak, the crème brûlée blowtorch that nearly set mum on fire, or ordering an emergency takeaway when I had turned a promised succulent short rib into leather.”

         Lennie ‘ I am close to all my children and they have always brought zillions of friends back home for dinner throughout their childhoods and as adults. We’ve always had lots of fun and I am so happy that I still see their friends and they enjoy coming over. Perhaps this is why Jessie asked me if I would like to help her do a podcast based on the fun we had over large Friday-night dinners, mostly with her friends. So I agreed to cook while Jessie chatted to guests. Of course I could not remain in the background without making a vocal contribution, so I became part of the whole thing.

Jessie and I get on well despite the bickering and the banter that you hear. She’s a great cook and we complement each other, with my trusted recipes and her more modern daring approach.”

Triple Threat Chocolate Brownies Extracted from Table Mannners The Cookbook by Jessie and Lennie Ware (Ebury Press £22)
Photography by Ola O Smit

As Lennie describes ‘I always look for the effortless in cooking. I worked, cared for my children and always enjoyed entertaining, so it helped to have good and easy recipes on hand. As I got older, I’ve learned how to make life easier for myself in the kitchen so that I can enjoy the fun and chat when I’m at the table. So I either make stuff in advance or put effort into buying good quality food that is simple to prepare and delicious when cooked.”

With this in mind, the book opens with Jessie’s delicious recipe for Granola. This is followed by Lennie’s recipe for Pitta chips, Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip and Butter Bean Hummus. These are followed by, quick lentil and tomato soup, and Onion Quiche.

Table Manners, The Cookbook really is like having Jessie and Lennie at the table with you: brash, funny and full of opinions. In true Ware style, their beautiful cookbook is filled with easy meals and no-nonsense short cuts. It’s divided into Effortless, A Bit More Effort, Summertime, Desserts and Baking (thanks toJessie’s brother Alex), Chrismukkah (Christmas,Hanukkah and celebrations) and, of course, Jewish-ish Food. Table Manners is food for real people with chaotic lives, with the ultimate goal of everyone eating together so unfiltered chat can flourish, whether it’s a family supper, like the Ware’s raucous Friday night dinners, or a midweek meal or informal get-together.

Lamb with Pistachio Herb Crust Extracted from Table Mannners The Cookbook by Jessie and Lennie Ware (Ebury Press £22)
Photography by Ola O Smit

As Jessie says “ This cookbook is a journal of some of my family’s most pertinent and cherished food memories, along with friends’ dishes, simple suggestions and hopefully exciting recipes for you to try at home. Throughout this book, we talk about special moments, souvenirs and domestic rituals for you to share and carry on with your loved ones.

My mum has always said we put the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional, which I guess is represented in this book. It’s a dance through all the worlds of food we love, with recipes that will live on through sharing.”

About the Authors

Jessie Ware is an award-winning English singer-songwriter,

podcaster and author. With over 1 million albums sold worldwide and BRIT/Mercury nominations under her belt, Jessie’s gearing up to the release of her highly anticipated fourth record. Jessie lives in south London with her husband and two children. Jessie won ‘Best New Voice’ at the 2018 Audio Production Awards for her hugely successful podcast ‘Table Manners’, which she hosts alongside her mum, Lennie. Hilarious and hugely lovable ‘Table Manners’ has hit over 8 million listens since launching in 2017 and continues to top the iTunes podcast chart series after series.

Pasta with Smoked Salmon, Vodka and Caviar Extracted from Table Mannners The Cookbook by Jessie and Lennie Ware (Ebury Press £22)
Photography by Ola O Smit

Lennie Lennie Ware has worked as a social worker in family law for over 40 years. She is mother to Jessie, Hannah and Dr Alex and lives in south London. She hosts award winning podcast ‘Table Manners with Jessie Ware’ alongside her daughter, Jessie. Hilarious and hugely lovable ‘Table Manners’ has hit over 8 million listens since launching in 2017 and continues to top the iTunes podcast chart series after series.

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