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The River Cottage Cookbook Hardcover – 3 Feb 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; New edition edition (3 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007375271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007375271
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 19.3 x 5.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Ordinarily the word "lifestyle" is more likely to be applied to slender magazine articles puffing lofts full of Eames furniture rather than books about smallholdings in Dorset. The River Cottage Cookbook, however, is a hefty 450 pages of pure, gumbooted rural lifestyle; and one could not wish it shorter. Cook, broadcaster and food-writer-at-large Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has been ensconced at River Cottage for a number of years, cultivating his vegetable garden, raising chickens, pigs and even cattle for his table and taking occasional potshots at the local wildlife. His achievements have been chronicled on television; now they appear between hard covers.

Although it calls itself a cookbook and does contain a large number of fine recipes, the book's scope is much broader. Really, this is more like one of those "Enquire Within on Everything" volumes 19th-century settlers used to take to the outback with them, full of instructions for mixing whitewash, worming dogs and making a bag pudding. Starting with vegetables, proceeding to livestock and fish (River Cottage does indeed have a river and is only five miles from the sea) and concluding with the wild food, floral and faunal, of the hedgerow, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall explains how he grows, gathers, kills and cooks his own food.

There is a lot of information here, and a lot of hard reality, too: he is very clear and forthright about the place of death in this kind of life. But then this is a very clear and forthright book overall, a very engaging and really quite inspirational manual of how to live the country life so many of us dream about. It's well-illustrated, too, with Simon Wheeler's fine photographs of Hugh at work chasing chickens, skinning eels, carrying piglets and so on. The food in the River Cottage kitchen looks wonderful, too, though the photo of a cod-head glaring resentfully from under a beehive of parsley in a stock pot carries many more resonances than it is possible to summarise here. --Robin Davidson

Review

A magnificently unsqueamish collection of instructions and recipes -- Nicci Gerrard, Observer, 25 November 2001

A practical and lively smallholder's bible, essential reading ... I am prepared to bet this will prove one of my favourite cookery titles this year -- Philippa Davenport, Financial Times, 17 February 2001

As good for the armchair as it is in the kitchen, even worth packing for reference outdoors -- Tom Jaine, Guardian, 17 March 2001

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Having loved the television series this book was a great read. It's not just a cook book but full of advice on how to be more selective about the quality of food you put on your table. After the introduction I was ready to dig up my hostas and plant cabages and maybe even invest in a chicken or two. The book doesn't preach about organic foods and vegetarianism but instead offers advice to those who object to the way farm animals are reared and tells them to get their own or buy from reputable butchers or farmers markets. The stories are amusing, he admits his faliures as well as sucesses. It's enough to make you want to move to Dorset, if it weren't for the fact that he and Harbour Lights have caused it to become a desirable county for more than just the retired, and house prices have rocketed. I think that we can all, with the help of this book, aim for a slightly better way of living. Oh and the recipies are excellent, if sometimes a little strange.
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Format: Hardcover
As a supermarket-shopping, restaurant loving, born and bred Londoner, I did not buy this book out of any mis-placed romantic notions about self-sufficiency and country living, but because of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who is the best TV presenter on the subjects of food and people I've ever seen, and who turns out to be just as good a writer. His complete lack of pretension,his intelligence, his personal passion for his subject and his immunity to crowd-pleasing or 'style' make him inspiring, trustworthy and hugely likeable. This book will not persuade me to abandon urban life, but it has made me think deeply about the food chain, and motivated me to shop better, cook more and relish real food. This is a practical and sensual treat, and an absorbing and rewarding read.
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Format: Hardcover
a fantastic book describing all the best (and some of the worst) parts of natural food production. hugh's passion for natural food flies from every page of this book. hugh does a magnificent job of explaining why people hunt,shoot and fish, and gives great recipes for how to deal with the products of these sports. a truly great cookbook, and a highly practical guide to most things!!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is set to become a classic.Only two other books, in my opinion, rank in the same catogry. John Seymour`s "complete book of self suffciency" and Monty Don`s "Fork to Fork". Hugh Fernly Whittingstall provides the often overlooked conection between the food on our plates and its origins and process. His opinions reflect the reality of the production process, casting aside the blinkered view of the average supermarket shopper. He also opens up and explores the endless possibilities that lie, freely avialable, on our own doorstep. From cultivation to cookery Hugh`s enthusiasim leaps from the page. So, when is the sequel ?
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Format: Hardcover
I was given this book. It cost me nothing.
And since then, I've bought chickens, a cow, pigs, a polytunnel, crayfish traps, built Feather Hamlets, eaten better than ever before, understood where my food comes from, been able to rationalise my dislike of supermarkets, got drunk on homemade wine and still been able to eat a Saturday night kebab without fretting.
Whereever you stand on food and it's production, this book can offer you something. Down to earth advice, a handful of recipes, a sense of fun, and lots of practical help and enthusiasm.
It doesn't tell you how to make a perfect beef casserole, but it will tell you how to choose a perfect cow, keep her happy, breed from her, cross her, milk her, and butcher her in the run up to a dozen pretty fine dishes.
Has to be better than buying a clingfilm wrapped package, surely?
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Format: Hardcover
This book really has it all. It describes in detail how to not only make incredible food but the way to 'rear' it. I love my career but I would give it up tomorrow to live the life Hugh describes! You will never own a more interesting cookjery book. I give this book frequently as a present at Christmas and Birthdays etc. - it is that good! the book left me with such a warm feeling that I wished Hugh was a personal friend,if he ever revisits his earlier series 'TV Dinners' I will certainly invite him and thank him for writing such fantastic books.
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Format: Hardcover
Already having a pasion for growing and collecting food from the countryside, I have found this book to be not only a great source of information but a fantastic read too! Putting down only to go looking for food in the hedge row or to create one of the many excellent receipes. Well worth buying at a great price.
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Format: Hardcover
We loved his TV shows so got the book. Excellent. A good read. Has lots of links for information.
It is a huge book though, so not one for the back pocket.
It's not got us keeping our own animals, but we now go to farmers markets, and grow more vegetables.
Lots of good recipes.
My wife bought this by mistake.. We didn't return it after it arrived one morning and would recommend it to others who are dying for an excuse to shop less at supermarkets.
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