It’s never easy to come up with titles for books, and I imagine it’s even harder to come up with titles for food and cookery books. It probably pays to have words such as comfort, organic, Mary Berry, in there but it’s no absolute guarantee of success.
So you can imagine my delight when I found a book in my local ‘wayside library’ (it’s actually in the waiting room at the train station) titled How to Drink Wine Out Of Fish Heads While Cooking lobster in a Volkswagen Hub Cap attributed to Ziggy Zen, which may be an author or collective or really anything at all.
Obviously I was drawn by the mention of a Volkswagen, but I’m picturing a Beetle hub cap, which is small and shallow and I’d reckon that it would be impossible to cook a lobster in it: maybe you could boil an egg.
Some of the later, non-Beetle hub caps are downright permeable and wouldn’t hold as much as a glass of water.
Anyway, despite its problematic, zany and not thoroughly incomprehensible title, the book does indeed include some perfectly straightforward and easy seafood recipes: salmon and caviar pizza, steamed crab, ceviche, though they are given some rather baroque names – the ceviche is called Sloughing Sea.
However in keeping with the ironic aesthetic there are some wonderful pages of ‘Fish and Crustacean Identification,’ which look like this:
Cecilia and Elvis are my favourites.
Partly, though only partly, inspired by this we cooked some scallops, and since we just happened to have a couple of venison sausages to hand, the meal became a deer and scallop platter, and yeah there's a bit of rocket in there. But is there a recipe for that? Well who really needs one?
And then a couple of days later there was squid and samphire. Again, who needs a recipe?
I imagine Nobody Needs A Recipe isn’t really a selling title for a cookbook.