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Cegin Mr Henry - Lloyd Henry

*For Welsh review, see language toggle switch*


(suggested) reading age: 9+

(suggested) interest age: 10-15

 

This is me in the kitchen (my safe space). Smiling despite the fact I've made a pig's ear of this stilton sauce!

On the weekend, with a glass of wine in hand, some chill out music playing and Monday morning feeling far, far away, there’s nowhere I’d rather be than cooking up some weird and wonderful recipes and admiring my spice cupboard! (oh god, I’ve definitely hit middle age!)


But on a school night, after coming in late, and having forgotten to defrost the chicken breasts, there’s nowhere I’d rather avoid! When you’re stuck trying to think ‘what shall I make for tea?’ and you’ve got a house full of hangry people, it’s not a great place to be! (if you don’t know the meaning of hangry, it’s angry + hungry put together. Not a good combination!)


But I won't need to worry about that now, because now I’ve got a copy of this simple, down-to-earth cookbook by Mr Henry. It’s brimming with easy (yet delicious) recipes that are ideal for aspiring chefs of all abilities.




The author, Lloyd Henry, is a food tech teacher in Ysgol Gyfyn Gŵyr and knows all too well which foods appeal to the target audience. Good, wholesome food with foolproof and clear instructions! According to the publisher, it's a book for teens, but I think those who are slightly younger (under supervision) and older can make good use of it.


One annoying thing about celebrity cookbooks is they often try to make some elaborate and fancy recipes with some weird ingredients. You know, things you never keep in stock and would need to buy especially. Stuff you’d buy, use a tiny bit, then they’d disappear into the cupboard never to be seen again. This book isn’t that. The recipes are familiar, ‘normal’ and cheap – using things you’d probably have at home anyway. Winner winner chicken dinner.


I think, and I'm sure Lloyd would agree, that it's important for young people to learn cookery skills. They’re life skills, and will be especially useful in university when they’ll have to sort their own food (it turns out we can't live on Pot Noodles and Dominos alone). And guess what, the fact that you know your way around a kitchen can also be a pretty good way of impressing future girlfriends or boyfriends! (Although in my case, I think I did too good a job because I’ve landed the job of permanent head chef in our house!)



Before college, I remember getting a copy of Sam Stern's cookbook as a gift from Mam. Before that, I think cheese on toast was my limit. Now, I feel perfectly at home in front of a stove and very recently, I made a Sunday roast for the whole family without setting the house on fire! Happy days! So if you know someone who can barely boil an egg, or you want to encourage someone to pick up the apron and give it a go, then this book makes a perfect gift, and is sure to raise their confidence in the kitchen.


Which recipe shall I cook first? I've done my usual and gone through it with post-its. The sweet potato curry and pizza buns look fabulous.


There aren't many Welsh cookbooks specifically for young people, (I can’t actually think of a single one right now) so I'm delighted to see this appear. You also get QR codes for extra support which are handy. I like seeing video clips because I learn by seeing how it’s done. Best of both worlds IMO.


Cegin Mr Henry has claimed its place on the window shelf, amid other old favourites such as Pinch of Nom and Miguel Barclay's £1 Meals. I also heard a rumour that there's a website on its way, so I'm sure we’ll get even more recipes tips and ideas soon. Hopefully there’ll be more books in the pipeline. If I might make a suggestion – I think a £1 meals type book would be good considering we’re in a cost of living crisis.

Right. That’s enough from me, I best get back to the kitchen and get the tea on!





 

Publisher: Atebol

Released: Dec 2022

Price: £12.99

Format: hardback (e-book)

 

Watch Mr Henry discussing his new book on S4C's Prynhawn Da.




 

This was my attempt at the pizza buns. Pretty good huh? (I found mould on the green pesto so I only did the cheese and tomato this time). Put it this way, they'll definitely be on the menu again.


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