Foodie book reviews and some snow business

I took a little time out this week to enjoy the snow in Brighton’s Stanmer Woods. Besides, I've been doing so much cooking and eating recently that I needed the exercise!

The woods were deserted when I arrived, and all you could hear was the creaking of the branches weighed down with snow. It was the kind of peaceful tranquillity that makes you happy to be alive. That was until a lady with a voice like a foghorn came stomping through the woods and stood calling for her dog, aptly named ‘Dodger’, non-stop for about 5 minutes. Dodger eventually emerged reluctantly from a nearby bush and I could swear he practically rolled his eyes at me as he trotted past.

Snowy weather is the perfect time to snuggle up indoors and catch up on some reading, and I thought I’d recommend a couple of books I’ve enjoyed recently.

The first is Seasonal Food by Paul Waddington

There's no shortage of cookery books featuring seasonal recipes, but the more I’ve got into seasonal cooking, the more I’ve wanted to know about the history of seasonality. I'm a bit geeky like that.

Seasonal Food is a month-by-month guide, covering veg, fruit and meat. It tells you when foods are in season and a bit of background as to why those foods are good to eat in that particular month. There's a handy seasonal calendar towards the end of the book too.

There are a few recipes dotted throughout the chapters, but to be honest I found some a little basic and that’s not really what I bought the book for. I think I'll be sticking with my Nigel Slater ‘Tender’ books for seasonal cooking inspiration!

Anyway, it’s a fab little book, reasonably priced and I’ve learnt loads about seasonality.

The second book is Food for Free by Richard Mabey. No, it’s not a book about shoplifting, but it is a handy little guide to foraging. It was listed in the further reading section of Seasonal Food, so I borrowed a copy from my local library before finding it so useful that I bought my own.

This book really is a marvel and lists a lot of things I’d never even thought about eating, plus a lot of really handy facts for identifying mushrooms, something that does scare me a little. There’s also a guide to seasonal availability and some ‘picking rules’. It's the kind of book I'll dip into again and again.

You can pick up a copy of the pocket edition for just over £3 – a total bargin!

S0 that's it with the book reviews. I've got a nice 'n' spicy recipe to share with you in my next post, but for now I'm off to make some Rhubarb jam!

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