The other day I ordered these lovely little books, and they arrived today. They’re part of a series: The Edible Series, a global history. I’m becoming more and more interested in the history of food, and what better subjects to conjure with than spices, bread and tea…
The books present a really nice overview – whistling through the centuries and cultures …. ……making me want to discover more.
Terrible wars have been fought to gain control of the spice routes of old, and I am fascinated by how spices travelled around the world and became integrated into different cultures and traditional ways of cooking.
I am also interested in, for want of a better description, poverty food. Modest food. Where needs must. It seems to me that this is where really creativity lies. How to take a cabbage and a few potatoes, or a handful of lentils and a bag of rice… or whatever is to hand, and turn them into something wonderful.
And then there is bread. Every country, every region, and sometimes every village has its own bread. I want to try them all…. and the little bread book has some interesting recipes to help me on my way!
The arrival of these new books got me thinking about the cookery books I have used over the years, and the ones I have become particularly attached to as part of my cooking journey …
Some of them are long gone … having been taken to the local charity shops… now I’m vegan … and also because there is so much available on the net…. but some I hang on to ….old friends….
Where would we be without Elizabeth David? It was she who brought the Mediterranean diet to our tables here in the UK … simple clean fresh fare … and that was back in the ’50’s … she was way ahead of her time….
Mridula Baljekar and Jack Santa Maria (although it is his wife who is Asian)… showed me how to use Indian spices …
And then there was Cranks … such a breath of fresh air.
As you can see, my indian vegetarian cookery book had a very close encounter with a lit gas hob …. ha … but it survived to tell the tale!
Jamie Oliver has, from time to time been fabulous….a handful of this…a glug of that …he freed up cooking for me… close the recipe books and use your intuition and your taste buds was what he seemed to be saying….
The jams and preserves books were already well-used when I bought them for a few pence in a charity shop – but they are all I have ever needed to guide me through that particular world of jams, jellies, chutneys and pickles….
This little black book is my own notebook, and amongst other things I have jotted down over the years, it contains some of the macrobiotic recipes I gleaned from an old friend … one or two of which I have already replicated here on the blog….
And there are still more books on the shelf… Leiths … urghhh.. and now of course, more vegan books…
I am loving this cooking adventure… my cooking experience has been revitalised by becoming vegan and my joy in eating peacefully is quite simply…well… joyful.
Apparently, the leaves of the pepper plant curl up and over the seeds at night, and unfurl again in the morning… who knew?
The Future is Vegan.
I need to go read now lol…