Love the look of this definitely need to head along and see what its all about, especially as its at St Bride’s Where I’ve been meaning to go for a while.
The parcel postman just delivered these.
He said ‘someone’s got a lot of reading to do….’
And he laughed (in a nice way).
I think maybe I got a little carried away on the Book Depository site.
What do you think?
Other posts have revealed my fondness for books and printed matter generally. Over the years I have had to invest heavily in IKEA Billy bookcases to help keep this predilection from taking over the house. Its sort of worked but I know there are many books I have that I have looked at only a few times and then moved on to the next must have item. Some of the books cast aside were great, some mediocre, some utter rubbish. But mostly when it comes to food related books I still have every single one of them. I have made attempts to catalogue them all so that at least I can find them when needed, I have thought about selling those I rarely use or didn’t hit the spot for me, after all one girls junk is another’s dream item.
This love of printed matter takes on a new slant when, on Twitter, publishers are offering review copies to bloggers and at events generous souls are popping them in goodie bags. What is a girl to do? Well clearly one thing is to review them. And I did one full review of a book I got from a publisher, and I enjoyed it: both book and review. But the others that you can see above have created a little conundrum so I haven’t yet managed to review them. Why? Well its not that I only want to write positive things on my blog, but essentially I do want to mostly write about things I enjoy and can enthuse about a sort of ‘goodshoeday recommends’ approach. And some of these books I do heartily recommend (as you will eventually see) but I couldn’t always find much to say. I don’t want to simply repeat a press release and I don’t want to be bland or negative unless I’ve read a book cover to cover and as you will guess from the intro I don’t always do that with books I pay for!
I also don’t want to be obliged to cook a recipe just to be sure the it works (or doesn’t). There is endless debate about this with many saying if you haven’t cooked a recipe how can you properly review the book and those who, like me, think its in no way essential. I guess it depends who’s going to read the review and who the book is aimed at. If its “the basics of cooking in 100 pages” then yes it should all work if its “this is mostly full of pictures and ideas” well I guess they should still work but then its more about the inspiration than the exact quantities, after all who follows recipes exactly (except possibly when baking).
So I have a pile of books I have garnered for free. To date I haven’t reviewed them. Well all that’s about to change because I’m ready to launch my all new patented method of book reviewing The GSD flip-thru (TM) . In the interests of objectivity I will be reviewing the books in individual blog posts in the order I received them, which is from the bottom of that pile upwards……
Bet you can’t wait for the first review ;0
A trip to the library
Yesterday I was getting a bit of cabin fever.
I’d been staring at the screen for too long, Picasa was being a nightmare and Photoshop not much better.
So I decided to stop and take a lttle break.
I strolled to the local library and perused the bookshelves in search of inspiration.
I found a few things then recalled people had been recommending a novel to me…but I couldn’t remember by who or its name.
I tweeted and got an answer pronto. Someone else had already borrowed the book.
Then outside the sound of a heavy downpour and the library sprang to life everyone using it as an excuse to chat.
One lady said summers never used to be like this. The weather was predictable back then she said. Some sort of halcyon childhood summers I think she meant.
The rain stopped. The talking stopped.
I went back to the book shelves and then home contented with my haul.
Libraries are great. And I still have to go back to get the novel when its in.
British seasonal resources
When I did my G20 menu post (where I looked at whether Saint Jamie had delivered or not menu wise at the G20 dinner) I promised that I would put some resources up for you so here is a selection of recommendations:
For checking out what’s in season/cooking the seasons try the following:
Eat the Seasons
BBC What’s in Season
River Cottage Seasonality Table
Waitrose British Seasons
Books that are organised by season:
Hugh F-W: The River Cottage Year (great stuff and quirky as ever – love this book)
River Café Cookbook Green (based more on Italian seasons so just shift by roughly 6-8 weeks in most cases)
Gary Rhodes: The Complete Cookery Year (can be a bit complex but Gary knows his stuff)
Margaret Costa: Four Season’s Cookery Book (its been around a long time but there’s some great ideas in this)
Jeremy Round: The Independent Cook (buying tips, recipes – useful reference, tho if you get the Pan paperback I think the index has gone wrong!)
Jamie O: Jamie at Home (recipes and growing tips, usual OTT enthusiasm from Jamie – love him or hate him)
Nigel Slater: The Kitchen Diaries (what Nigel ate almost day by day for 1 year, good on leftovers)
Matthew Fort: Rhubarb and Black Pudding (some of the recipes here are quite complex as it’s about Paul Heathcote’s restaurant but they are good for inspiration)
Sally Clarke’s Book (again a restaurant related book but inspiring none the less)
If you’ve spied a particular ingredient that’s in season and fancy looking at a few inspiring recipes for it try these books:
Sybil Kapoor: Simply British (some lovely quirky recipes in here)
Nigel Slater: Real Good Food (Nigel comes up trumps again)
Simon Hopkinson: Roast chicken and other stories, Roast chicken and other stories (second helpings), Gammon and Spinach (these are all great, good recipes, delightful commentary)
Rose Prince: The New English Table (wonderful approach to sustainable, ethical, frugal food)
and if you are after a bit of background history to dip in and out of then take a look at (there are other great books out there that are a ‘proper read’ but these are really good for snippets – some have recipes some don’t):
Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book (a classic must have book, bit out of date in some of the comments/recipes but well worth it for the background info)
Jane Grigson’s Fruit Book (as for the vegetable book a must have)
Jane Grigson: English Food (some great background info)
The Oxford Companion to Food (essential for any real foodie)
Jane Grigson: The Observer Guide to British Cookery (whirlwind tour round Britain with recipes)
Dorothy Hartley: Food in England (quirky, slightly mad book but very interesting)
Mason/Brown: Traditional Foods of Britain (useful and fascinating catalogue of foods that are produced in Britain rather than ingredients)
and in looking for these I found Marguerite Patten’s Century of British Cooking which is a great canter through some of the things we’ve eaten as a nation decade by decade – might need to cook my way through it as a project!
I’m going to be adding these to the sidebar in due course so they are always to hand for you.
And I’d really love to hear what books and resources you rate for all that British and seasonal when it comes to food so please add your comments.