Tender Offering

I received a few books for Christmas, and “Tender” by Nigel SlaterDSCN4015 is destined to be read and referenced often.  This is a timely reading, as I am sorting through seed orders for vegetables.  Experienced gardeners will tell you not to go overboard with your seed ordering, and will offer many suggestions on how to prevent over-ordering.  Even after thirty years of seed ordering, I still have a basket of seed packets that were never used or partially used and still have spoons full of seeds left un-planted!

I have an idea that if I try to sort out my 2013 order with what I actually like to use in my cooking, I will prevent some of the whims that lead to mistakes in ordering.    This is where Nigel’s book becomes useful.  Nigel Slater is a British food writer who actually knows how to grow vegetables!  One can admire a food writer who can source food by visiting farmer’s markets, but let’s revere a food writer who has become intimate and knowledgeable by actually growing the plants in the backyard!DSCN4016

How appealing does this chowder of mussels and leeks look?  This recipe can be found in the leek section.  The book is divided alphabetically by vegetable from asparagus to  zucchini. The chapter on leeks, for example, begins with a discussion of the leek itself.  “The leek is the vegetable of clear, white winter skies and kitchen windows fogged up with condensation.” the author begins.  He brings the vegetable to life with rich description and then furthers our understanding with growing tips and instructions,          “During the growing season, pile earth up around the shaft of the leek; this will encourage extra-long growth of the white part so useful in the kitchen.”  He describes different varieties of the vegetable and finally takes us into the kitchen with fabulous color photographs and recipes.  The recipes are given with both U.S. measurements and the original U.K. measurements, so you will see in this recipe,  smoked bacon – 5 ounces (150g).  There is some whimsy in this particular recipe – white vermouth – 2 glasses.  So, how do you drink your vermouth?  Surely not by the glassful, but if you did, what size glass would that be?  A martini for example is best served with a whiff of vermouth, but a good stew could handle an 8 oz. cup?  However if you get stuck on questions such as this, you miss the point of this book.DSCN4017

Besides being a great gardening read, the book is rich with photographs and helpful information on the veggies we should all be trying to grow or at least purchase from our local farmers!

Please join in the fun on Roses and Other Gardening Joys to see other great book reviews on the subject we love – gardens and gardening!

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About Jayne on Weed Street

Wife, mother, and owner of pets much loved. Gardener of three decades, amateur photographer, ardent about art, antiques and books.
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7 Responses to Tender Offering

  1. elaine says:

    Hi Jayne
    I love all Nigel Slaters books and have Tender both volumes I and II – his writing is so lyrical yet informative – I love to watch him working in the kitchen too in his tv programme Simple Suppers. He is a delight.

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  2. jayne says:

    There are more! Dont know if they are available here, but I could perhaps try Amazon UK! Thanks Elaine, I will look!

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  3. Holleygarden says:

    Oh, this book looks fabulous! I have been trying to change the way we eat – to eating out of the garden, and growing what we need. I think this book would be a fabulous help in that regard. Although, I am now wondering just how many ounces in a glass of wine! 😉 Thanks for joining in!

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  4. This is new to me but I so understand the over ordering seeds part. I need to find time to sort through mine soon and make a list (to stick to). Ha!

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  5. Dorothy says:

    Oh my! I’ve been on a restricted diet all day because of pending medical tests tomorrow, and those description makes my mouth water! Sounds like an enjoyable book. Thank you for reviewing it!

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  6. Wow! I think I would love this book a lot as well. Love to read how Nigel Slater make good use of his vege patch. Thanks for the review 😀

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  7. I love Nigel and have lots of his books. Yes he is a God in this house! His autobiography Toast is worth a read too. Now I want this one:~)) PS Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog

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