LETTERS: Delia's for dunces

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From Mr and Mrs R. Gregson

Sir: We have long held that Delia Smith's recipes bear the same relationship to cooking as painting by numbers does to art, and so were immensely pleased to find in Rose Shepherd's article "Delia runs wild in the bookshop" (17 October) that we are not as alone in this opinion as our friends and neighbours would like us to think.

What is this fear of cooking that the Sian Forbeses (letter, 21 October) of the world claim to inhibit them? Surely, once you have mastered a few basic techniques, then the joy is in the experimentation and creation of thinking for yourself in the kitchen - and learning in the process.

Even if it does go wrong (and it is rarely all that bad), you can always turn to the pizza in the freezer or an omelette to stave off hunger. At worst, you have lost some ingredients and a little time, but you will probably have learnt more from the experience than Delia can teach you.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Gregson

Jean Gregson

Offord Cluny,

Cambridgeshire

21 October

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