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FJM (Scotland)

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The Night He Left
The Night He Left
by Sue Lawrence
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched, an excellent read, 5 Jun. 2016
This review is from: The Night He Left (Paperback)
Fiction superbly woven into histortocal fact .Well researched ( e.g 19thC diving paraphanelia with regard to diving for the bodies of the Tay Bridge Rail disaster). Anyone with a knowledge of the Angus Glens and Dundee will be able to paint a picture through the words of Lawrences's characters.The book tells the tales of two feisty females whose partners have disappeared.The leading roles captivated me - especially 19thC Ann Craig. 21st century Fiona is interesting too, but I am a historian. Lawrence's profound research gives Ann the winning edge, in my opinion.Centuries apart the stories of the women meet in a house near the bandstand in Dundee. You can see the bandstand from the Dundee train.


Extreme Greens: Understanding Seaweeds
Extreme Greens: Understanding Seaweeds
by Sally McKenna
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.00

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 13 Jan. 2014
When you reach the final stage of writing a book, the very last thing you need to hear is that 'somebody' has written a very decent book on the same subject... after a very long walk on an Outer Hebridean beach, where I exhausted my chagrin by pulling dulse from storm-wrecked tangle, as it glistened in the late autumn sun; I mustered up the courage to order Sally McKenna's Extreme Greens, Understanding Seaweed.

It is a stunning book. The food and marine algae (species ID) photography is breathtaking and the recipes are oceans beyond sushi. Sally McKenna is a forager, and a lady who creates recipes, which tempt my taste buds. McKenna even adds sugar kelp and ginger to rhubarb for cordial but her inclusion of seaweed in the recipes is very subtle, as any seasoned, seaweed cook will already understand. Seaweed hasn't been added to justify adapting a recipe to a 'seaweed book'; nor does she use seaweeds,which don't work well in the kitchen.This book cudgels a challenge for the inquisitive but novice, marine algae cook and there is plenty for the more advanced phycologist too.

Extreme Greens Understanding Seaweeds begins with some seaweed chat relating to identification, relevance of the moon and tides, harvesting, drying and storing. It's a comprehensive introduction.
The recipe section of the book is extensive and there is beautiful photography for those cooks, who need to know exactly what the finished dish 'should' look like. There are also sections on cosmetics, foraging and even making sea salt from scratch, which rather unsurprisingly, McKenna and I do in much the same way.

I've already asked if I can 'borrow' her seaweed oven recipe for my book. Sally Mckenna is a real kindred spirit and I have not only enjoyed reading but learnt from, her book. I purchased my book direct from John and Sally Mckennas' Guides ' website, where you will also find out about all the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland.

I recommend buying this book, especially if you live near the coast. Darina Allen said of it, "A book that needed to be written." Indeed it did, but I am praying hard that one day, there is a small corner for another, albeit rather similar book on your bookshelf too .
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 24, 2014 9:42 AM BST


Edible Flowers: 25 Recipes and an A-Z Pictorial Directory of Culinary Flora
Edible Flowers: 25 Recipes and an A-Z Pictorial Directory of Culinary Flora
by Kathy Brown
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Less would have been more, 17 Dec. 2013
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I can't pinpoint why I am disappointed by this book because it works methodically through edible flowers : history, cookery, harvesting and planting but perhaps it is too inclusive and the order is rather higgledy piggledy. Sowing seeds and taking cuttings are after harvesting and cookery and complementary foods and flowers is at the end, which is not logical to me. However, this is a publishing decision and it is unfair to mark this against the author. Perhaps I was looking for a greater depth and culinary inspiration but there is certainly comprehensive cover, so to award 3 stars would be harsh.


500 Baby & Toddler Foods
500 Baby & Toddler Foods
by Beverley Glock
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Refreshingly Different Approach, 25 Sept. 2013
When I run classes for young mothers on weaning, it's always good to have a decent book as a reference point. I've usually directed folk to Annabel Karmel as a well known author with a good reputation but with one reservation: her tendency to 'child play on food'. I don't see the need to trick children into eating vegetables by an attractive smiley face or similar, on a plate or bowl. Busy parents rarely have time to do this anyway. Glock's book tells it as it is, to the extent that it would be a useful addition to have on a family cookery bookshelf.You'll find many simple supper recipes in her book. Each recipe is accompanied by a photograph and states how many child or adult portions the recipe feeds.

