Monday, 21 November 2011

A feast for the eyes as well as the table.

Here is a book you will definitely want on your Christmas list if you love Indian food and beautiful photography and all things Indian. I know I do and was very excited to be sent this book to review.  It's a very large coffee table book, covered in a sumptuous silky fabric, looking very eastern indeed.

Looking inside is indeed a feast for the eyes. The photographs taken throughout India by photographer Anson Smart are stunning. The colours are amazing and each section of the book is of a different region of India.  Then comes the recipes ! there are 250 and they look and sound delicious. I have to admit that some I wouldn't try as they seem a bit elaborate and need a lot of ingredients, but there are plenty that anyone with a longing to learn different kinds of spicy Indian recipes would care to try. I think most people think only of Curry when it comes to Indian cooking, but actually lots of regions of India don't actually have curry as we know it but they do have lovely spicy food that would be easy to try for ourselves. 

The author is Christine Mansfield and she is one of Australia's most celebrated chefs. She has eaten her way around India for more than two decades, and has collected family recipes as well as from prominent Indian chefs for this book.  Looking through and reading the book (there is plenty to read for the traveller) she clearly loves India and it's colourful people and quite obviously loves it's food and culture. So we can use this book as a way to get to know more about India as well as an insight into it's regional food (which is so varied) and of course there is all 250 of delicious recipes to drool over and perhaps try our hand at cooking.
If you consider buying it as a present or for yourself, do look around as the price varies from book supplier to shop.

Here is a selection of pages from the book just to give you an idea of how gorgeous it is.

If you get a chance to look through this book anywhere please do as I think you will fall in love with it. I know I have.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

A bit of a natter about this and that !!

I thought I'd just have a bit of a natter about this and that ! there isn't anything going on at the allotment. I have nothing to harvest, and I don't intend to grow anything throughout the winter months this year.  I am having a break from winter growing. As tempted as I am by reading other blogs and seeing what others are up to on their plots make me feel a little lazy, but I really hate going up there throughout the winter, so decision made !!!! no growing this year.

The garden on the other hand has only just started to give up it's colour and be beaten by the colder mornings.  The dahlias are still clinging on and amazingly I have a sweet-pea which is still flowering ( I must look out the packet of seeds) I know it wasn't 'Cupani' which is a similar colour, but this sweet-pea has a larger flower.

The dahlia below was a surprise as I had forgotten to lift it last year and so it suddenly grew and grew and then flowered all summer and I have just cut it back this week. It had a beautiful Gladioli growing in front of it that complimented it colour so well.
I have no idea what this dahlia is called,(above )  but it is so pretty. I think I will take it up or at least some of the tubers. Trouble is I am running out of space to store them over winter. I have lifted all my 'Pink Giraffe' as they are so special and can't be bought (as far as I know) in garden centres and only seem to be available from dahlia specialists. I bought my one at the 'Hampton Court' flower show years ago, and now have dozens from lifting and dividing from that one plant. The photo's below don't really do justice to the colour, but as you can see it's form is unlike most dahlias and has many people (myself included ) fooled as to what it is when first seen.

I have had a little time to browse blogs this week and I have to say there are some very inspirational ones out there, makes me feel that I'm not keeping up !! I enjoy doing the book reviews and feel lucky that I have the books sent to me to review. The last one which I did as a giveaway is lovely. I do have another to review next week and it's an amazing book about India, both travel and cookery combined, so watch out for it. If you are a fan of Indian cooking and culture, it's possibly one for your Christmas list.

I hope you all have a lovely week-end and whatever you are doing have a good one !
M x

Friday, 11 November 2011

And the WINNER is ..............

Ready steady GO ... my friend Frances picks a winner .......................

Well done to Angela and thanks to everyone who took part

Angela please get in touch with your address.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Last few days to get your name down for the giveaway

We now have 17 names down for the giveaway, so I thought that seeing as I did say that as soon as I have enough interest that I'd do the draw.  So I am going to get a friend to pick a name on Friday and the winner will be announced on Friday evening.  So you still have a few more days to leave your comment.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

A fantastic giveaway

I have had a beautiful cookery book sent to me for a review, which will be easy as I love it.  The recipes are very interesting in that they come from various countries that I gather the author has visited, such as Italy, France, Ireland, America, Scandinavia, and also some good old English ones.  The photography is brilliant and I have to say even if I were to rarely cook from it  (oh but I will!) I just love looking through the book as it's 'scrumptious !!!!  another lovely thing about the book is that it is very readable as the author not only gives a recipe but also writes a little about her travels to each country and there are little interesting quotes and folk sayings on most pages.      I'll keep you in suspense no longer and tell you the title and the author :-
The book is titled  ' Roast Figs Sugar Snow'  food to warm the soul.   by 'Diana Henry'

On the front cover Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall  says and I quote ! 
 " Diana Henry's passion is infectious and her recipes tantalizing" 

 Here are some photo's from the book:
(sorry they aren't that great !  but the pages are shiny so were hard to photograph)


After I had received the book I e-mailed the person who had sent  it to me to thank her, and I mentioned that I had planned to do a giveaway to my readers on the blog, however after looking through it I couldn't bear to part with it !!   I then got an e-mail back saying that the publishers would send me another copy of the book for the giveaway, (that means I get to keep my copy !!!)  how very kind is that ??  so thank you Camilla.

So all you have to do is leave me a comment on this blog to say that you would like to enter the draw for the book, and when I have enough interest I will get a friend to pull a name out of the hat. Then someone will be the owner of a very lovely book.  I will give a couple of weeks before I do the draw so as to give people time to leave a comment with a name and a link. Please let anyone you know who loves cooking .
Good Luck

PS.  there is only one thing which I regret and that is I am unable to post outside the UK as it would cost me too much, BUT if you live abroad and are prepared to pay the postage I would be happy to get a quote from the post office if you want to enter and happen to win.

M x