As you can see I own a few cook books… (these are just one shelf) so I’ve decided to start of bit of a book club online and tell you about the ones I use and my favourite recipes.
Saturday’s are the days that I sit down with a coffee and some yummy breakfast and read a cook book or a Delicious magazine. Not that I don’t read cookbooks other days. Its just nice on a Saturday morning to stop and enjoy the creativity of amazing culinary genius’.
There are so many cookbooks out there is it really difficult to choose and most of the time, you buy one or are given one and then you only use maybe one or two recipes and then it sits on the shelf never to be used again! Well I am here to change that. I read, I tag, I index all my recipe books. It is pretty sad really. I have 7 years of Delicious magazine recipes and I have gone through each book and written out and indexed every recipe that I would like to try. I do this not only for inspiration, but so that if I am looking for something different to do with chicken, I just go the C in my index book and look up a chicken recipe. The index tells me which magazine and which page, so I can access it easily. I know it is a bit OCD, but it makes sure that I do use all the money I have spent on these fantastic magazines. I am in the process of doing it for all my cookbooks too, so I thought you could come on the journey with me and I will review these books as I go!
Deciding which cookbooks to start this cook book club off was easy, two of the best. Two women who have had the most influence on what is cooking in Australian’s kitchens and served on Australian tables.
Margaret Fulton’s “Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery” AND Stephanie Alexander’s “The Cook’s Companion” It is my opinion that every home should have these two cookbooks. They are like a library staple and basically, if you need information on an ingredient, or an idea of how to cook something these are your cookbooks. It is very sad that we have recently lost the beautiful Margaret Fulton, but her legacy lives on in her amazing cookbooks and all that she did for people to prepare good, healthy food from scratch. They also contain information about seasonal eating which is the best time to buy food because it is at it cheapest and it is a great way to save money.
Margaret’s cookbook is literally the A – Z of cookery. It is an encyclopedia of ingredients as well as fantastic recipes. I have to be honest and tell you that I am yet to cook all the recipes in this book, but I think it would take a lifetime. She has 8 different recipes just for Pancakes. I have to say that the Swedish Pancakes on page 402 are my favourite.
Margaret is sort of the Grandmother of Australian Cooking. She has been nominated as a living legend and is credited with changing the way Australians eat. She loved to travel and introduced many different cuisines into the Australian food culture that have now become the norm. I have a great love for Margaret Fulton, because cooking for her was never about fiddly elitist food. It was always about bringing great food into everyday life, on ‘bringing magic into everyday living through better everyday eating.’
Margaret Fulton’s “Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery” has Sauces, Jellies, Jams, Cakes, Biscuits, Mains, Entrees, and Desserts. There is something for everyone with every ingredient you can think of. What about 18 pages on salads and salad dressings? I mean really, if you can’t find something to cook in this recipe book, there is something wrong! From Toffee apples to Teriyaki, Margaret has it covered.
If you would like to find out more about this amazing woman and her recipes, her website is up and running so click HERE for MARGARET’S WEBSITE
Now to Stephanie… You might know Stephanie from her ventures to put kitchen gardens into schools! A woman after my own heart. Stephanie Alexander’s “The Cook’s Companion” is a sort of ‘bible’ of Australian cooking. If you don’t own any other cookbook (that is never going to happen) then this should be the one that you have. In the introduction to this book Stephanie discusses her passion for food and why she dislikes Genetically Modified (GM) foods. She is very passionate about farmers markets and how the big supermarkets are not giving the consumer the best, freshest possible food. She discussed the basic equipment required for the kitchen. She doesn’t mention the THERMOMIX, but that’s OK 🙂 many of the basic necessities, the Thermomix replaces! She is a woman way ahead of her time because this book was first published in 1996 and she was talking about things that people are only now just realising are important. I hope that farmers markets, and people’s awareness and dislike of genetically modified food is a food movement that continues to grow and strengthen as people become aware of how important their food actually is!
Like Margaret, Stephanie’s cookbook is what it says it is “The complete book of ingredients and recipes for the Australian Kitchen.” From Brains to Tripe, Chicken to Chelsea buns… it’s in the book. My best story about this cookbook is when I received a large box of organic produce from a friend and in it was the biggest cabbage I have ever seen. My first thought was “what the heck am I going to do with this?” I can’t eat this much coleslaw or steamed garlic cabbage. I don’t think my flat mates would be very happy with the end result! 🙂 So I went to Stephanie to see what cabbage inspiration she could give me. On page 211, I found ‘One Pot Cabbage Soup,’ I made said soup and fell in love. It has become one of those recipes that I make every winter, pop in the freezer and eat when I need something warm, comforting and hearty. I have a variation of it in my soup eBook in the Shop for only $3.99 with 9 other fabulous recipes.
There are many recipes that have inspired me to try something different, Slow-Cooked Shallots on page 640, Pickled Plums on page 742, and Green Tomato Pie with Polenta Crust to name a few.
Stephanie has a wonderful website, with lots of information on all sorts of things. She even has her own app! Click HERE for STEPHANIES’s WEBSITE
So do yourself a favour and get these two amazing encyclopedias and use them. At least you will know that you are getting better and more informative information than Google could ever supply you!
If you have a cookbook that you would like me to look at before buying let me know, there is a good chance I have it or if I don’t, it is probably on my list to obtain, so I will get it and start cooking!
I hope you enjoyed reading these reviews. Don’t forget to drop me and line and let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading and Happy Cooking.