Regular readers (well, the ones without early-onset Alzheimers, and those that don’t just pop in to give me a bit of gyp in the comments) may remember me mentioning Vanessa Kimbell and her ‘write a cookery book in a year’ project a while ago, when I reviewed her spelt bread/pizza recipe. At the time, I said that ‘the idea behind the book is gorgeous food without the slog – a multi-tasking masterpiece for time-short foodies’.
Well the book is now published, and looking gorgeous in pink, with my words on the cover (and the inside!!):
Bit blurry, sorry about that. It was the excitement!
Anyhoo, as I was lucky enough to work with Vanessa on her new book I suppose I can’t really give you a totally impartial review… but hey, who cares? It’s gorgeous.
Not only is the photography RAVISHING, but the concept is just fab. Take, for example, this rather luscious elderflower and rose syrup:
Not only is it beautiful, and would make an amazing gift but it’s also the cornerstone of several very inventive recipes. Mixed, for example, with gin and ginger beer, it makes a rather fantastic cocktail called, adorably, a ‘Ginger von Tease’. It also adds a piquant touch to baked trout with chilli and elderflower, and is wonderful when used to adorn baked peaches.
You’re getting the drift now, aren’t you? Start with Vanessa’s building blocks: gorgeously fragrant sugars and aromatic syrups that can be whipped up on a rainy afternoon, and you have the beginnings of some seriously clever meals. I love the spiced orange and clove brandy – imagine how Christmassy that must smell! – which goes on to be used in everything from a chicken liver parfait to mincemeat and even Christmas cake. It’s clever stuff.
Well done, lovely, warm-hearted Vanessa. Your book is beautiful. I know it’s not always been an easy journey, but you got there, and the finished product is amazing! Thank you for using my words, I meant them all. Looking forward to that lunch! xx
Prepped, by Vanessa Kimbell, is out now priced £10.48 on amazon.co.uk