28 October 2017

Weekend Cooking : Food for All Seasons by Oliver Rowe

Review: Food for All Seasons by Oliver RoweIn Food for All Seasons, British chef and restaurateur Oliver Rowe celebrates seasonal cooking in his home country. His memoir / cookbook is arranged by the calendar and features the six or eight star ingredients for each month of the year: rhubarb in March, gooseberries in June, and oysters in September, for example.

Rowe, of course, provides recipes for the seasonal foods he cooks and loves, but the heart of Food for All Seasons is really the stories about the interconnections among kitchen inspiration, the natural environment, and the season.

I particularly like the chatty sections in which Rowe talks about all kinds of things, from going on July picnics and fishing with his mother to how to cook crab, his developing relationship with garlic, and the different types and uses of elder.

Many of the recipes look quite inviting (boozy cherries, slow-cooked lamb, green tomato chutney, chocolate-almond cake), though a handful use ingredients I doubt I could find in my small town (quail eggs, for example). I know I'll give some of Rowe's dishes a go; in fact, I have my eye on Lemon-Dressed Kale with Pumpkin Seeds for a holiday side dish and think homemade eggnog would be a wonderful Christmas treat.

The real appeal of Food for All Seasons for me, though, are Oliver Rowe's stories about both his personal relationship with food and cooking and his love of using fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Here are a few quotes that stuck with me:

  • Food trends come and go, but eating goes beyond the mere need to sustain life: it's imbedded in culture and therefore becomes entwined in the mores, values and aspirations of the time.
  • Stocks are peculiar things and chefs will go on about them for as long as you keep your eyes open.
  • June is thoroughly spoiled.
  • There's a lot of luxury at the height of summer, what with the strawberries, raspberries, peaches and all. Everything starts to change when the autumn comes around. It's not that autumn produce isn't delicious and seductive, but it tends to ask more of us than some of the floozies you get in the summer months.
For more on Oliver Rowe, visit his website. For some recipes, visit The Guardian or BBC Food. You'll get a glimpse of his incredibly blue eyes and learn how to make a simple summer salad in the following short video:

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

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Mae Travels 10/28/17, 7:27 AM  

I'm intrigued by this: "June is thoroughly spoiled" -- wondered what the author meant by that! I definitely agree with the characterization of the change from summer produce to fall!

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Jackie McGuinness 10/28/17, 7:51 AM  

Blue eyes...I'll check him out!

My week has been unusually boring, didn't really get up to anything.

Tina 10/28/17, 8:06 AM  

I’m on board for a book like this, I also have a seasonal cookbook to share today. The cooking with slow cooker appeals too.

Anonymous,  10/28/17, 8:47 AM  

I love seasonal cookbooks ( Im writing one now) that feature ingredients. This book sounds right up my alley. Thanks for the review and thanks for hosting WeeKend Cooking- I look forward to it every week.

jama 10/28/17, 9:07 AM  

Thanks for the British fix (with blue eyes no less). Will look for this book at the library -- Oliver Rowe is new to me.

Nan 10/28/17, 10:12 AM  

I like the idea of seasonal eating, and have in fact made a little vow to myself that I'm not going to eat tomatoes, (cardboard, flavorless), basil, etc. except in the months when they are available locally.

Deb in Hawaii 10/28/17, 12:51 PM  

It does sound like a great book to curl up with and read with a cup of tea. I enjoy cookbooks with a seasonal focus and ones with stories the accompany the recipes. ;-)

Carole 10/28/17, 6:05 PM  

Now ordered up from the library - thanks!

Claudia 10/28/17, 7:05 PM  

His seasonal foods wouldn't be mine, but the salad looks great, and I'm definitely going to make that.

nishitak 10/29/17, 7:13 AM  

I doubt I could get many of the ingredients where I live. Still might be worth it for the chatty sections, I like cookbooks that are more than just a collection of recipes.

bermudaonion 10/29/17, 10:23 AM  

This sounds like a perfect gift for my mom.

Laurie C 10/29/17, 10:57 AM  

I love cookbooks ordered by seasons! I've never tried a Jamie Oliver recipe, so it sounds like this cookbook would be a good place to start.

(Diane) bookchickdi 10/29/17, 2:59 PM  

The quote about summer made me laugh, this book sounds wonderful and I agree with you on the kale salad. What a wonderful holiday side dish!

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