The true university these days is a collection of books.
-Thomas Carlyle

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Tender: Volume I by Nigel Slater

I don't think that I have recommended a cook book before. I do grow veg in my garden, not much, but enough to use in cooking, and there is nothing better than planning a dish around ingredients that you have grown yourself.

I came across this book in the kitchen of one of our friends at the farm that I work on once a year in Devon. A substantial book the size of a decent house brick, it has a presence before you open it. Inside there is a healthy mix of writing in short headed paragraphs and lovely photographs. Each chapter is dedicated to a vegetable that you may grow yourself. It begins with a personal appreciation of that vegetable by the author, diary and tips on growing it, uses in the kitchen, what it likes to share a plate with, and then recipes to try.

Nigel Slaters prose has a gentle reverence that is never sycophantic, and often a humourous tone relaying the realities of gardening and cooking. He tells us about how he dug over his town house garden and filled it with fruit and vegetables, some of which were successful, others not so much.

I was drawn to the book on the shelf and when I opened it I wanted a copy straight away. It is a treasure, something practical, but also a good bedside read too. I have found it inspiring, full of ideas and beautiful too, just like my own garden.

If you like to use your own produce, or just fancy growing a few edibles yourself, you could do worse than this book.

I have already asked Father Christmas for Volume II which is all about fruit.

You can read more about Tender: Volume I by using the link.

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Hay on Wye

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