It’s getting to that peak time of year when whole heaps of books are launched, ready to tempt the Christmas shoppers I guess. Or those of us who could probably just squeeze in at least one more cook book to our (groaning) shelves. Here’s my very personal view of what looks interesting for the next couple of weeks.
1. I Know How to Cook by Ginette Mathiot – this is a bit of a cheat, as in France this is an absolute classic book to be found on shelves in many homes, but this is the first time it’s been released in English. First published in 1932, this is an authority of every classic French dish going, from Croque Monsieur to cassoulet. With 1200 recipes to go at, it could be a very Gallic winter in this household!
2. The Classic Whisky Guide by Jim Murray – apparently, Jim Murray is the world’s only full-time whisky writer. Which, if you’re a whisky lover, sounds like a very hard job indeed. This covers every kind of whisky, from the highlands to islands, through to the whisky and bourbon of Kentucky and Tennessee. This would make a great gift for a whisky lover, particularly combined with a bottle of their favourite, or something new to them. Try The Whisky Exchange for an incredibly extensive selection, both well-known and more unusual.
3. Valvona & Crolla: A Year at an Italian Table by Mary & Philip Contini – just what you need to counteract all that Gallic activity from the first book! Two hundred recipes from the legendary Italian food shop and restaurant that will give you hours of wonderful smelling dishes throughout the year.
4. Life is Sweet: A Collection of Splendid Old-Fashioned Confectionery by Hope and Greenwood – if you’re feeling blue, you can’t beat a quarter of old fashioned sweets. And Hope and Greenwood have been one of those leading the charge to bring back our old favourites. This book is a great gift for those with a sweet tooth, or nostalgic tastes, and includes recipes for things like Sherbet Lemon Marshmallows, Midnight Dark Truffles and Coconut Ice. Worth buying now and perhaps making your own sweets to give as Christmas gifts.
5. Rôtis by Stéphane Reynaud– as we come into Autumn, it’s the perfect time to buy this book, as it’s all about roasts, whether pot or oven roasted. There’s a roast for every night of the week, from meat to fish, and even includes recipes for leftovers, so very credit crunch friendly. Written by the author of the fabulous Ripailles, this is a great book for meat and fish lovers in search of new comfort food recipes.
So, some great titles coming up, and I am sure there will be some more to come before Santa gets his sleigh hitched up for this year. Watch out for a cook book by Matt Dawson, and Keith Floyd’s autobiography, which I imagine will be quite a read!