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Review: River Cottage Family Cookbook

In Review: River Cottage Family Cookbook by Fizz Carr and Simon Wheeler


The River Cottage Family Cookbook by Fizz Carr and Simon Wheeler was a book I had long ago read about on others' blogs, and I had always wanted to check it out. I do most of my 'checking out' at the library or Barnes and Noble until I decide if it's worth the money to buy over amazon. I couldn't get this book at our local libraries, and I kept forgetting to check to see if B&N had it every Wednesday for my knitting group, so I just decided to put it on InterLibraryLoan and request it from another library in the midwest.
This cookbook is a very beautiful cookbook filled with pictures of all types of things--kids doing happy dances when their cooking turns out right, gardens and their yields; even a few pictures of a 'step' in a recipe. The paper is matte, which I love, and the colors are magnificent. The book also has interesting 'essays' (more like little summaries) of the histories of certain types of food and where they were originally found. Add a few simple things like a recipe on how to make your own butter, and one would think they have it all!
The two authors are British, and so there are even recipes for things like Jellies. This isn't what comes in a small jar in the peanut butter isle, but something that resembles a 50's green, wobbly, "let's take this over to the new neighbors" jello mold jellies. Weird. I don't think I've seen one of those in my life. Ever! Surprising, but true.
I didn't keep this cookbook very long in my possession, though, because to tell you the truth, I didn't like it all that much. There were a lot of things I already knew how to do, or were in other cookbooks *minus the jellies, of course*, and I found the format frustrating for a cookbook.
As a photography book, I loved it, but as a cookbook? Well, it just didn't speak to me. Maybe I am set in my "HERE are the recipes: clear, concise, and in a row" type of way, or maybe the jellies turned me off. All I know is that it wasn't for me. I'm glad I checked it out on Interlibrary Loan and got to see some beautiful eye candy (and what an actual jelly looks likes...ok. OK! Enough with the jellies! I know!) but it will never be a go-to book that I would keep in my cupboard.

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