Category: Read


Unwrapped: Green and Black's Chocolate Recipes edited by Caroline Jeremy

Will not disappoint Since I first saw this book in our local Oxfam shop in Dublin I’ve been having lustful thoughts about it. Green & Black’s produce fabulous organic Fair Trade chocolate – their spice/orange Maya Gold bar heading the list of my all time favourite chocolates – and the photos that I saw on a brief browse through the book were mouth-watering. It’s taken some time but I finally bought my own copy and my first impressions did not deceive.


2005 World Food Media Awards winners

Taste by Dean Brettschneider and Lorraine Jacobs I was delighted to see that a New Zealand book that I’ve written about here – Taste: Baking with Flavour by Dean Brettschneider andLauraine Jacobs – took gold in its category (Soft Cover Recipe Book under US$25) at the 2005 World Food Media Awards in Adelaide last weekend. Stephanie Alexander received honours on home ground for her revised and updated The Cook’s Companion, tying with an American book, The Breath of a Wok by Grace Young and Alan Richardson, for the Best Food Book award. Barbara of Auckland’s Winos and Foodies had picked Plenty by Gay Bilson in this category and, immersed in it at the moment on her recommendation, I can see why.


Simply Irresistible French Desserts by Christelle Le Ru

Mouthwatering treats Why is it that recipe names look so much more evocative when written in French? Gâteau au chocolate et à l’abricot seems so much more sophisticated than just plain Chocolate apricot cake. Still, from the look of this slice of this moist dark cake pictured in Christelle Le Ru‘s Simply Irresistible French Desserts I don’t think that anyone will complain if you set it in front of them, no matter which name you use. But Carrés à la noix de pécan and Crèmes chaudes aux myrtilles (Pecan squares and Hot blueberry creams, respectively) certainly do have much more of a ring to them en Français and that’s a great deal to do with the charm of this Christchurch-based Frenchwoman’s self-published cookbook.


Brilliant But Basic by Genevieve McGough ***

Formulas for useful cooking basics It’s not often that chefs can manage to simplify techniques so that they are both intelligible and useful to those of us who confine our cooking to the home kitchen but Auckland-based Genevieve McGough has managed it in Brilliant But Basic. In this slim publication she deals with a total of 19 different techniques, teaching formulas for useful cooking basics such as meringue, risotto, slow-cooked meats and cheesecake.

Thoughts on cookbook collections 12

Thoughts on cookbook collections

Just looking up Margaret Costa’s Four Seasons Cookery Book – a friend loaned it to me the other night and I was wondering how much it would cost to get my own copy! – and I came across this article by pedant in the kitchen, Julian Barnes. I thoroughly enjoyed his debate about and efforts to cull his collection. His “certain words of advice, all of it paid for in money” are worth taking a look at, especially number 5 – “Never buy a juice book if you haven’t a juicer” – apropos of the book that caused the whole conundrum, Nigel Slater‘s Juice. Juice is the one Slater book that I haven’t purchased but, by coincidence, I got it out of the library yesterday. And no, I don’t have a juicer either.


At Home, At Play by Penny Oliver ***

Reflects New Zealand's relaxed indoors and active outdoors lifestyle 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.

Cookbooks by the bed 6

Cookbooks by the bed

I’ve been taking full advantage of the Christchurch City Library and their ever-fabulous selection of cookbooks, a pile of which are currently sitting by the bed. I’ve always been an avid reader of cookbooks – in Ireland the Boyfriend accused me of spending more time reading them than cooking from them! – but now it sometimes gets a little out of hand.

Observer Food Monthly – September 2005 0

Observer Food Monthly – September 2005

Due to the vagaries of the post between Ireland and New Zealand, my reading of the Observer Food Monthly is always a few weeks behind. Seeing as we’re never in season with the produce it doesn’t really matter and it’s always a red letter day when the most recent edition arrives, along with recipes and restaurant reviews torn from Irish publications – thanks again Mum!