Preservation Society

In which I add to the cookbookshelf, fall for the leader of the pack(aging) and go glut-busting...

There’s supposed to be a one-in-one-out policy in our house when it comes to books but, fortunately, it’s rarely enforced. Unless my husband James catches me with a tell-tale Daunt bag or is actually present when the Amazon/Hive packages turn up I can usually get away with a “This old thing? I’ve had it for ages…” routine.

Mmmmm. Tax deductible....

Mmmmm. Tax deductible....

Whether new or second hand, fact or fiction, I find books of all types hard to resist. But cook books especially. All that potential deliciousness... I’ve been pretty restrained recently, but I met my new accountant last week and he said I’d be able to claim tax on any food-related books I bought since they legitimately constituted “research”. And what do you think happened after that?

Sweet, Ottolenghi’s new collection of cakes and desserts looked pretty, well, sweet. And I also liked the sound of (Mr. Rocket & Squash) Ed Smith’s On The Side, a celebration of accompaniments. Plus I’ve just received a commission for a Deep South-themed birthday buffet and thought Brad McDonald’s book would provide some inspiration. All three contain plenty of recipes I can’t wait to cook and - just as importantly for me - read beautifully, full of personal stories and evocative descriptions.

New packaging - not too shabby...

New packaging - not too shabby...

I haven’t been able to spend as much time earmarking must-makes as I’d like though since it’s been another busy week. The latest freezer filling orders went out in new packaging - which I think looks jolly smart - and I’m menu-planning for several parties. If you’ve got a special occasion coming, whether an intimate dinner party or larger gathering, why not have a look at the sample menus or get in touch for a free consultation?

I wrote last week about summer’s slide into autumn but how there was still plenty of produce around. It struck me afterwards that plenty of people might have an excess of home-grown fruit and veg but inadequate time to make the most of it. Is this you? Are you burdened with an overabundance of apples or a surfeit of squash? I can help!

courgette crisps, fermented cauliflower, quince chutney

Drop me a line and let me know what you’ve got too much of. I’ll pick it up, transform it into something that keeps, and bring it back again. Fruit crumbles for the freezer, jams, pickles and chutneys. Ferments and kimchee. Fruit or veg crisps. There are all sorts of possibilities.

Pictured here: Courgette Crisps with Smoked Salt & Paprika, Green Chilli & Garlic Fermented Cauliflower and Quince & Saffron Chutney. All better options than letting things rot in the fruitbowl. Let’s bust a glut!

Clare HealComment