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A Cook’s Year in a Welsh Farmhouse

A Cook’s Year in a Welsh Farmhouse

By Elisabeth Luard

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says

Luard is a cook and writer (and artist) with a gift for deftly communicating a time and a place – in this case an old farmhouse and the surrounding Welsh landscape and community. This is rooted, seasonal cooking with recipes that are traditional yet contemporary. A beautifully written book to read from slowly and to cook from frequently.

from the publisher

In an old farmhouse on the slopes of a mountain lying between Tregaron and Aberystwyth, Elisabeth Luard brings the produce of the land into her kitchen and turns it into delicious food. This book is her response to the changes she sees in her garden and the surrounding countryside throughout the seasons, with distinctive recipes at the end of each month's chapter. It is the story of a year spent planting and picking in the garden, roaming the countryside with her grandchildren and introducing them to the pleasures of rural living. Elisabeth's cooking is rooted in the culture of the Mediterranean where she once lived, as well as being inspired by traditional Welsh recipes and by her own garden. In winter she stirs up warming dishes like Spanish biscocho or Welsh winter cawl; in the spring she waits until the first mayflower comes to bloom before planting lettuces, mangetouts and broad beans in her garden. She relies on locally sourced meat for dishes like Partridges with baby onions and cinnamon in red wine, Rabbit with tagliatelle, cream and mustard or Ceps with potatoes and bacon, and rakes the countryside for ingredients like fruit for Hedgerow jelly, nettles for soup, elderflowers for cordial, cake or even fritters. With full colour photography by Clare Richardson that perfectly captures the sense of life in the Welsh countryside, this is a unique and beautiful book.
Original Publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing
Date of publication
2011
ISBN
1408806460

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Recommended by

Genevieve Taylor

Food writer and stylist

I was totally smitten with this book the moment I opened it, it's a thing of great but subtle beauty and like many of my favourites, it evokes time and place simply beautifully. It's a book I love to curl up and get lost in, totally absorbed in Elizabeth's intimate portrait of both cooking and living in a wild exposed landscape. Being as well travelled as she is, the recipes span the globe, so this is not singularly Welsh cooking by any means, but the focus is always on a tight connection to the seasons, giving the whole book a gorgeous ebb and flow.