A CookBook To Suit Everyone’s Needs

Recently I came across a cookbook that asserts that: “Whether you’re an occasional meat-eater, a vegetarian who needs to cook for meat-eaters, or even a dedicated veggie, you’ll find this very flexible book filled with delicious and practical recipes for every lifestyle. The Flexible Vegetarian’s beautiful and tasty dishes offer two solutions: they can be served as completely vegetarian meals, or with the addition of a simple meat, chicken or fish recipe, making them suitable for meat-free days and meat-eaters alike. Recipes cover international flavours, from spiced poke to peashoot and asparagus gnudi, and they are all simple, quick, packed with protein and well-balanced. As well as easy meat and fish additions and hacks for each vegetarian recipe, The Flexible Vegetarian shows you how to ace a handful of classic recipes, from the perfect roast chicken, to the perfectly cooked fillet. Chapters include: Brunch, Broths, Small Plates, Large Plates, and Dips & Bits.”  https://www.murdochbooks.com.au/browse/books/tv-celebrity-chefs/The-Flexible-Vegetarian-Jo-Pratt-9780711239043

The Flexible Vegetarian

 

I have a dilemma  – do I give this to my vegetarian daughter so she can cook the occasional meal for her non vegetarian friends and family ? Or do I keep this one to source recipes for when my daughter visits?  (I am always looking for new and tasty meals I can prepare that we can all share when she visits.) What would you do?

 

**As a bonus this book contains many recipes that include cheese, and one I will  definitely be making in summer, Grilled Peaches, Burrata and Mint Pesto – YUM.   The section “Dips and Bits” deserves a special mention – there are so many of my favourite foods presented here: labneh, hummus, tahini dressing, pesto…and section, “Small Plates”… well I just have to try smashed bean, kale and tomato toast – what a great breakfast idea!  So many good ideas here. I dont think I could choose just one favourite.

 

 

 

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Post Script: Imagine – John Lennon, Illustrated by Jean Jullien

Imagine

Imagine

John Lennon

Illustrated by Jean Jullien

Allen and Unwin Australia

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books In Assoc with Amnesty International UK

ISBN: 9781847808967

 

Description:

Imagine all the people living life in peace.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.

 

Join one little pigeon as she sets out on a journey to spread a message of tolerance around the world. Featuring the lyrics of John Lennon’s iconic song and illustrations by the award-winning artist Jean Jullien, this poignant and timely picture book dares to imagine a world at peace. Imagine will be published in partnership with human rights organization, Amnesty International.

 

 

My View:

5 big stars for this beautifully imagined and illustrated book – this really is art with heart!  Call me sentimental, I will agree with you that I am, this book just strikes so many chords with me. A book for those who can remember John Lennon’s important song of love and peace (and for those who still sing his inspiring relevant message even if just in their own heads) and for the next generation – who will love the prose, the illustrations and the optimism.

 

Buy this for someone you love – young or old.

 

Sidetracked…

In the mail this week I received a copy of  The Girl Who Takes and Eye For an Eye – David Lagercrantz (continuing the Steig Larsson triology). All good except I then realised  that this is book 5 and I hadn’t read book  4.  A bit of googling and I came across a copy in the local area – quick into the car and was immediately sidetracked by a pop up cellar door – open today only.  We had to stop.  What delightful wines.

 

Pop up cellar door and books

 

 

Post Script: The Child Finder – Rene Denfeld

The Child Finder

The Child Finder

Rene Denfeld

Hachette Australia

W & N

ISBN: 9781474605540

 

Description:

Naomi Cottle finds missing children. When the police have given up their search and an investigation stalls, families call her. She possesses a rare, intuitive sense, born out of her own harrowing experience that allows her to succeed when others have failed.

 

Young Madison Culver has been missing for three years. She vanished on a family trip to the mountainous forests of Oregon, where they’d gone to cut down a tree for Christmas. Soon after she disappeared, blizzards swept the region and the authorities presumed she died from exposure.

 

But Naomi knows that Madison isn’t dead. Can she find the child – and also find out why this particular case is stirring the shadows of her own memories? Could her future be bound to this girl in a way she doesn’t understand?

 

 

My View:

A refreshing approach to this genre – where less is more, no gore, no sensationalism, just an intelligently written narrative with empathetic characters painted in many shades of black and white.

