Review Blog

May 15 2018

Wild asparagus, wild strawberries by Barbara Santich

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(Age: Adult) Recommended. Food writer and historian Barbara Santich recounts her experience as a young mother of twins, moving to France with her husband in the 1970s and then immersing themselves in French village life. Brave enough to do as a young idealistic but penniless couple, but even braver with two babies in tow! The book provides fascinating insight into French provincial life, the trips to the local market, and the experiments with traditional cuisine - rabbit, mutton, fish soup, quail, partridge. For those who would like to try, there are recipes for pot-au-feu and other iconic dishes. I'm going to try the Potato gratin, one of the recipes from the time where the family had to subsist on 30 kilos of potatoes when their money transfer failed to turn up from Australia. Wild asparagus and wild strawberries are just some of the foraged treats, wine from the local 'cave', meat cooked over the burning grape vine clippings, and cherry clafoutis - it all sounds wonderful. It is a lovely recollection of a way of life that sadly is changing, but it is reassuring to know that there is still a shepherd leading his flock to pasture somewhere above the village of Nizas.
This book is a pleasure to read, and for the cooks among us, there is an index to the recipes at the end. Helen Eddy

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