This book review is well past due. I came to the realization a few weeks ago, that after two weeks of toting the book around with me everywhere I went in the house it just might be that I am in love with the book. There is a cupboard in the kitchen that houses a myriad of cookbooks. There are a few that never see the light of day except when the cabinet door is open yet there they remain. Of the others there may be a recipe or two I use from time to time. The River Cottage Family Cookbook, however is different. I have made the majority of the recipes in the book with pleasing results. If there is one cookbook that should belong in every family kitchen I would say The River Cottage Family Cookbook is that book.
I love simple. More often than not recipes comprised of a few ingredients often taste better than their more zealous rivals. I believe in allowing the natural flavor of an ingredient to emerge aided by rather than masked with intense spices and seasonings. Ellie Krieger is a prime example of cooking with the seasons, however; as much as I enjoy her recipes they do not contain pantry staples, which to me common pantry staples constitutes simple.
The author has taken great pride in his knowledge of where our food comes from. Each chapter is divided by ingredient beginning with flour, then milk, eggs, vegetables and so on ending with chocolate. The author also discusses with great detail the history behind a particular ingredient and how it is used. While he tries to persuade the reader to search out farm fresh eggs and organic fruits and vegetables the common household will find the recipes tasty even if they are made with general supermarket ingredients. Many whole foods seasonal cooking books include recipes that use ingredients that are a little too gourmet for my taste, livers and the like, which is not the case with
The River Cottage Family Cookbook. This is one cookbook that is worth every penny spent.