5 out of 5 stars.
I would like to thank Ten Speed Press for providing me with a free ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an open and honest review.
As unprofessional as it sounds – and I do unprofessional reviews SO WELL – Oh my Gosh I want this book!!!!
What can I say? From the title I thought it was going to be all about using natural sweeteners to cook and bake with, skip the sugar, go for the beetroot sort of thing. Boy was I wrong… but in the best possible ways!
‘Sweeter off the vine’ is… sublime! It takes cooking to a glorious, lush, and wholesome new level! I moaned and groaned throughout reading it as each new page and recipe brought more fabulous ideas.
I don’t want to use ‘old style’ or ‘traditional’ as some people – silly people – tend to be put off when these words are used to describe a modern cook book… but it’s hard to not use them so please just hear me out and don’t dismiss the book if you have problems with those words.
Okay, ‘Sweeter off the vine’ takes the traditional styles of cooking whole, in season and local foods from scratch and tips it in its side. All the good old principles for decent, healthy and wholesome cooking are there… but with modern twists, flavours and presentations. Did that do it?
Yes I admit to not being able to, or wanting to make every recipe in the book… but I can say that about pretty much every cook book I read, own, etc. – And I own a few… hundred. Food intolerances, allergies and just plain pickiness on the part of the reader makes this happen. But the recipes in there that I do want to make… they look DIVINE! Roasted rhubarb Pavlova… Bring on spring in Australia so I can put my chickens and rhubarb to work!!! That is a high priority recipe to make – in season!
Time for the boring bits… well, not that boring to me but not about the book but about how it presents. Formatting is clear, concise, easy to read and easy to follow. Gorgeous pictures of most of the items you can make. All measurements, temperatures, etc. are in Imperial as well as Metric and an all-round internationally useful cook book. The seasons aren’t linked to specific months and so can be seen as southern or northern hemisphere and all in all just a beautiful book to read, own and – most importantly – use.
Would I recommend this book to others? Yes. Oh yes indeed I would! If you are looking for a luxurious, simple and all round tasty way to cook and eat sweets within the seasons – this is the book for you. The recipes may look or feel complicated at a glance, but they are not. They are basic cooking skills put to good use to show you exactly how clever you are in the kitchen.
Would I buy this book for myself? Just try and stop me! I loved this book, it is on my Amazon wish list and it WILL be mine. 😉 Now excuse me while I go see if I have all the ingredients for Caramel-Swirled roasted squash ice cream!
In summary: A fantastic cook book for those with a sweet tooth who want to cook and eat what is fresh and in season. I highly recommend it!
Until next time,