Published in the Inner West Independent and City News.
The Free Range Cook (RRP $49.99 ABC Books) by Annabel Langbein
This is a companion cookbook to a television series by the same name, but you won’t find yourself sighing and asking whether the celebrity chef realises you’re working in a home kitchen not a restaurant. Instead it may just inspire you to cook with fresh seasonal ingredients from your garden or from the producers at your local farmer’s market if, like me, you lack your own garden. If you’re looking for a gift cookbook, this one is beautifully photographed with lots of shots from the luscious green surrounds of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Annabel’s Lamb, Rosemary and Apple Sausage Rolls are clever; and I’ll definitely be knocking up a Pear, Walnut and Haloumi Salad this summer. I also like the idea of topping a Shepherd’s Pie with Parsnip and Carrot Mash. Throw in her achievable Pork Rillettes with Prune Topping and I have myself a dinner party! Now to gather some twigs and leaves to make my plating look au natural…
The Complete Book of Butchering, Smoking, Curing and Sausage Making (RRP $34.99 Capricorn Link) by Philip Hasheider
Now I’ve been trying to get back to basics at home, buying and butchering whole rumps to save some money and allow us to eat organic, sustainable meat all the time. So this book was of particular interest to me. However I wasn’t quite ready for it to begin with choosing a method to put down a live cow. It also covers bison, deer, goats, pig, sheep, poultry and assorted small game, and is littered with handy recipes. If you’re ready to really get back to nature, it’s a comprehensive guide to turning live animals into dead ones and then into juicy steaks. I like that it exists, but I wasn’t quite ready for it.