Reading This Week
Ferment for Good so that I could read it voraciously and tell him which recipes he should try. My answer? All of them. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, yoghurt? All here. But wait, there's more. Vegies, condiments, miso, kvass, labneh, pineapple wine, wild mead.. oh my goodness, what can't you ferment? Very little, by the looks of it. If you want to dip your toes into the world of fermenting, this is the book for you. You will no doubt end by diving right in and fermenting everything in sight. All I need now is a nice underground cave to store it all in..
Sharon Flynn's voice and stories shine through the recipes and a wealth of information. I love the suggestions of how to eat your ferments and what to pair them with.. this is sometimes a forgotten aspect of fermenting information. My only problem with this book is.. how can I avoid giving it back?
Botanist James Wong has done an extraordinary thing - he has written a gardening book with a difference. I can say this with authority because I have been reading gardening books for over twenty years now, and the planting lists are somewhat samey-samey. Homegrown Revolution is jam-packed with edible plants that are easy to grow in a cool climate (UK) that you have a) never heard of, or b) didn't know were edible.
For instance, it turns out that dahlia tubers and canna tubers are edible. Also hosta shoots and daylily flowers. There are also edible gardening-gold tips such as how to grow oyster mushrooms on a telephone book, plus a large number of plants that I have never heard of but will be looking up soon. I discovered that my Cape gooseberries are marketed in the UK as Inca berries and flown in from Colombia. Who knew? In my garden they self-seed all over the place. I eat them by the handful, but now I know I can make them into jam.
But wait, what about edible houseplants? Cardamom plants, the leaves of which can be popped into the chai mix or added to flavour rice. Vanilla grass to make your own vanilla essence, or Murraya koenigii curry leaves anyone? I am currently looking out for all of these..
This book I found at the library, and have already renewed the loan once as I avidly take notes. It is on my list of Books to Buy When I Have a Proper Income..