Category: Read


New cookbooks: Willie’s Chocolate Factory Cookbook and Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking

Willie's Chocolate Factory Cookbook

While I may not be able to do quite as much cooking and baking these days while tethered to the couch by Little Missy and her demands for food, I can always read about it and – as every new mum knows – online shopping is your friend. The results of a few precious uninterrupted minutes with the computer earlier this week landed on the doorstep today for my reading pleasure over the long weekend: Willie’s Chocolate Factory Cookbook and Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking.


Your daily bread: Seedy Spelt Loaf

Seedy Spelt Bread

I miss Arbutus bread. One of the great advantages of working in URRU Mallow was having regular access to good quality bread – I used to eat the sesame seed-encrusted brown crusts for work breakfast (you can’t sell them but I think they’re the nicest piece of the whole loaf), regularly bringing home spelt or rye loaves or, for a particular treat, one of the tomato and basil breads or a couple of croissants, to be heated up for the following morning’s breakfast.


Cooking Lessons by Daisy Garnett

Cooking Lessons

Despite its title, this is not the kind of book that you’ll pick up if you’re really wanting to learn how to cook. Cooking Lessons could as easily be titled Life Lessons, the kind of things that you learn as you experience – in journalist Daisy Garnett’s case – a few years spent working in New York, a series of disastrous boyfriends and thinking time sailing across the Atlantic en route to resuming life back in England.


A Day at elBulli by Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler, and Albert Adrià

A Day at elBulli by Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler, and Albert Adrià

A Day at elBulli by Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler, and Albert AdriàThe demand for seats at Ferran Adrià’s elBulli restaurant in Northern Spain is such that only a fraction of the people who want to will ever get to eat there. Its pedigree is well known – three stars from Michelin, a chef who is the king of molecular gastronomy, two million requests a season for only 8,000 places, four times named best restaurant in the world.


Sarah Raven’s Complete Christmas

Sarah Raven's Complete ChristmasIf you need any excuse to get into the Christmas spirit, pick up a copy of Sarah Raven’s sparky and seasonal Complete Christmas. I’m already a fan of her comprehensive Garden Cookbook and this is very much in a similar vein, with a big emphasis on using the garden as a resource for creative decorations, food and homemade presents.


Leon: Ingredients and Recipes

Leon's Indian Parsnip SoupWorking my way through Leon: Ingredients and Recipes, Allegra McEvedy’s fantastic cookbook from the London-based restaurant chain at the moment. As there was a big bunch of lovely dirty parsnips sitting around from the last Mallow Farmers’ Market – like carrots, they always keep better when they still have some soil on them, even in my newly warm kitchen (the Husband recently got the stove working, just in time for winter) – I couldn’t resist trying out her recipe for Indian Parsnip Soup. I followed it (almost) to the letter, even down to adding a drizzle of honey, a scattering of sumac (finally getting a use for that packet hanging around in the spice box) to each serving, with a wedge of lemon on the side to accentuate the flavours and it was, without a doubt, superb. Review to follow, when I get through the rest of the book, but you can read some of her writing and recipes in this series of extracts from the book on the Guardian website.Extract from Leon: Ingredients and Recipes – Part OneExtract from Leon: Ingredients and Recipes – Part TwoExtract from Leon: Ingredients and Recipes – Part ThreeExtract from Leon: Ingredients and Recipes – Part Four