The recipe is from 'The Good Table' by Valentine Warner, who is quite well known in food circles, he has made quite a few TV programmes, some scheduled on the satellite food channels as well as writing other books and he has a website (which has other recipes). He is an avid hunter/gatherer/forager type of cook...none of which apply to me I might add, but I could have easily made a lot of the recipes in this book without a hunt around the local woods or needing a trip to the local fishing lake. The notion of this book is very simple in that, what you are served and what you share at Valentine's table is 'good food' and judging by the recipes the title is spot on.
This book has a lot to offer most cooks and lovers of good food, it packs some lovely recipes, most of the recipes are supported by a photograph and the photography in this book is of a really good standard. It is truly crisp and colourful and lends a pleasing detail to all the illustrated recipes. This book describes the kind of food you just want to sit down and enjoy with your family, or curl up on the sofa with (like the 'toast as a vehicle' chapter...which I really loved, being a toast addict myself I never thought a food writer would devote a whole chapter to toast, I love it!). Other chapters include, meat, birds, fish and shellfish, veg and foraged food, bread, cheese and eggs, puddings and drinks. I could easily make most recipes in this book and they would easily suit our tastes here.
Although I have highlighted two recipes from the puddings chapter, the savoury recipes are looking really good too, I have particularly earmarked the 'carne con chile', 'chicken stiffed with pearl barley, livers and walnuts', and 'mushrooms baked with hazelnuts and percorino' for future autumnal suppers. This is a book I will readily use time and time again, particularly when cooking for others.
There is a lot of humour and little quirky anecdotes dotted throughout The Good Table and this is another of this books many appeals, it makes for a better read somehow. Going back to the toast chapter again, the recipe for 'black toast, boiled egg and black tea' really stands out, not so much for the faux recipe(!) more for the humour of it all...it reminded me so much of my own childhood...I'll let you read this recipe for yourself, but it starts with..."Burn the toast to the point where you would normally scrape it with a knife, but don't"...and ends with..."put everything on a tray, take it to the invalid and remove, uneaten 1 hour later"...so true to life!
The Good Table is written by Valentine Warner, learn more about him on his website here and his latest book was provided for me to review by the publishers, Octopus Publishing Group.