So, when I first came across At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen a few weeks ago, I flicked through it and found page after page of stunning photos.
A great start.
But then I started to skim read it and it didn’t feel good … too worthy, too healthy, too much quinoa.
I put it aside for a while, and then started to remember little bits and pieces about it. One Saturday afternoon, I found myself decanting half-used bags of seeds, grains, sugars into that collection of glass jars I had kicking around because one day they’d become ‘useful’.
Where did that come from? I then remembered a small nudge in the shape of a photo of a beautifully arranged store cupboard about half way through this book, everything easily visible, to hand and well-preserved in Kilner jars and the like, in stark contrast to my bomb site of a cupboard, strewn as it is with things tipping out from improperly sealed bags and no sense of organisation in sight.
OK, so there might be something to this book. I started to read it properly.
A few disclaimers first.
This is not my thing.
Really, it isn’t. I don’t ‘do’ lifestyle lite type books, and I get more than a little annoyed with substitutions like homemade nut milk for, well, milk.
I’m totally open to trying new things, but I don’t keep fifty different types of pulse on the go at any one time. I am not one of those people who think that a store cupboard is perfectly well stocked without a dozen eggs in it. I have to strongly disagree with Chaplin on that one, I’m afraid. I’m not meticulous about choosing a baking soda with a low aluminum content.
I mention all this because I was in a bad mood when I started to read this book, and I think that the book itself had a lot to do with that bad mood. We just didn’t get on.
But, and this is a massive ‘but’, I came to first grudgingly accept it, then slowly to like it in that ‘yeah, I like it, but I’m not going to damn well ADMIT that yet’ way, and now – I’m free! — I love it.
It’s excellent. I had to battle past what I wrongly interpreted as pseudo hippy crap, but battle I did, and beneath I found a book with warmth and belief, a book packed with solid tips and advice, and a series of first-rate recipes.
Yes, I’m going to have to substitute a little to bring some of these recipes back into the realms of the easily do-able (I’m not wasting my time steeping almonds in water to make milk when I can get that from a cow), but I’ll live with that.