THROUGH THE SEASONS
Author: Annabel Langbein
ABC Books RRP $49.99
Review: Monique Mulligan
I’ve been a fan of Annabel Langbein’s recipes since I reviewed her cookbook Simple Pleasures. With her seasonal homestyle cooking, she has become one of my go-to cooks when I’m in need of a recipe. They have never failed me. Her sultana, apple spice and orange lightning cakes are staples in my house, and her poached chicken and brined chicken recipes serve up tender, juicy poultry every time. When word came out about a new cookbook, I eagerly counted down until my copy arrived. Through the Seasons is inspired by seasonal harvests, which is how I love to cook – now, her veggie garden, shown off in the covers of her books is pretty amazing and mine doesn’t come close (hers looks over a lake), but I love using the fresh produce we grow. Lately it’s all about carrots, beans, beetroot and spinach; soon it will be tomatoes, onions and garlic.
Through the Seasons is chock-full of recipes, menus, and tips, all designed to make the most of each season’s produce. It’s about fitting in with the cycles of nature, rather than cooking something with out-of-season produce. It makes complete sense to me – not only am I using the freshest produce I can, but I feel as though I’m working side-by-side with nature, not trying to get around it. Lists of each season’s produce are complemented by pictures and helpful tips such as “Enjoy tarragon with eggs, seafood, chicken, potato or peas” (Spring) or “Never store tomatoes in the fridge as they lose all their sweetness” (Summer). A variety of menus follows the season’s introduction, before the relevant recipes are shared. Yes, there are gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan recipes. Visually, it’s a tasty looking book; however, it looks very different to her previous books. Not that this is a bad thing.
I’ve already tried two recipes in the book: first up was a kale smoothie. I’m not a green juice fanatic, but it was nice. I made it with coconut water, which I’m not a fan of, so next time I’m going to try apple juice.
The second recipe I tried was caramelised pork belly. Yum. It was melt-in-the-mouth deliciousness. We pulled it and stuffed it into home-made naan bread. Double yum. No picture, sorry. We were too busy eating.
I’ve got a long list of recipes to try next and I don’t think my family will be complaining. If you are inspired by seasonal harvests in your cooking, Through the Seasons would make a great investment. At the moment ABC Books is offering a deal – buy this book and get another of Langbein’s books free and signed. I can’t recommend these books highly enough.
Available from ABC Books and good bookstores. My copy was courtesy of Harper Collins.