As I write this, snowflakes are swirling wildly around the windows and it’s a cold hard vista beyond. It’s hardly inviting to step out into the garden and thoughts of digging, planting, tending seem far away. Still, winter is on the final stretch – the days are growing gradually longer every day and subtle hints of spring are appearing. It is just the moment to start dreaming about a gorgeous, abundant vegetable garden or allotment. In the fields behind our house there are several smallholdings and allotments. I frequently walk among them and feel such admiration for what my neighbours create with their wonderful productive plots. Sometimes I am lucky enough to receive a gift of the bounty – a fat creamy cauliflower, or a cabbage as beautiful as a flower.
I would love to create my own kitchen garden but really need a bit of guidance. A couple of weeks ago I received a copy of New Urban Farmer by Celia Brooks Brown and I cannot imagine there is much about growing food that isn’t included. This book is crammed with all the facts and tips for a successful year on the allotment.
New Urban Farmer – From Plot to Plate is Celia’s new book, recently published by Quadrille. Growing your own vegetables and fruit has become very popular over the past few years and waiting lists for allotments are groaning. For those who get to the top of the list and are ready to start their plot – or those with garden space – this book provides the tips and knowledge to make a success of it. Celia is an accomplished cook and food writer and she really has the expertise and perspective of a food lover. The book is written as a sort of journal, over the course of the seasons, with notes and inspiring recipes packed throughout.
I am so looking forward to some warmer days, and getting out in the garden. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Category Archives: Quadrille Publishing
I was delighted to receive, quite recently, a copy of this gorgeous new book by Tamasin Day-Lewis and have been enjoying it tremendously. The philosophy behind this book is about getting back to a purer appreciation for our food; being mindful of savouring it without waste. The message strikes the right note at a time when we are much more conscious of economic hard times and the worrying consequences of excess and waste on our environment. But this isn’t a gloomy or preachy book in any way, it is a celebration of what we have, how to make the most of it, and share our bounty with our friends and families – what could be better?
Tamasin’s first chapter is about making our dishes, and our time spent cooking go a bit further. It’s a concept I am very familiar with – my granny has always known how to “make it stretch” and that has served us all well!!
The next section of the book is called The Saturday Bake, and I absolutely loved this part. Tamasin’s account of busy, happy afternoons spent in the kitchen, family involved, radio playing, is so heart warming and enough to inspire anyone to get their pinny on.
There are some wonderful recipes throughout the book, big on flavour and satisfaction.
As a photographer, I always study the pictures in cookery books in detail. James Merrell did the photography in Supper for a Song and his work is beautiful and evocative.
Really lovely book.
Published by Quadrille Publishing October 2009.