Monday, June 25, 2007

Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook

I've been a big fan of Sarah Raven ever since I began gardening - I own her book 'The Cutting Garden' which sets out to help you plan a space which provides you with plenty of cut flowers (and greenery) for your house, without your borders looking pillaged.

In my personal fantasy future, I spend a great deal of time wafting around my walled garden, collecting blooms in a suitably vintage trug and arranging them with casual elegance. Reality involves more yelling of 'Keep your truck out of my flowerbed', but hey, I can dream.

I've noticed that a lot of gardeners are foodies. It makes me trust them more. Personally, I can't see the point in growing a swede as big as a boulder if it's inedible. I feel the same about growing onions - why? When they are dirt cheap at the greengrocers and don't taste any better for being freshly harvested.

So I was very intrigued to see this offering on the bookshop shelves.



Now, I've only had a twenty second flip through this, but it's already it's on my wish list. The recipes are arranged according to a central ingredient that you've harvested from your garden (or at least bought in season from the supermarket!). That struck me as hugely sensible - 20 things to do with rhubarb, because it's coming out of your ears at the moment, but you want to make the most of it being in season.

Now all I need to do is make some space on my overloaded cookbook shelf. I find parting with cookbooks difficult. There's something about the patina of food splashes which makes them very personal. No draconian uncluttering advice for me!

14 comments:

grumpy said...

Interesting! You should also have a look at Reader's Digest publication "The Cookery Year" (ISBN 0 340 17759 4) which leads the reader through the culinary maze on a month-to-month (UK seasons) basis. It's ancient, 1st Edition 1973, but it is still very pertinent.

Megan said...

I love the book from the cover alone. (Yes, I do judge books by their cover). I must have strips quilts on my mind, because it looks just like a very delicious one to me.

Candlestring said...

I have a bit of a cookbook addiction, too. I even have some stored in my (easily accessed) attic. My favorites are the old booklet ones that came with appliances. To use the recipes I do a lot of substituting oil for shortening or lard! Yikes.

My favorite cookbook is one that my sisters put together with family recipes. It has our traditional birthday cake (angel food), my mom's Saturday bread, one-bowl brownies, etc. It's all the things we grew up eating and crave now that we are on our own. Comfort food. Of course, none of it tastes as good as when mom makes it. It also has our own contributions of favorites, and fills a three-ring binder.

sarah said...

This is my philosophy too, it becomes a slight problem though when my the pages of my favourite recipe are stuck together with the ingredients involved!

monica said...

that sounds great. And sensible, which lets face it, not all cookery books are.

Gemma said...

I really have to go and have a look at this and make a decision. I have her Bold and Beautiful Garden book, lovely most inspiring!

Louise said...

I could do with that book. With Greek parents-in-law who grow everything in their back garden we usually have an abundance of whatever is in season. We have just had broccoli by the bucket load - which I love, but really you can run out of ideas of what to do! I actually made broccoli risotto which was delishh!! Now we are getting cabbages - any ideas?

ellen said...

That does look like a wonderful book...and I had the same reaction as Megan! What an inspiring cover for quilters. I am not a quilter, but hope to learn one of these days.

Heather said...

Oh, I desperately want this cookbook! Although, I suppose I can wait a year or two until we have the time and money to get our edible garden off the ground. We had one in New Hampshire, but moving to Maryland knocked everything off-kilter. Sigh. (We used to harvest the most amazing squash and strawberries, among other things, from our garden.)

Angel Jem said...

I read this book today in a school where the book people had brought it in on offer at.... £11! Instead of £30, that's quite a saving. I'm off to look at their website & see if it's available there! Happy hunting! Oh, by the way, it did look good & I have some space.....

dottycookie said...

I really like the idea of a cutting garden, but for some reason my husband looked horrified when I told him my plan was to dig up a big chunk of the lawn to plant flowers for cutting.

My favourite thing on the lines of home grown veg is competitions to grow the largest onion and so on - there's one at the annual gardener's weekend in Saffron Walden that is just classic! My tatty peas & beans will never win prizes but they do taste good ...

And I too have far more cookbooks than I can ever use. Doesn't stop me buying more though!

Rose Vintage said...

Must have a look for this book as I am always searching for recipes when I have a glut of something in the veggie patch. I have 'The Great Vegetable Plot' by Sarah Raven. Great book, helped me a great deal when I was first trying to grow veggies. Perch Farm is just up the road from where we live and I'm ashamed to say I have never visited it!

Jane

samantha said...

It is always delightful to read about someone else who has fantastical dreams of their everyday lives, and also doesn't believe in the declutter trend that has captured the planet at the moment. I like the cosy feel of having my stuff around me, so another cookbook, yeah sounds good to me! I grew up reading The Cookery Year and still love it (my dad is English, and well I've always been a nerd!), sounds like a wonderful book. It also reminds me of Stephanie Alexander's Cooks Campanion, a bible downunder.

julie said...

I've just discovered Sarah Raven and don't yet have the book (am leaving lots of hints around for my husband - hope he gets the idea before my birthday!). She also has a great website and has just launched a lovely housewares / gardening collection (I couldn't resist her provencal pitcher and salad bowl)