The past few weeks I have been very lucky to be able to participate in a couple of cooking classes – one provided by a local resident (who makes authentic Vietnamese cuisine) and one impromptu lesson by a visitor (Indian cuisine) and then I have been making preserves, jams and pickles. You know what they say, “make preserves whilst the garden provides.” And you have wondered why I haven’t posted any book reviews of late 🙂
Chicken and Mushroom (Vietnamese style)
Rice Noodle Stir Fry ( Vietnamese style)
Beef Salad Vietnamese Style
Sweet Chili Tomato Sauce
Tandoori Chicken (cooked on BBQ)
2017 was a great year for discovering new to me authors, books and publishers. The task of whittling down to just a few great contemporary reads is too hard and so I will try and mention all I think are deserving a shout out, I do hope I dont miss anyone out.
I am I am, I Am – Maggie O’Farrell
The Right Side – Spencer Quinn
Close Enough to Touch – Colleen Oakley
The Child Finder – Renee Denfeld
Too Easy – J M Green
Wimmera – Mark Brandi
Dear Banjo – Sasha Wasley
The Animators – Kayla Rae Whitaker
Ache – Eliza Henry Jones
The Lone Child – Anna George
Do you have any to add to the list?
More greatest hits of 2017, I highly recommend these fun and quirky reads.
Life Law and Not Enough Shoes – Judith Fordham
Pachyderm – Hugh McGinlay
How Do Worms Work? Guy Barter
Some more great reads here- where to start? I have heard good things about Jo Spain’s books, Peter May – well of course this will be great! I have started Path to the Night Sea – a dark yet optimistic read…Brain Rules for Ageing Well ( yes I must read this) and The Clever Guts Recipe Book – I think it is time I discovered what all the hype about those eggplant brownies is about (and check out a few more of the recipes).
My recommendations for cook books to have in your kitchen library provide useful, practical, achievable recipes that the home cook can easily manage . For example, over Christmas I was wanting to make some mini carrot cakes/muffins, who did I turn to? Julie Goodwin’s Essential Cookbook – it really does cover most things that the home cook might want to bake (this would make an excellent house warming gift or engagement gift).
Poh Ling Yeow’s Poh Bakes 100 Greats took me on a trip down memory lane (and introduced me to some new exciting recipes) ; Bienenstich(Bee Sting Cake), Digestive Biscuits, Coconut Ice, Basic Nut Praline, Brioche Buns, Brownies, Nut Bars, Coffee Eclairs, Turkish Delight… recipes that will have you racing to the kitchen to bake.
Maggie’s Recipes for Life is a book that has recently been released and will garner a lot of attention. Co written with Professor Ralph Martins this book combines health science and nutrition with Maggie’s palate pleasing recipes. Watch out for this one and add to your shelf when you can.
And lastly a book that helps you master the elements of cooking; Salt, Fat, Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat (the how to of cooking ingredients that will give you confidence to trust your instincts in the kitchen). This book is a must have.
I have been mulling over the themes of a very moving book I read last year, Ache by Eliza Henry-Jones. This is the outcome. I am very happy with it 🙂
Australian Bush Fire mixed media on canvas. (c) 2018