This is a book that really messed with my mind as a child and as such is partly responsible for my having a bee in my bonnet about orchards today!
I grew up in what was initially the British colony of Rhodesia, subsequently present-day Zimbabwe, and an integral part of my culinary childhood was my Mum’s UK-published The Cookery Yearcookbook – I used to spend hours paging through it dishes and ingredients despite that fact that it featured such culinary unknowns as Florence Fennel, Jerusalem Artichokes, chicory, parsnips, swede and kohlrabi under Common Vegetables.
Exotic Fruit included everyday favourites like watermelon, pawpaws, guavas and mangoes.
For me, growing up in southern Africa, the “Exotics” were the cherries, the plums, the walnuts…
And so when, decades later, I put down roots here in Central Europe’s Franconia only to discover orchard upon orchard of cherries, apples and plums right on our doorstep, not to mention the quinces, the sloes and the elderberries on the wayside, I truly felt that I had moved into the Garden of Eden…
… one where Mum’s Cookery Year book has its roots and – over 30 years later, it accompanies me through seasons that now match the book!
Complete with Mum’s handwritten list of tried & tested favourites at the back and her handy recycled book mark (cut off corner of an envelope).