Oh my goodness! I have been waiting all day to get the chance to start this post!
Kate from Kate Takes 5 has made 'My Top 5 Cookbooks' her listography for the week which is by far my most favourite one to date. Even though I am a qualified chef (which doesn't really mean much unless I actually use the skills) and worked in restaurants for a number of years, I love lost a bit of my inspiration for cooking. It is a very, very sad state of affairs indeed. However with that said, the books I've listed below help me find and channel that deeply longed for cooking mojo that I've been lacking. So, without further ado, her is my list of my top 5 cookbooks.
1. Cake Days by The Hummingbird Bakery
It's like going to cupcake and baking heaven! My daughter will carefully page through, examing each page and picture as she slowly turns to the next one, stopping when she finds an image that she loves and points to it, which means that I need to bake! No, I don't always bake on command or demand (as my husband will most probably point out quite happily or unhappily for that matter) but I love the fact that the whole family loves this book too.
The recipes are easy to follow and turn out beautifully each time. The compliments I get are very well received by I do believe in credit where credit is due, so thank you to The Hummingbird Bakery for letting us share the baking joy and happiness.
2. The Essential Mediterranean Cookbook
My mouth beings to water just at the sheer sight of the cover. Flavours come from all over the Mediterranean and are perfect all year round. I think that I've just been inspired to have a dinner party? Hmmm...blankets and pillows on the floor, red and white wine flowing, a gorgeous tapas style spread. The only thing that would make it even better would be if I could have it on a sandy beach in the gorgeous sunshine and take my friends along too!
3. Michael Olivier - A Restaurateur Remembers
An autographed copy, I absolutely adore this book. Beautifully written and full of wonderful recipes, gorgeous wines, nostalgic tales, historical facts and family histories. As soon as I open it I am immediately homesick and feel as if I have been transported back to the Cape. It makes me very proud to be South African.
4. Baking notes and recipes
This is my baking book from my days at the Elsa van der Nest Culinary Academy in Cape Town (now known as The Culinary Academy). If I ever have any questions about baking methods or why something needs to be done in a certain way, I turn straight to this. It's has tuille batter on some pages and chocolate smudges on others, just the way a good cookbook should.
5. The Complete South African Cookbook - Magdaleen van Wyk
I have saved the best for last! My mom gave this to me when I left home in 2003 to begin a new chapter of my life in the UK. When I open it I always think of her and often read the message she wrote to me in on the first page. It is full of absolutely wonderful South African recipes. I think that most of my friends own it and if you don't, you should definitely buy one for your cooking book library. Alternatively, a South African dinner night at mine?!
Have a fabulous week.