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Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion: Dig, Plant, Water, Grow, Harvest, Chop, Cook Hardcover – Illustrated, 1 Oct 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Ltd (1 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844008789
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844008780
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 5.7 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Beautifully illustrated and the recipes are delicious. --The Bookseller, 30 July 2010

About the Author

Stephanie Alexander is a cook, restauranteur, and one of Australia's most highly regarded food writers. She has written eleven books, including The Cook's Companion, which is a best-seller and has become a kitchen bible with over 400,000 copies sold. Stephanie was one of the early pioneers of fresh seasonal ingredients and supporting small producers. Her mission has been to help people to understand and use fresh food in their daily lives. To this end, she has initiated gardening and cooking programmes in inner-city schools. Author Location: Melbourne, Australia

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. J. Willis on 14 Nov. 2010
My husband and I are sharing this book - he is a keen gardener and I am a keen cook so it is an ideal book for both of us. Although the gardening advice means little to me, I love the recipes in the book. There are so many recipes that this would be a vauluable guide to cooking produce in season even if you had no garden at all. I was particulary impressed with the range of simple but effctive dishes included - not many of us have hours to spare for cooking everyday meals - and the delicious twists on traditional dishes from all over the world.

Now I'll hand over to my husband who has been reading the gardening sections of the book:

Stephanie Alexander is not someone I have been aware of before now, though she is evidently well known in Australia, where she made a name for herself through her scheme to establish kitchen gardens in primary schools, inculcating in children from an early age the love of gardening and respect for Nature. This is a principle that I too feel strongly about, so she gets me On-Side immediately.

In the introduction to her book, Stephanie writes about her own experiences long ago with establishing her own kitchen garden, and the trials and tribulations that this involved, which eventually led her to gain confidence in her food-production and subsequently cookery skills. This is something with which most amateur gardeners and cooks will empathise. The approach adopted in her book is uncannily close to that which I have adopted in my own garden and the blog in which I now describe it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sue Vickers-Thompson on 18 Oct. 2010
Stephanie Alexander - Kitchen Garden Companion

As the previous reviewer says, this is a massive tome of a book, set to give your biceps a good workout in preparation for the double-digging etc., although this is very specifically not required for her style of gardening! The fabric jacket echoes the excellent production, with two comprehensive indices making it easy to find either recipes (by name and by type) or plant. The photographs illustrate both the plants and the dishes and are beautiful in their texture as well as being an aid to identification.

It starts with a very good guide to her style, which majors on container and raised bed gardening, giving ideas for recycling wooden containers such as apple crates and wine barrels to hold herbs and vegetables. Each chapter in the A to Z list, which contains some more unusual ingredients such as aramanth and scented geraniums, starts with a list of basic "how tos" including soil type and preparation, how to grow, harvesting and, interestingly, companion planting. This is then expanded over a couple of pages to include a section on children's involvement, before the recipes start. She has launched a major initiative in Australian schools on involving children by setting up kitchen gardens in the schools (something my own school did in the UK from the 1st World War onward!) and designing recipes to be child friendly, both in the cooking and the eating - it really does go from Dig, Plant, Water, Grow, Harvest, Chop, to Cook! There is also a very good glossary.

The recipes are straightforward but interesting, including broccoli with home made orecchiette, interesting spice mixes for lamb shanks, pickles, variations on master recipes, e.g.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wiltshire Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Nov. 2010
If you're looking for a comprehensive guide to growing fruit and vegetables, plus lots of recipes to deal with all of your produce, then you need look no further than Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion.

Stephanie hails from Australia, where she is a very popular cookery writer. In addition she's pioneered getting children involved in both growing and eating food, resulting in her founding the Kitchen Garden Foundation, which has projects throughout Australia. It means the book is slanted towards getting children involved, but the book is useful to all irrespective of age.

It's also a hefty tome, with over 700 pages featuring over 50 fruit and vegetables. The first part of the book is geared towards making sure the reader is adequately equipped for both garden and kitchen; plus there's a general introduction to getting started in the garden and gardening with kids.

The bulk of the book deals with each crop in alphabetical order: from Amaranth through to Zucchini. For each crop there is a page of general information about growing, followed by a couple of pages going into a bit more depth about growing and harvesting, plus sections on container gardening, preparation for the kitchen and a final section called Especially for Kids, but which has a wealth of unusual facts which I hadn't seen before, so it was interesting to me too (or perhaps I'm a big kid at heart?).

The gardening section is then followed by a number of recipes: sweet and/or savoury as applicable. The recipes reminded me very much of eating out in Australia: they draw on the wealth of culinary influences from the many immigrant communities there including Italy and Greece through to Asian fusion food, so there is plenty of inspiration to suit all tastes.
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