This week I thought I might just digress from my usual posts of promoting the brilliant and totally deserving-of-accolades local chefs and producers, and do something unconditionally and utterly self serving! With the silly season well and truly upon us, there has been the usual flurry of books released to cash in on this gift giving season. Impossible as it may seem, I still have plenty of cookbooks on my wish list. I know I buy an enormous amount of them (or so The Husband says), but there is always another one or two that just catch my eye and cry out to me for a spot on my book shelves or in my heart, so I have whittled the current crop down to five books that I’m pretty sure I can’t live without! I sincerely hope that my family reads this post and takes notes – although I have back-up plans in case they don’t!
1. SARABAN by Greg & Lucy Malouf
Number one on my list is, without any shadow of doubt, the new book by Greg and Lucy Malouf. I have all of Greg Malouf’s other books and simply adore his cooking and writing, but this book about the wonderful culinary landscape of ancient Persia and modern Iran is the most beautiful to look at, to date. Full of the food and food traditions that Persia/Iran is so noted for, this book is stunningly presented with magnificent photos and gold cut-out chapter dividers. I have fondled this book in the shops and lusted wildly after it – I must have it!
2. French Kitchen by Serge Dansereau
Serge – of The Bathers Pavillion in Sydney – shares the French recipes he cooks at home in his Australian kitchen using Australian produce. At last, French cooking made accessible for the Australian cook – and in another beautifully photographed edition.
3. Food From Many Greek Kitchens by Tessa Kiros
Tessa Kiros is another very popular author in this house, with several of her warm and accessible books already on my shelves and her butter cake the Cupcake Queen’s recipe of choice for her frequent creations. Kiros is London-born, of a Greek-Cypriot father and a Finnish mother and has an Italian husband! Add her heritage to the fact that she has cooked all over the world and I think she has it all pretty well covered!
4. Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan
Much feted in the US, Dorie is the award-winning author of nine cookbooks and this is her latest. This is not classical French Cuisine, nor haute cuisine, but Dorie’s own favourite French food as cooked by her or eaten in bistro’s, then tried at home and very tempting it looks, too! My interest in this book was stimulated by an online group I found that was cooking their way through the book one recipe at a time! It has been out for a few months now and I have resisted the urge to purchase it – leaving that option for my very loving family!
5. Good to the Grain by Kimberley Boyce
I have to be honest and admit that this is not the sort of book I ever thought that I could truly desire, based, as it is, on whole-grain cookery. When I was a very young child, I was badly frightened by a vegan and have subsequently avoided anything that even hints too strongly of whole grain goodness or macrobiotics. However, close contact with this book and some sensible counselling is bound to assist me in my recovery from that early, damaging experience!! I just love to bake and these recipes are enough to tempt even the most serious processed-flour and sugar addict.