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Sylvanscribe from Wandering Womb once pointed out to me that all of the recipies she had actually cooked out of a favourite cookbook were the ones with a photograph of the dish opposite… and just like that I realised I had never actually cooked a recipe that had no photograph next to it!

It’s always the goal, isn’t it? Taste aside, I’m always measuring the merit of the finished meal against the luminous picture in the cookery book.

Alice Hart’s Vegetarian is one of my favourite cookbooks and it has a picture for every recipe. And here is a picture of my sambal olek alongside the illustrated one:

Huh?! Yeah.

More recently, I cooked a couple south Indian dishes and while I didn’t take a picture of the cookbook, it looks pretty similar…

Do you consciously or unconciously rate the success of the dinner on its likeness to its picture?