Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From plot to plate all in one book, 14 Nov 2010
This review is from: Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion: Dig, Plant, Water, Grow, Harvest, Chop, Cook (Hardcover)
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. The link between growing and eating is the dominant theme

Because of her previous work with schoolchildren, Stephanie is particularly keen to play-up the opportunities to get children involved in both the gardening and the cooking aspects, and her book is liberally interspersed with Especially for Kids sections.

Stephanie's book has lots to offer for the beginner, but it also has a wealth of useful advice for the experienced reader too. As a gardener of 25 years or more, I can see that the information provided in the book it sensible, practical and "tested". My wife Jane has a similar length of experience in the cookery field and is a very accomplished amateur cook. She confirms my view that the culinary content of the book is similarly excellent. One point she particularly noticed is that the vegetable element of the recipes remains the star attraction - the recipes mostly use "store-cupboard" ingredients, without asking you to buy loads of fancy extra bits and pieces to pretty them up.

My conclusion: I'm impressed. Without a doubt, this book will appeal hugely to gardeners, cooks and general Foodies. I recommend you put it on your Christmas wishlist straight away...
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