When someone sends me a cookbook to review I am usually very excited. For me books are oxygen, without them you just can’t live. Food related books are somewhat different, I could LIVE without a cookbook but it just wouldn’t be as much fun. Jamie At Home brings all that to a whole new level and if you too were staring at the 400+ page tome, they sent me you would know exactly what I was typing about.
Jamie At Home isn’t a cookbook so much as it a cooking and gardening extravaganza falling somewhere between a guide, a journal, an encyclopedia and a bible. Many cooks recommend that you keep a cooking journal so if you try something new you can take notes about what went in when or just remember what you did so you can make it again. This feels like Jamie has just copied out his own journal and it really has got to be the ultimate chef’s journal because as a reference tool I can’t see you needing too many others.
Like many people these days, Jamie Oliver has taken to growing his own produce. Fresh is terrific and green (in the environmental way) because just think of all the green house gases you are saving when you use vegies that never saw the inside of a gas guzzling vehicle let alone all of the pesticides you are avoiding! Environment aside, anyone who grows their own produce wants to be able to whip up dishes worthy of the love and attention you have lavished on your garden all year long. Jamie At Home helps you make the most of anything your garden grows.
Appropriately, since there is such an emphasis on the garden, the book is divided up into seasonal chapters with main ingredient subcategories, for example; Spring – Asparagus, Eggs, Lamb, Rhubarb; Summer – Barbecue, Cabbage Family, Carrots and Beets, Climbing Beans, Zucchini, Onions, Peas and Fava Beans, Pizza, Potatoes, Strawberries, Summer Salads, Tomatoes; Autumn – Chillies And Peppers, Feathered Game, Furred Game, Mushrooms, Orchard Fruit, Pickles; Winter – Leeks, Pastry, Squash, Winter Salads, Winter Veg; and then ends with the Useful Stuff category including My Favorite Seed And Plant Varieties, Where To Buy Them, Other Good Addresses And Websites.
This book has everything the gardening cook wants and needs and then some. One thing I particularly liked was the feel of the book, Jamie’s voice really comes across just like on his show. The full colour pics of every recipe make it difficult to choose one, they all look good so you will just have to start in the spring and work your way through them all.
This spring asparagus recipe is from the book. Sorry I am not including the picture, you are just going to have to imagine how wonderful it looks! Enjoy!