At Home, At Play by Penny Oliver ***
Penny Oliver, the New Zealand author of Beach, Bach, Boat, Barbeque, has returned to outdoor pursuits for her latest book At Home, At Play. With fabulous photographs of rivers, cooking over outdoor fires, mountains, camping with frost on tents, kayaking and heavy snowfalls, she intersperses her recipes – divided into chapters called Eat Up, Chill Out, Warm Up and Time Out – with views of New Zealand.
This book is a nice reflection of New Zealand’s relaxed indoors and active outdoors lifestyle, full of recipes that will be useful no matter where in the world you are. While Roast Tomato, Pepper and Basil Soup may be perfect for the New Zealand winter, it’s not going to lack anything if made on a stormy day in Ireland, and Oliver’s one-pot Apricot and Walnut Chocolate Cake looks like the perfect fit to any situation where cake is needed. Her insistence on using high quality locally grown ingredients is something that can be applied where ever you live.
At Home, At Play is a celebration of place as much as a cookbook which makes it more unfortunate that the publishers neglected to label Ian Batchelor’s magnificent photographs of the New Zealand landscape.
The ubiquitous Edmonds Cookery Book – in print for almost 100 years – is still the quintessential Kiwi recipe book but, for anyone looking for a modern foodie’s take on New Zealand, At Home, At Play is the place to start.
At Home, At Play by Penny Oliver is published by New Holland.