Welcome to what will become our regular look at new (and maybe not so new!) books that have got us twitching to click on our Wishlist button…
I don’t do a huge amount of hand sewing or embroidery – I’d really love to, but all those different threads and fabrics and styles are pretty flipping daunting. Judging by the reviews that Alicia Paulson’s Embroidery Companion: Classic Designs for Modern Living has got after its release in the USA, this could be the book that would calm my anxieties. It’s out here in the next couple of days. You can seen Alicia’s work and designs on her wonderful blog. Her embroidery style is modern but it has a very endearing vintage quality – it’s extremely inspiring.
The theme in cook books at the moment seems to be speed and simplicity – a couple of books that I might be tempted by are Thirty Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver and Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Easy. These two are both out this month, but what’s much more likely to get me clicking the Buy button is Rose Prince’s brilliantly titled Kitchenella: The Secrets of Women: Heroic, Simple, Nurturing Cookery – for Everyone. Prince’s argument is that in spite of the popularity of cookery programmes and aspirational cookery books, we are creating a generation of ‘kitchen orphans’ and traditional home cooking and economy skills are in serious decline. Her aim is to pass on the ideas, advice and recipes of women that are in serious danger of being lost. I was taught to cook by my mum, and she gave me confidence and encouragement to experiment – I was cooking family meals from my early teens (clever mum!). I also inherited my godmother’s collected recipes, which have been a huge inspiration, so I’m already convinced by her argument. I’ll be intrigued to see what Rose Prince has gathered together here.
I feel so lucky that my mum, and my school to a lesser extent, taught me about cooking and baking, and helped me feel really positive about home cooking, because I know it’s not something that comes easily to everyone. Do you enjoy cooking with and for your family, or is it just a chore? Do you think a book like this one cold make you feel better about it?