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There is one powerful smell closely associated with the making of coffee in bedsitters. It is the smell of burning plastic, and will go away if you move the handle of the pot away from the flame.' Katharine Whitehorn's classic handbook of quick, simple meals - including Swedish Sausage Casserole, Lamb Tomato Quickie and Shrimp Wiggle - became the essential survival manual for the busy single person living in his or her first rented room and remained in print for forty years. Now brought back into print, Whitehorn's trademark intelligent, practical and fabulously funny writing shines as brightly as ever, addressing the problems of 'cooking at ground level, in a hurry, with nowhere to put the salad but the washing-up bowl, which is in any case full of socks'. Delightful, entertaining and utterly indispensable.
On her husband's choice of neckwear: Did you buy that tie?' 'Of course I did - how do you think I got it?' 'I assumed it had been given away free with something.' Katharine Whitehorn pioneered the first of the personal columns. She told us how it really was. She was funny - and smart. The Observer's star columnist for 40 years, she is also famous for COOKING IN A BEDSITTER. Much loved for her frankness and honesty, her autobiography is about family, studying at Roedean, work on Fleet Street and about her long marriage to the recently deceased crime writer Gavin Lyall. 'Marriage is the water in which you swim, the land you live in . . . once a widow you have to learn to live in another country in which you are an unwelcome refugee.