The Friday Five – On pies, baking and Britishness

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It could be because we’ve gone beyond the Last Night of the Proms, which is always a signal of autumn for me, or that publishers are preparing for Christmas, but there is a raft of new books out that are calling out for attention. And there is a bit of a theme, all around real comfort food. Here’s five that I’m thinking of making room for:

 

Jamie's Great Britain - the one Jamie Oliver cookbook that's on my shelves, I think this is a great gift for a food lover

 

Jamie’s Great Britain – well, he’s been around a lot of the globe, so I think it was inevitable that Jamie Oliver ended up back in the UK at some point. The cynic in me would say this is capturing a trend for Britishness that we’ll see grow as we head into the Olympics, but it looks like this will encompass all the great flavours that Britain is famous for. I’m sure this will be a huge success, and keep the focus on the ever improving British food scene.

The Hairy Bikers’ Perfect Pies – love the Hairy Bikers, love pies, which has to make this a perfect book for me. As you’d might expect this covers sweet and savoury, small and large, traditional and new. Something for everyone.

Pieminister: A Pie for All Seasons – told you I love pies, and I love Pieminister, been buying their pies pretty much from when they started. All the favourites are there, and try something different like a St Valentine’s pie. I guess you don’t need both of the pie books, but would be hard pressed to choose between them!

Tea with Bea: Recipes from Bea’s of Bloomsbury – more stuff I love. Proper tea time, plenty of baking, cake. This book certainly covers all of those, and then some. I wouldn’t know where to start but quite sure I would find plenty of willing volunteers to try whatever I was testing out. Teatime could become very popular!

Ginger Pig Meat Book – I love the description of this as a meat manual for the inquisitive domestic cook, which I guess means you can get beyond your usual meat cooking routine from this. Covering different meats, and by month, as well as all the accompaniments, this gives you endless variations and possibilities. I don’t know what aromatic melting pork is, other than delicious, but it makes me want to really make it!

So five choices that really reflect great food, the sort of stuff I love to cook, that are perfect as we head into winter. I would say these are not the sort of books to read in bed though, you’ll be starving by page 6!

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The Friday Five – Springing forth with new titles!

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I know I wrote about new titles tempting me from Amazon recently, but I’m going to revisit the topic as they were all about baking! And there’s a whole new batch coming up very soon that are really worth considering clearing out some space on your bookshelf for!

The Good Cook by Simon Hopkinson – one of my favourite writers, a new book from Simon is definitely worth making space on your shelves for. His recipes are brilliant, accessible to pretty much any level of cook, and guaranteed great results. He’s also been a bit of an unknown, preferring writing, cooking and radio but now taking the plunge as this is the book to accompany a new series coming soon to the BBC. I can find no transmission date but the book is published on 7 July.

Tom Aikens: Easy – not so long to wait for this one, as it’s published on 7 April. This is based on the cooking style of Tom’s Kitchen, the more informal side of his cooking. This is more simple, day to day cooking but with a tasty fish. No idea if the fish pie recipe is in here, but I won’t be cooking it if it is. But if the slow cooked lamb shank is in, then can recommend that.

Supper Club: Recipes and notes from the underground restaurant by Kerstin Rodgers – somewhere I’d much rather go and eat at than the owner of the previous books place, nights at the Underground Restaurant always sound incredible! Dr T had a slight sulk on when I didn’t get organised for us to go to the Patrick O’Brian night to try the boiled baby. I’m not sure if that recipe is in here, but I’m thrilled for Kerstin that she got a book deal and the wider recognition she deserves. Worth it whether you’re cooking dinner for yourselves or a houseful. I’d like the birthday fairy to remember this one when my time comes. Published yesterday, 31 March, so could be yours to read by tomorrow morning!

The Ginger Pig Meat Book by Tim Wilson and Fran Warde – you’d expect to get darn good meat recipes from the man behind The Ginger Pig. Recipes for every kind of meat, in every season, and some absolutely beautiful photography. If you don’t already have the River Cottage Meat Book, then definitely get this on your shelf. And even if you do have it then…! Published 2 May.

For The Love of Food: Vegetarian Recipes from the Heart by Denis Cotter – just to redress the balance for the last one, this book shows how great vegetarian food can be when it’s cooked brilliantly. I always think the trick with vegetarian food is to finish a dish and not have missed the meat, and these recipes are likely to come up to exactly that mark. Interesting that it has a section on  barbecues, an area that often veggies get left out from!

So, lets do our national duty and support British writers! Go on, find a little space on your bookshelf for one of these!

Great shot of new growth breaking through by Unhindered by Talent on Flickr.

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