Author: Matt and Lentil Purbrick
Publication Date: September 27th 2016
Synopsis: "In this, their first book, Matt and Lentil share all of their growing, gathering, preserving and cooking secrets. It is a practical guide to traditional skills in a modern world, with information, advice and projects for everyone, whether you have access to acres of farmland or barely a balcony. Learn how to grow your own vegetables, herbs and fruits the way nature intended; forage for wild mushrooms and edible weeds; raise your own animals, like chickens and bees; seek out the very best produce that exists; and trade without money to experience a new level of connection with those around you.
Included are over 100 delicious, creative wholefood recipes from Matt and Lentil's seasonal, regional diet. Make your own cultured butter, feta, and sourdough starter; bake a fresh loaf of sourdough bread; fry up some sourdough crumpets; and ferment traditional dill pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut and natural wine. You can bottle some pear and eggplant kasundi, impress with homemade green tomato ketchup, cure and smoke bacon the traditional way, and even can your own tuna at home.
If you believe in living thoughtfully, knowing where your food comes from and prioritising health, food, family, friends, and fun, then this book is for you."
My thoughts: Let me just say first up: this is an absolutely beautiful book. The photography is fantastic and manages to convey Matt and Lentil's personalities - which also comes through in the writing. It is a wonderful pairing.
The book takes you through seven main sections: Observe, Grow, Gather, Nurture, Trade, Seek, and Eat. Each one is fascinating to read about - even if you are not in a place to be able to have your own chickens or bees, for example, you might still enjoy reading about them in the Nurture section. The tone is informative and yet so friendly and warm - what comes through in this book over and over again is how much Matt and Lentil love the land, their animals, and their bodies (by putting the good things in!).
The main thing I have gotten out of this book (so far!) is a changed view of how I prepare legumes/beans. When Matt and Lentil explain about the difficulty that human bodies go through in digesting certain parts of legumes, I started buying my beans in dry formats, soaking them, and then cooking them for the recommended time in the book (I started with chickpeas, which took 4 hours to cook!). The result? Buttery, wonderful, tasty beans that don't make my stomach hurt after eating them. Since that first venture, I have been happily soaking and cooking my beans whenever we need them, and I have to say it makes me feel good, and also makes our home seem cosier somehow!
I am not sure what else to say about this book except that it is a wonderful experience to even glance through it, and I hope that you will get a chance to get your hands on a copy to enjoy.
(I received a review copy of this book from Pan Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!)
A favourite line from the book: "To your future garden, full pantry, warm home, celebrations and happy everyday routines. This book is dedicated to making change, to experiencing life fully, being brave and bold, and to a bright future. We hope that one day 'organic farming' will just be called farming again and 'whole foods' will just be called food.
With our love. We wrote this for you."
You would like this book if: You feel a connection to the land, and to the things you eat; you want to grow food for your family.
Tea to drink while reading this book: Perhaps some fresh mint tea using leaves from the mint plant in your garden?