Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle New Album - Steps Shop Women's Shop Men's
Customer Review

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really lovely book, 22 Jan. 2011
By 
This review is from: Orchards in the Oasis: Recipes, Travels & Memories (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is such a lovely book - part cookbook, part travelogue, part auto-biography. It follows a largely culinary tour of the author's life, from her childhood as part of a diplomatic family in Syria & Peru, and later life & travels in Lanzarote (before the days of mass tourism), Turkey, Burma, India, Persia, Vietnam, Morocco and the US where the author lived for a while. There are memories too of time spent (and spent cooking) with her grandmother whilst at school away from her family in England and of holidays spent in Devon. The book contains many photographs taken by the author or taken from the family archive. I loved reading about her travels, particularly to places that have now become part of the tourist mainstream but which were different & exotic as recently as the 1970's. I was reminded that Vietnam was only opened up to tourism in the early 1990's.

Although the book is as much travelogue as cook book, there are plenty enough recipes. I have hundreds of cookbooks but normally find maybe five or six recipes from each book that stick in my memory enough for me to use them on a regular basis. This book is crammed full of lovely recipes that I know are going to be firm favourites. I am looking forward to the summer where I can use the recipes for rose petal tart and apricot & pomegranate jelly, the latter a beautiful, jewel-coloured concoction, both drawn from the first chapter covering Syria in the 1950's.

To give you a flavour of the recipes, there are cheesy fishcakes (no potato), lemon pudding, savoury three cheese custards perfect for a quick lunch, and blackberry tart. From Peru there is beef in chilli & chocolate sauce and passion fruit snow, from the Canary Islands come chilled almond & garlic soup and canary cake (an almond cake with bananas & orange syrup topping). There is another almond-based cake too, this time with lemon. A recipe for fish stew mentions that as recently as the 1960's olive oil was something you bought at the pharmacy, not in a food shop. A holiday in Turkey introduces Pera Palas pie (a sort of shepherd's pie using aubergine & pine kernels), lamb meatballs with egg & lemon sauce and muhalebi (a milk pudding) with orange blossom syrup. The US provides recipes for pumpkin & sweet potato soup; a very more-ish potato, tomato & mascarpone bake; and a baked cheesecake with a ginger crust. From Morocco there is a lovely, simple spiced carrot salad with mint (the list of ingredients looks long but is mainly spices & herbs) and an interesting meatball dish in tomato sauce topped with eggs. Persia offers up, amongst others, some gorgeous honey cakes, again very simple to make. There is a fabulous cauliflower curry from India and potatoes with ginger & spices - tried, very successfully, for a curry night just a couple of days after I got the book. There is another lovely spiced cauliflower dish, this time from Burma. There are several Vietnamese dishes including chicken noodle hotpot with coconut milk & fresh leaves.

Highly recommended and a perfect present for a foodie friend.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details

Item

Reviewer

Marand
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: Warwickshire, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 237