 

Denfeld successfully creates scenarios that are chilling and simultaneously heart breaking. The snow girl’s perspective is compelling reading, her voice innocent yet so world wise.

 

The writing is enchanting, haunting, lyrical, mesmerising, optimistic, I certainly will be reading more of this authors work in the future – and what an interesting life Rene Denfeld leads, a life that certainly colours the narratives she writes with empathy and thoughtfulness.

 

 

**  Rene Denfeld is a death penalty investigator and the author of the novel The Enchanted, as well as three non-fiction books, including the international bestseller, The New Victorians. She has written for numerous publications, including the New York Times Magazine. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her three children, all adopted from foster care. In addition to working with death row, clients, Ms. Denfeld volunteers with at-risk youth and in foster adoption advocacy.”

http://renedenfeld.com/

 

https://www.hachette.com.au/rene-denfeld/the-child-finder

Post Script: The Museum of Words – Georgia Blain

The Museum of Words

The Museum of Words

Georgia Blain

Scribe Publications

ISBN: 9781925322255

 

Description:

In late 2015, Georgia Blain was diagnosed with a tumour sitting right in the language centre of her brain. Prior to this, Georgia’s only warning had been a niggling sense that her speech was slightly awry. She ignored it, and on a bright spring day, as she was mowing the lawn, she collapsed on a bed of blossoms, blood frothing at her mouth.

 

Waking up to find herself in the back of an ambulance being rushed to hospital, she tries to answer questions, but is unable to speak. After the shock of a bleak prognosis and a long, gruelling treatment schedule, she immediately turns to writing to rebuild her language and herself.

 

At the same time, her mother, Anne Deveson, moves into a nursing home with Alzheimer’s; weeks earlier, her best friend and mentor had been diagnosed with the same brain tumour. All three of them are writers, with language at the core of their being.

 

The Museum of Words is a meditation on writing, reading, first words and last words, picking up thread after thread as it builds on each story to become a much larger narrative. This idiosyncratic and deeply personal memoir is a writer’s take on how language shapes us, and how often we take it for granted — until we are in danger of losing it.

 

 

My View:

The Museum of Words is gently and wisely written; it speaks of truths, of family history, of love and of course, of dying. It was deeply moving yet not depressing or self-indulgent.  Georgia Blain was a wordsmith extraordinaire, her love of words enriched the page. I wish there were more pages to turn, more books to read by this amazing writer.

 

A lyrical, moving read.

 

Apricot and Peach Fruit Wine: Ferment – Holly Davis

Ferment cover

Ferment

Holly Davis

Murdoch Books 

ISBN: 9781743368671

 

Images and recipes from Ferment by Holly Davis (Murdoch Books, RRP $45) Photography by Ben Dearnley.

 

apricot and peach fruit wine
first fermentation

Apricot and Peach Fruit Wine

“Here is a sweet, slightly alcoholic fruit wine ideal for those hot summer days. Choose seasonal, ripe and semi-ripe fruits with some acidity, which will improve the mix. ” p. 84

Makes 3 litres (105 fl oz/12 cups) Ready in 4–6 days

 

660 g (1 lb 7 oz/3 cups) raw sugar

1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) lightly brewed black tea

2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) ripe unblemished peaches, stones removed and quartered

2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) ripe unblemished apricots, stones removed and quartered

2 litres (70 fl oz/8 cups) filtered water

 

Combine the sugar and strained tea in a non-reactive bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar completely. Take a wide, deep crock or bowl, which will hold the fruit leaving stirring space, and add the fresh peaches and apricots. Pour the sweet tea over the fruit and stir in the water.

capture Cover with a clean tea towel (dish towel) and leave in a cool spot for 4–5 days. As frequently as possible, during each day (5–6 times or more), stir the liquid using a wooden spoon to create a swirling vortex, then change direction and repeat. (Stirring this way helps to draw air into the liquid and encourages yeast activity.)

At day 3 or 4 the mix should be bubbling, and around day 6 or so it should seriously bubble and froth. Keep stirring and smelling for another couple of days, watching to see when the froth subsides, indicating that fermentation has slowed right down. Trust your nose; if it smells fruity and delectable don’t wait for it to improve, move to the next stage. Strain the mix through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, pressing as much of the liquid from the fruit as possible. Decant the strained fruit wine into swing-top bottles and chill in the fridge.

This is best consumed within 1–2 weeks. Open daily to avoid overly boisterous effervescence.