Deborah Ross: Too much time on your hands? This is the book for you

If you ask me... Chapter 1: Overnight Pasta The Overnight Way, Chapter 2: Planning Meals A Minimum of 50 Hours In Advance


If you ask me, and if you are interested, I would like to tell you about a book I am currently putting together and this book is called The Big Bumper Book Of Things To Do For People With Too Much Time On Their Hands. I first thought of this as a possible best-seller when I watched Lorraine Pascale's TV show, Baking Made Easy, during which she made tagliatelle from scratch and then hung the pasta ribbons on coat-hangers overnight to dry – "See? Easy," she said – and then thought of it again when I saw Heston Blumenthal's programme on meat and noted his instruction that you should never cook a steak without removing it from the packaging, airing it for two days (on metal rack, in the fridge) and then taking it out of the fridge in time to bring it up to room temperature.

Obviously, this has given me my first three chapters – Chapter 1: Overnight Pasta The Overnight Way, Chapter 2: Planning Meals A Minimum of 50 Hours In Advance, and Chapter 3: Watching Cookery Shows With The Sole And Pointless Intention Of Sneering .

But I believe I can happily extend the concept to book length with the following... Chapter 4: Arranging And Rearranging Your Fruit Bowl To Its Best Advantage (Grapes on top? Mangoes, just showing off? Fully illustrated, with advice from experts); Chapter 5: Hooking Your Own Rugs; Chapter 6: Hoovering In Corners; Chapter 7: Hand-Making Greeting Cards For Every Occasion; Chapter 8: Hanging On To BT In Expectation Of Actually Talking To A Human Being; Chapter 9: Hand Washing Handwash Items Instead Of Throwing Them In The Machine And Hoping For The Best; Chapter Ten: Building A Pyramid Of Decorative Cushions For Your Bed And Rebuilding Them Every Morning; Chapter 11: Thinking Of Those Less Fortunate; Chapter 12: Dusting Where No One Can See; Chapter 13: Following Every Recipe To A T (why not browning meat first puts you and your family at risk); Chapter 14: Shaving Your Legs In Winter; Chapter 15: Picking The Fluff Out Of Your Keyboard With A Pin; Chapter 16: Teaching Your Old Dog New Tricks.

Indeed, as one person who tried to teach their old dog a new trick told me: "I spent hours trying to teach Mr Woofie a new trick and got nowhere. Luckily, though, I had time on my hands, as did he."

Anyway, I hope you will buy this book which concludes nicely with Chapter 17 and the posing of a question: Is This The Perfect Gift For Someone With Too Much Time On their Hands? And the answer? You bet. There may even be nothing to beat it.

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