The Foodsaver’s A-Z
The Essential Cornersmith Kitchen Companion
Alex Elliot-Howery and Jaimee Edwards
Review: Lauren O’Connor-May
In this time of expensive basic living, this book is as essential as its subtitle proclaims it to be.
The compact, no frills kitchen companion is an extensive index of ways to use up every teeny weeny bit of food scrap in your kitchen.
Whether it is peels, cores, foods approaching the end of their life spans or the last bits of something that is too little to make a meal with, the index has a use for it.
The authors are teachers at Britain’s Cornersmith Cooking School and therefore have a lot of experience, albeit with British staples.
The book therefore features some foods that are not commonly grown or cooked in South Africa and doesn’t include local staples, such as samp, for example.
The book is very informative and makes an excellent companion for people who garden for the table since it has recipes for bits of plants that are usually not harvested, such as fig leaves, or which end up in the compost heap, such as banana peels.
The book features recipes, tips, recommended substitutes and companions and a preserving guide.
It is low on pictures and high on info and has an old school recipe book feel to it which I liked.
I tried the congee recipe in the book first.
Congee is a Chinese dish made with rice and stock and can be jacked up with almost anything.
It is a good way to make a little bit of rice go a long way.
The finished product has a porridge-like consistency and, due to the very long cooking time, I would personally recommend using a hot bag since slow cooking has the same effect on the rice as the recommended two-hour cooking time.
The result was a delicious meal companion that may well become a new family favourite.
Frugal, enthusiatic and experimental cooks would find a lot of value in this book.