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Variety is the spice of life and in our Cookery, Food and Drink section we have a range of new books that you can sit back and enjoy or get your hands messy and whip up something fantastic!
In any Enid Blyton book you can guarantee that at some point there’ll be a lip-smacking description of food. Allega McEvedy takes inspiration from Blyton’s best-loved stories to create recipes for every time of the day: starting with breakfasts that would be enjoyed by the Naughtiest Girl in the School, her book then lists elevenses for the Secret Seven, Famous Five inspired picnics (yes of course ginger beer is included), teatime treats from the Faraway Tree, Secret Island suppers and Malory Towers midnight feasts – heaven! The recipes are excellent and each section begins with an extract from the relevant book. Jolly illustrations by Mark Beech make it even more child friendly. ~ Andrea Reece
Anna Jones marks the year in six seasons adding to our usual 4 to take account of the vast differences in temperature we experience through just one season. A cold start to Spring will keep us wanting warming stews and puds but when it warms up then we need to sharpen up our salad repertoires. Anna Jones has provided over 250 Vegetarian recipes, bang up to date and endlessly inventive, alongside the recipes there are guides to flowers and the right music for the right ambience. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading Leon: Fast Vegetarian by Henry Dimbleby & Jane Baxter Rose Elliot’s New Complete Vegetarian by Rose Elliot
Judging from the recipes this is mostly modern comfort cooking. The modern comfort eater can check the contents list for something that answers their particular craving, for something sweet or sharp, something crunchy or soft – a jolly good idea allowing the distracted cook to zone in fast on what they want. Heaven knows, there is enough bad news around now to sink anyone but there is some relief to be found in a warm and inviting kitchen cooking up John Whaite’s food designed to soothe and comfort. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading How to be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking by Nigella Lawson Simple: Effortless Food, Big Flavours by Diana Henry
Having made way too many impulsive purchases of kitchen equipment in my time, this would be a most welcome guide to the now huge range of “stuff” available to modern cooks. It goes from the simple for the back to basics type of cook and the eco-conscious right up to the bells and whistles type of high end equipment that would probably take your coat off for you if you asked it. A symbol to the amount of washing up involved would have been useful, as remembering my juicer it was soon back to the wooden reamer! ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading: Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson You might also like to consider the following but they are both out of print: Kitchen Things: An Album of Vintage Utensils, Richard Snodgrass (9781626360365) In Praise of Slow: How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed, Carl Honore (9780752864143)
Starting in San Francisco and Baja California, and working his way down to the southernmost tip of Mexico, the author cooks, eats and experiences Mexican food at its very best and most diverse. He covers topics ranging from seafood of the north Pacific coast, and the mole of Oaxaca, to the spices and salsas of Yucatan and Quintana Roo.
Delicious receipes inspired by the author's favourite works of fiction this cookery book will make a wonderful addition to your cookery bookshelf or an amazing gift. Paddington Bear's marmalade, a Neopolitan pizza with Elena Ferrante, afternoon tea at Manderley and even more, this beautifully presented, well written cookery book with mouthwatering pictures combines literature and food in the most delicious way possible. ~ Shelley Fallows - You can also find Shelley here.
The food, the essence and the atmosphere of Morocco summed up by John Gregory-Smith in Orange Blossom and Honey. We learn where the food comes from, how it is served and the flavours conjured up by such delicately spiced and often very simple food. It looks beautiful, provides a good “Cook’s read” and a treasure trove of new recipes to try. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading: Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons: Enchanting Dishes from the Middle East, Mediterranean & North Africa by Diana Henry Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey & Lebanon by Claudia Roden
Nigella Lawson is a champion of the home cook and her new book celebrates the food she loves to cook for friends and family.
Stir-frying – quick, easy and healthy – that ticks quite a few boxes so good to find this guide from Ching-He Huang. The how-to starter pages are excellent laying out the “rules” of stir-frying so clearly and the recipes cover a wide range with a very strong Vegetarian section. She writes with great enthusiasm and love of stir-fried food and this brings confidence in using ingredients new to many Wok beginners, a great all-round guide to using the Wok. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading: My Kitchen Table: 100 Quick Stir-Fry Recipes by Ken Hom Ching’s Fast Food: 110 Quick & Healthy Chinese Favourites by Ching-He Huang
Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s Veg Every Day has been a deserved bestseller, it’s fresh approach to increasing the plant foods in our diet has been inspiration for many. Now he strips it back to an almost totally vegan way of eating – so no dairy or refined foods which means a healthy number of gluten-free recipes as well. With ease of preparation a major influence, these are great recipes for the time-poor who want to improve their diet and veg intake. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading Leith’s Vegetable Bible by Polly Tyrer Riverford Farm Cook Book by Guy Watson & Jane Baxter
There are any number of books on veg growing, usually a bit depressing as there seems so much that can go wrong but there are fewer guides on what to do when it all goes right and you have a crop and even more miraculous you have a glut. (courgettes being the worst offender). So – you need a kitchen companion, a guide to growing and some inspiration for the cooking. Here it is, Darina Allen’s invaluable kitchen companion. As a self-taught gardener – and cook I’ve found a whole new information source in Grow, Cook, Nourish, the how-to is good, the recipes are fresh and inviting and most valuable of all – shows how much of a plant you can eat – runner bean leaves and young carrot tops for example. A five star book for any cook or gardener. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading: No Dig Organic Home & Garden by Charles Dowding Grow Your Own, Eat Your Own: Making the Most of Your Garden Produce by Bob Flowerdew
The Whisky of the Scottish Islands, a tour, an investigation, a fact-finding mission done with the utmost geniality by a man who’s blood is probably a pale amber hue. You can almost smell the peat, hear the clink of glasses and see the wind on the heather! Ian Buxton knows the islands well and there is much anecdotal history of past holidays and visits which add to the interest. I am moderately interested in whisky but the attractions of the islands – and their people interest me more and I was pleased to find the journey with Ian Buxton worthwhile – and most enjoyable. ~ Sue Baker If you're interested in books about Whisky you might also like Spirit of Place: Whisky Distilleries of Scotland by Charles MacLean and Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram by Iain Banks.
There has never been a greater interest in cooking. Never been such a wide range of accessible ingredients from all over the world. Cultural diversity has led to us all broadening our culinary horizons. What better time to celebrate the sumptuous array of delectable books on offer, covering all aspects of our growing obsession with all things food … and drink (!). You won’t find the obvious choices here, the big name chefs and TV show spin-offs. We hope that we’ve lovingly compiled a special menu of off the beaten track titles to fire your imaginations and your ovens. Uncork your inner sommelier, sauté your inner chef and share a spoonful of our passion for something saucy, lip-smacking, eye-feasting and thirst-quenching. Bon Appetit!
We hope you’ll find our Food and Drink category full of titles that can be enjoyed either sitting in the armchair or used in a more practical way in the kitchen. Some of them provide a mixture of both.