>As an expatriate, one thing I really appreciate are American cookbooks. My German is fairly good, and I can work my way through recipes dealing with grams and milliliters, but I have never felt at home with them the way I do with cups and teaspoons. Every North American woman I know here has brought a set over with her.
A few years ago I was given Nigella Lawson’s cookbook “How To Be A Domestic Goddess: Baking And The Art Of Comfort Cooking” as a gift. I tried several of the recipes and asked friends to give me their opinions of the end results. All were happily received, with the exception of Nigella’s banana bread, which people went absolutely wild over. The special ingredient seems to be the rum-soaked raisins (and I’ll only use Stroh Rum) which give it a moist, rich texture.
So this has become a bit of a personal tradition for me, baking loaves of this golden manna and giving them away as Christmas presents. It beats shopping, everyone loves it, baking acts as a much needed form of holiday therapy, it’s not terribly expensive, and it keeps the kitchen warm. What’s not to like about that?
Update: If you want the recipe to try this yourself, paste this into your browser and go to: http://www.nigella.com/recipes/recipe.asp?article=142