In the 1980’s Cas Clarke wrote her seminal work for newbie cooks: ‘Grub On A Grant’ was a godsend for all those students (like myself!) who left home having made little more than beans on toast for themselves before arriving at university. To be a nervous 18-year-old, arriving in a huge hall of residence for the first time is bad enough; but to then have to burn sausages in front of all the third-year students who seemed so kitchen-confident was mortifying. I needed help, and I needed it fast!
Cas came to my rescue, and for the 00’s even more cash-strapped student More Grub on Less Grant: The New Student Cookbook updates her book to include current favourite dishes, as well as all the classic dishes that you need to know how to make.
The book is absolutely packed with useful information for the kitchen virgin. There’s a checklist of basic equipment that you will need, and how to improvise for those things that you don’t, what store cupboard basics to always have available and what not to buy too much of, and how to avoid having your food ‘borrowed’ in a communal kitchen (sad fact of student life, unfortunately).
The book is entertainingly written with great illustrations. The descriptions are both concise and unintimidating.
The recipes include snacks, meals for one, romantic meals for two and big meals to make with a group of friends. There are lots of vegetarian recipes, meals that only require one pot (less washing up = more time in the bar – I mean studying, of course), and dishes that can be made in a slow cooker.
I still refer to my original copy as the recipes appeal to kids and many are good for quick lunches or simple cake-making sessions. This book would make an excellent gift for a student off to university or anyone just setting up home on their own, especially if they are on a tight budget.
Also available by Cas Clarke: The Essential Student Cookbook: 400 Budget Recipes to Leave Home with which combines"More Grub On Less Grant" with "Vegetarian Grub On A Grant" into one volume.
About the Author: Jacqui O'Brien is the Editor of eParenting.