Sunday, 16 March 2014

Rosehips On A Kitchen Table

The very title - “Rosehips on a Kitchen Table” may conjure up images of country life, but it is as relevant to those in rural dwellings as well as to those who live in city suburbs.   This delightful book, which I've been given the opportunity to review, offers a snapshot overview of the kinds of foods that can be grown or foraged near to home and recipes how to cook them.
Published by Frances Lincoln and written by Carolyn Caldicott, who has written numerous vegetarian books previously including the World Food Cafe series, this book is predominately vegetarian and features ideas how to maximise your excess vegetable patch produce to what to do with items you have foraged.

Starting with an introduction to basic foraging, it provides an overview of useful things to know before starting out on your picking adventures. 
The section on Gleaning offers a run-through of how to pick your produce which although doesn’t offer a full guide, it does offer enough information to begin your journey with.  Each product featured is denoted by an introduction to the item, tips on sourcing it, a sketched black & white image to help identify it and recipes of what you can make with it.  Showcased items include wild garlic, nettles and elderflowers.
The Grow Your Own chapter – discusses how to grow your own produce, even in a limited space.  As with the Gleaning chapter, it offers the same identification illustrations and recipes.  Produce featured includes stalwart rhubarb as well as more unusual suggestions of sorrel, Jerusalem Artichokes and chard.
A whole chapter entitled Gluts outlines when there is an abundance of seasonal produce and what to do with a high yielding harvest.  Delicious ideas feature for tomatoes, fruit and runner beans.
The final section offers a solution when you find yourself asking "What On Earth Do I Do With This?"  With recipe ideas for those vegetables and fruits that aren't popular or that people aren't familiar with - beetroot and quince to name a few.
Another vegetable finding itself in this section is the celeriac.  A knobbly, some may say unattractive root vegetable, shaped like a swede, whose appearance can leave people bewildered how to tackle it.
The recipe below has been taken from the book and is a well known favourite for St Patrick's Day dinner.

Celeriac Champ
Celeriac adds a nutty flavour to this St Patrick’s Day favourite, traditionally made from potato mashed with spring onions and topped with butter. 
1 medium celeriac, peeled and cubed3 medium mashing potatoes, peeled and cubed2 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered110ml/½ cup whole milka bunch of spring onions, thinly sliceda good knob of butter1 heaped teaspoon grainy mustard75ml/¼ cup thick double cream or full-fat crème fraîchea large handful of finely chopped curly parsleysalt and black pepper
To serve:  extra butter, at room temperature
  • Simmer the prepared celeriac, potato and garlic in boiling water until soft. 
  • Drain the vegetables, return to the pan and steam dry over a low heat for a few minutes. 
  • Heat the milk and sliced spring onions in a small pan until nearly boiling, reduce the heat and gently simmer for a further couple of minutes. 
  • Add the milk mixture along with the butter and mustard to the drained celeriac and potato. Mash everything together until smooth. Stir in the cream and chopped parsley and season to taste. 
  • To serve in the traditional way, pile the champ into a bowl, make an indent in the top with the back of a serving spoon and fill with a large knob of butter room temperature. 
  • Serve immediately as the butter melts.

With Spring now in-situ and a full year of foraging and gardening ahead, this is a great book to begin getting acquainted with what is on your doorstep and when and where you can find it.  An ideal gift for Mother’s Day or splendid addition to your cookery book collection, if you find yourself with rosehips (or foraged fruits) adorning your kitchen table, then you'll know which book to turn to!

Special Offer:  to order Rosehips on a Kitchen Table at the discounted price of £7.99 including p&p* (RRP: £9.99), telephone 01903 828503 or email and quote the offer code APG97. 
Alternatively, send a cheque made payable to:
LBS Mail Order Department, Littlehampton Book Services, PO Box 4264, Worthing, West Sussex, BN13 3RB. 
Please quote the offer code APG97 and include your name and address details. 
*UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

DisclosureThis post was written following kind receipt of Rosehips On A Kitchen Table .  This review was conducted honestly without bias and I was not required to produce a positive review.  For further details of my PR policy, please see the Press, PR & Food Writing page of this website. 

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