The book is divided into sections: baby's first foods, moving forward, pre-toddler and toddler foods and the age that the recipe is directed towards, is clearly marked on the bottom of the page. It is a hardback book which will withstand the wear and tear of a busy kitchen but it's small enough for a keen toddler cook to flick through the pages. Glock runs Splat Cookery school, so I suppose getting parents cooking with a babe in arms, is part of her campaign. There's nutritional input from a paediatric nutritionist but Glock spells her messages out clearly, through the recipes: introduce new ingredients one at time... buy the book for more tips it's worth it.


Raising Boys: Why Boys Are Different - And How To Help Them Become Happy And Well-Balanced Men
Raising Boys: Why Boys Are Different - And How To Help Them Become Happy And Well-Balanced Men
by Steve Biddulph
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not as thought provoking as I'd hoped, 15 July 2013
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As a mother of five boys and a girl I was intrigued by the title and prepared to feel I'd done everything completely wrong or some empathy with the author. In the event, Raising boys didn't inspire me, feel me with remorse or engage debate.


Collins Pocket Guide - Sea Shore of Britain and Europe
Collins Pocket Guide - Sea Shore of Britain and Europe
by Peter J. Hayward
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful but tiny print, 28 May 2013
I love this book but I am of the age where specs are required for reading in bad light. The print is tiny. I think that it may be a wee bit too complicated for a handy, pocket sized reference book for use on a windy beach. It's an erudite read but I'd rather do the classification etc at home, rather than on the beach. I would have preferred to have more information on the more obvious or at least highlighted clarity, differentiating from the more obscure.


Celebrate: A year of British festivities for families and friends
Celebrate: A year of British festivities for families and friends
by Pippa Middleton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.00

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Scottish Review, 26 May 2013
I live on the Outer Hebrides and was delighted to find this book in Waitrose (price £10) so my review isn't a verified Amazon purchase and I am proud of this. I use Amazon for Island living convenience but take little pride in confessing this. I have read the press and indeed @Pippatips (parody) on Twitter. I love the book and from a Scottish point of view, Pippa ticks the celebration boxes. Beyond recipes ANTA is perfect for Scottish celebratory style. Most of the recipes serve eight, which is perfect for entertaining. Finnan haddock is noted for Cullen Skink but smoked haddock, a more available substitute, is suggested as an alternative. I like recipe books that suggest helpful ingredient replacements, thereby making accessibility of ingredients easy for rural folk. There are tips for children hanging around at Hogmanay to see in the New Year, which is realistic and family, inclusive; it goes with my feel of the book. Celebrate is more than a collection of recipes. The inclusion of Burns' poetry (in the Scottish section) is not original (there is mention of the Wee, sleekit, cowran, tim'rous beastie, which I love, if not in my kitchen) but the literary reference has been researched. Within the recipes, style and party games; A. A. Milne's Winnie -the -Pooh pops up as well. Anybody who gave this book one star is harsh for this reason alone.Bravo Pippa Middleton and good luck with your Waitrose column.


The Thrifty Forager: Living Off Your Local Landscape
The Thrifty Forager: Living Off Your Local Landscape
by Alys Fowler
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the thrifty book lover, 20 April 2013
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Rather too many pages of this book are attributed to what I'll describe as artistic leaf design, and I'll leave you to decide if a whole page dedicated to wild rocket and pink or red shoes is thrifty. On the positive side it is a comprehensive plant guide and the recipes are tempting; I only wish that there were more of them.


Foraging: The Essential Guide to Free Wild Food
Foraging: The Essential Guide to Free Wild Food
by John Lewis-Stempel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A replacement copy, 20 April 2013
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There are two sure ways to lose a friend, one is to borrow the other is to lend... I've just replaced my copy of Foraging: The Essential Guide to Free Wild Food. I missed it. The author is witty, the lore fascinates and the recipes are easily doable and far from dull. John Lewis-Stempel tells it as it is - foraging sea buckthorn is a stinky pastime.


A Handbook of Scotland's Wild Harvests
A Handbook of Scotland's Wild Harvests
by Fi Martynoga
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Scottish and Inclusive, 27 Mar. 2013
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This book, which has been carefully edited by Fi Martynoga is a collection of edible (mostly) wild `essays' by wise Scots who care about and have respect for their Scottish countryside. Sustainability and responsible harvesting is well documented but the joy of this book is that individuals can share their 'specialised' knowledge. If a forager lives in a land locked area (yes we live on an island but some folk may be miles from the sea), call on somebody who knows their seaweed to write Marine Algae. It's a very clever idea. I think the black and white illustrations work well; the book isn't an identification manual. Novice foragers should go on courses or check with reference books that don't fit in a field rucksack. I found the folklore particularly entertaining and the chapter on growing firewood thought provoking. I wish that this book had been published in time to include it on a suggested `further reading list' for my wild cookery book. An absolute must buy for Scottish foragers.


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