LETTERS:Michelangelos of the vegetable garden

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Sir: How refreshing to see someone telling the truth about Elizabeth David ("Foodie fantasies are so hard to swallow", 8 December). English Bread and Yeast Cookery is a careless and self-indulgent book, with its chapters on French bread (better than English, of course!) and "pissasaladiere", and much misleading advice.

Putting fresh yeast in the freezer, for example, does nothing but reduce it to a dead, sticky, brown goo. And she clearly had no compunction about recommending recipes which she had never baked herself.

I don't think she can even have been a very good cook. Her quantities of salt are more than most people find palatable.

And the formula she gives for sweet spice blend, "... one which I have worked out and used frequently", is about 30 per cent black pepper. I was naive enough to try this the first time I made a really big Scotch Black Bun.

The effect on my family and friends was stimulating, but a considerable challenge to their tact and diplomacy.

Yours sincerely, ANDREW F. W. COULSON Musselburgh, Midlothian 8 December

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