The ethicurean cookbook

I was so excited when this book arrived at my door. I first saw it in waterstones several weeks ago but couldn’t bring myself to buy it. “Why not ?” I hear you ask. Well,if truth be told, it brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye. Not the usual reaction to a recipe book, unless of course too many onions are involved, but this is no ordinary recipe book.
The ethicureans believe in eating local food seasonally with much consideration given to sustainability. They wassail in the orchards in winter and keep bees for honey in summer. Food, grown in the walled garden, is cooked and served in a victorian glasshouse with stunning views across the mendips. So why did I feel so emotional?
Several years ago I had the same dream. A working kitchen garden where people could come and savour the produce. A herb garden, an orchard and, of course, a cider making barn would all be enjoyed. Free range chickens would roam the fields providing eggs for scrumptious breakfasts enjoyed by all who want a taste of the good life.
But now I have the book I am no longer sad, I am inspired. There is a movement towards local, sustainable food and the ethicureans have proved this. This is still very much my dream, it`s a brave dream and an honest one and I am looking forward to making the first steps. All I need now is a walled garden…

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While my exploration goes on I shall enjoy myself with the recipes offered, especially this one. Elder flower sorbet with wild strawberries.
Wild strawberries are one of my favourite plants. Unlike the cultivated varieties they fruit continually throughout the summer. The tiny fruits have a fantastic flavour when popped into your mouth on a warm summers day.
The wild strawberry does not produce runners making it an ideal edging plant for a herb garden. It is one of my favourites for plant displays and will be making an appearance at rhs Tatton this year. Can’t wait !

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