Stuck in the city today as werk's xmas party - a Christmas in July affair - is tonight. The snowdrops will, I am sure, be up real soon, p'raps even as I type which means that we will be busybusy in the garden before long. For now, though, we can afford a day off here and there. Things are on the verge of bursting; the deep breath before the plunge as Gandalf said.
Werk makes me think of books, of course, and books make me think of cookbooks when I'm in this space of course. I've bought far fewer in recent times than ever before mostly, I think, because of what Jo referred to last night as the Masterchef Effect, i.e. nobody serves dinner any more, they plate it instead. Well, I serve food, maybe you do too. How does one plate baked beans? Anyway, what I mean is that food publishing's gone all fancy and fussy. I am less and less drawn to that kind of cooking. It makes me feel all Bolshie.
Then there's the Paleo Effect. I understand why people are attracted to it as a diet (the lifestyle, less so) and love that vegetables are held in such high esteem, but ya know what? Sometimes, some of the info given is downright wrong. This book (The Paleo Cafe) states that, and I quote, "Grains have no nutritional value".
No explanation is offered to prove this statement. Just grains have no nutritional value. Nick at werk is a super smart university science student and when I showed him the passage he was outraged. Cynical cow that I am, I simply rolled my eyes skyward, but it's wrong enough to prompt me to write this, so, there you go. I'd avoid that book based on a lack of basic facts.
There are some goodies, though. I love the Detox Kitchen Bible. Detox is a word to be avoided at all costs, but somehow this one passed the test for me. It's lovely, the recipes are new and interesting, and the photos are a perfect match. Mark Diacono's Year at Otter Farm is glorious, useful and hilarious. Jo and I were in paroxysms of laughter when I told her that he says, of a cake (or pudding or something) that it is, like Eric Clapton, best with cream. It's also a serious piece of writing about his climate change farm, an idea that's really grabbed me. Beautiful photos. Couldn't ask for more. Also, STICKY MEDLAR TOFFEE PUDDING. Hands down the best use of next door's medlars yet.
But the book I want you to know about is Emma Galloway's My Darling Lemon Thyme. It's a winner, pretty much my current kitchen bible. Simple, affordable food that is, yes, gluten- and mostly dairy-free, but it's also just a really, really solid cookbook. Every single recipe works, and how many cookbooks can one say that of?
Any faves you're reading/using/loving?