The Dinner Ladies

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       October 13, 2016


Author  Sophie Gilliatt and Katherine Westwood

Distributor:      Murdoch Books
ISBN:                 9781743365854
Publisher:         Murdoch Books
Release Date:   September 2016  

Website:    http:/ 

Take note as this is a serious cookbook – not a fancy sort of thing, but one for the person who enjoys entertaining, has a busy family or simply likes to be organised and prepared for all occasions. The Dinner Ladies, otherwise known as Katherine Westwood and Sophie Gilliatt share some of their tried and true recipes to help you get back in control of your kitchen, your entertainment and family meal requirements.

As young mothers as well as business women, they face same challenges we all do with a growing family and heavy work commitments. To make life easier they have come up with host of recipes, all trialled in their business and on their dinner tables, which will keep well in the freezer, can be prepared three or more days in advance of a gathering of friends or family and generally make life easier.

As many have found while trying to expand a recipe designed for four people to one that will feed forty, and vice versa, it does not always work out the way expected, so among all the other gems there is a section specifically devoted to scaling up and down, which, with the summer season coming along at a rapid pace, will prove to be invaluable.

Following on further with the theme of summer, Christmas and summer holidays, it is traditionally a time of year when, regardless of where you live, entertaining becomes a familiar, regular thing to do. Family and friends have a little more time, the evenings are longer and the temperature wonderful for sitting outdoors enjoying a meal.

This is where the marvellous range of tempting recipes in the 170 presented here comes in very handy. Each recipe comes complete with details about preparation, freezing, storage and/or reheating tips which will make your job as hostess so much easier.

But moving on, there are seriously rib sticking meals for the winter months that can be prepared in advance, will fill the hungry child and take some of the pressure off the oft asked question, ‘what’s for dinner,’ as you simply dip into the deep freeze and make your selection.

The buss word all the way through the book is to make extra wherever possible and freeze it, as the time taken to make one  meal  is the same as to make two and you also benefit from economy of scale.

Each of the sections of the book commencing with Thinner Dinners, for those who need to watch what they are eating, Crowd Pleasers for entertaining, Cosy Kitchen Suppers which is self-explanatory and needs to be explored on those dull, cheerless winter evenings, offer a comprehensive selection of recipes to suit all tastes.

Sweet and Easy is an excellent section crammed with desserts of all types and temptations. More than just a few, there is something there to cater for a family dinner or a gathering of people which are easy to prepare, take minutes to finalise and will add that finishing pizazz to an evening meal with the family, a dinner party or barbeque.

The Dinner Ladies is one book that definitely should be on the kitchen book shelf, one for the giving and one to simply enjoy, or should have large hints dropped in the appropriate places for your gift for Christmas!