While packing for a long stay in a rented house by the beach this summer, I took a chance and left behind all of my tried and true but somewhat tired cook books for my new Recipes for Every Day by Jane Cumberbatch. I'm so glad I did, it was a wonderful, relaxing and memorable holiday due in part to what and how we ate.
Such simple, delicious food we had, much of it from local farms or fishermen. Among our favorite recipes were mozzarella and rocket salad (Cumberbatch urges splurging on buffalo mozzarella, and we were grateful she did), roast veggie couscous, rhubarb crumble (one guest said it was the most delicious thing she had ever eaten), and the book's dressings and sauces and salads served with grilled meat and fish.
As a fan of Cumberbatch's other books (especially Pure Style Living
, which lays out her vision of making the home "a more sensual and practical environment" ) and her blog at purestyleonline.com, I was pleased to find that her cookbook offered the same kind of vision through her recipes, which are sprinkled with personal and historical anecdotes and practical suggestions for gardening, sewing and even novel-reading. Not just a cookbook, this is sort of a how-to for living in the moment and enjoying the most that each day has to offer. Having succeeded for the most part this summer, I look forward to cooling temperatures and trying recipes for apple and ginger pudding; chestnut, chorizo and tomato soup and chicken, leek and parsley pie, among others.