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From Season to Season

From Season to Season“From Season to Season: A Year in Recipes” – Sophie Dahl
Harper Collins – 2011
Photography: Jan Baldwin

There aren’t many cookbooks I want these days. Not because I think the quality has dropped (quite the opposite in fact) or because I’m fussy (although I am) but because I have so many I am running out of room for them all and have no time to work through most of the recipes.
The books I like most are the ones with stories in, anecdotes from the kitchen and beyond – Sophie Dahl’s latest delivers in spades. The tales she tells are beautiful, funny and touching while never seeming overly twee – she has clearly lived an interesting life so far and has a wonderful way with words.
I read the book from cover-to-cover on a cold and rainy day and it was a joy. The recipes are widely varied and there is bound to be something for everyone in here. I was impressed with the amount of vegetarian recipes as well as the number of ideas from other cultures. Lovely to see. The photographs by Jan Baldwin are beautiful although I would have liked to see more of the food. I like a picture of every single recipe in a cook book, but then as I said, I’m pretty fussy.
It is organised by season and then by type of meal so you can see exactly what you are getting – it’s also got a mini index before each new season which I loved. I particularly liked the lunch and supper sections – lots of good ideas that can be easily adapted to fussy palates such as my own. The breakfasts were very inventive and experimental but with a few tamer ones for those who don’t cope well in the mornings. There were rather a lot of egg based recipes and quite a few recipe book staples which I could have done without but on the whole there were far more that I liked than disliked.
My personal favourites were the soups: Pea, Pesto and Rocket; Squash and Parmesan and Lemon Lentil. And the stories – always the stories. An excellent book and one that deserves a place on the crowded shelves.

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