I still haven’t made up my mind about Ella Woodward. When she first came to my attention, the green gaze flared up as I discovered her parentage, her seemingly perfect lifestyle and her success not only as a food writer, but as a model. It wasn’t sensible or practical to feel such jealousy towards someone who has clearly worked for her success and is incredibly modest about it. But that didn’t stop me being a bitch.
And then I actually relented enough to click on her website and browse. My envy was founded in a desire to emulate; Ella lives a life that I dream about. The moral lesson from that great teacher Mean Girls echoed in my brain – hating on the Delicious one won’t make me any tastier. I bought the book.
First things first, I immediately preferred Woodward’s style to a certain Madeline Shaw. It was relaxed, chatty, sharing knowledge instead of forcing it down you throat with a side of cauliflower rice. Woodward has nailed the girl-next-door vibe, almost to the extent where she is too amicable, forever stressing the notion of “whatever works for you” and that the book is her “way of doing things”. Yes sweetie, that’s why I bought it, to see your ideas and how you roll. Aside from being too nice, there are few faults with this recipe book. It’s pastel and floral colour scheme is charming. It showcases things I want to eat and ingredients that I love feature in new and inventive ways. It’s also lovely to have a book filled with healthy things that I can cook immediately, I don’t have to convert them to a gluten-free version first.
My bitch face reared only once when Woodward recommended the most overpriced kitchen gadget I had ever seen, then revealed that most of her recipes revolved around it. She tried to play it down by explaining it was a solid investment but when a piece of kitchen equipement costs the same as my rent, my eyebrows are raised to full extension. The Nook will adapt and buy a cheaper version, naturally, but that kind of clear unawareness of financial situations gets to me. It’s not you Ella, it’s me. Excuse me whilst I file down that chip on my shoulder and browse your website like the green goblin I am.