Filling Bellies on a Budget

It’s no secret that food costs are rising in Aotearoa and budgets are tightening for many people.  Whether you’re a traditional family household, a single person on your own, a house full of flatties, or any other configuration, keeping the food bills down while also feeding everyone nutritious and delicious meals is hard work.  The good news is, we have plenty of resources to help you find ways to fill bellies on a budget.

Destitute gourmet : over 80 affordable and tasty new recipes plus fan favourites / Gray, Sophie
“Packed with tips and tricks, this new book from Sophie includes 20 fan favourites from her earlier books, voted for by her loyal followers, plus over 80 new recipes. One-pan dinners, vegetarian recipes, meaty meals, salads and snacks plus baking and desserts -there’s something for everyone. Stick within your budget, but eat well and enjoy!”  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Eat well for less New Zealand / Van de Elzen, Michael
“The New Zealand version of Eat Well for Less was a big hit and had a huge impact on the families involved. This book gives all the recipes from series 1 and series 2, plus tips and tricks on tasty, easy and economical cooking from the hosts Michael Van de Elzen and Ganesh Raj. With nearly 70 recipes from light meals and snacks, to main meals and sweet treats…Includes ideas on smart shopping, nutrition, kitchen tips, and a peek at the participants from series 1 and how they fared after the cameras stopped rolling. Did the lessons they learned stick?!” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The thrifty pantry : budget-saver family favourites from under $2.50 per serve
“With 100 recipes using cupboard and freezer staples and each recipe costed, this will be your go-to cookbook for cooking on a budget. Chapters are organised into cost per serve, starting from just $2, plus there’s a handy recipe key for gluten free, vegetarian and freeze-ahead meals. Festive recipes get a budget overhaul as well, with recipes for Christmas on a shoestring. We also list our top 50 healthy pantry foods and include insider tips on how to organise your pantry. Triple tested, easy and delicious, this is budget family cooking at its best.” (Catalogue)

A girl called Jack : 100 delicious budget recipes / Monroe, Jack
“Jack is a woman of our times, facing head-on the realities of recession-hit Britain and responding with a ‘make do and mend’ way of thinking that we should all consider. When she found herself unemployed and with a food budget of just 10 pounds a week, she decided to address the situation by adapting her weekly shop and embracing the value range of her local supermarket. Keeping to her budget, she created recipe after recipe of nutritious food for herself and her son, which she then posted on her blog, A Girl Called Jack. In her first cookbook, Jack shows you how to adapt the way you shop to be less wasteful, and to value the techniques of inexpensive but good cooking.” (adapted from catalogue)

The thrifty veggie : economical, sustainable meals from store-cupboard ingredients / Graimes, Nicola
“Harness every season’s flavours with recipes combining fresh produce with lasting staples – clever and delectable vegetarian recipes that can make a real difference to your household budget. Seasonal eating – when done right – is wonderful for your tastebuds, your mind, and your bank account.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Weekly provisions : how to eat seasonally and love what’s left over / Duke, Kim “Weekly Provisions is packed with recipes for 12 complete menus – each with a starter, main, side dish and dessert – followed by more than 60 creative ideas for turning what’s left into new meals and snacks during the week. In today’s world, where money is tight and people are busy, taking some time at the weekend to cook and share a truly delicious meal that’s full of comforting goodness can help you to forget your worries, restore balance, and reconnect with loved ones. Best of all, it won’t fill you up for just one day, but leave enough for quick and cheap platefuls later in the week, with zero food waste.  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Broke vegan : over 100 plant-based recipes that don’t cost the earth / Sidey, Saskia
“Easy, affordable vegan recipes everyone will enjoy.  We all want to help do our bit to save the planet by moving towards a plant-based diet, but let’s face it: eating vegan can be expensive. With over 100 plant-based recipes using supermarket staples along with hints and tips for making your food go further, Broke Vegan will have you cooking meals time after time that save money and save the planet. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Fakeaway : healthy home-cooked takeaway meals / Bavin, Chris
“Join TV’s Chris Bavin for a fakeaway feast in over 120 simple recipes! Treat yourself and put takeaway food back on the menu with low-calorie curries, stir-fries, pasta dishes, pizzas, as well as good-old fish and chips. If you are vegan, vegetarian, dairy or gluten-free there are plenty of choices for you here. In this book, he shares his healthy ingredient swaps and savvy shopping ideas to buy everything you’ll need for a fakeaway feast.  Refreshingly practical, Fakeaway contains all the inspiration you need to make delicious meals for your family from scratch and on a budget. So put away the takeaway menus and recreate the meals you love but make them better for you.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

These are just some of the recent titles we have in our collection.  To browse some more, click here.  Bon apetit!

Resilient stitching: New craft books for your wellbeing

New Craft Books

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The weather’s getting colder and you know what that means! It’s the perfect time to get into a new cosy craft. We’ve compiled a handy list of recent additions to our collection, featuring how-to’s for a number of different delightful hobbies to do at home. Some highlights include Resilient stitch : wellbeing and connection in textile art, which considers how the art of textiles can influence the wellness of individuals and their communities, and Making a Living: How to Craft Your Business, a guide for making your love of crafting into a viable business practice. We’ve also got books for making cute crochet bags, building your own birdfeeder and making your own wardrobe from scratch.

Some of these books are on order, which means they are on their way but not currently on the shelf. Reserve them today to be one of the first to issue them, and happy crafting!

Crocheted bags : 25 quick and easy projects to make / Osmond, Emma
“Crochet your way from clutch to tote, making a variety of beautiful bags in between, with the latest title in the Weekend Makes series. Crochet has been brought bags up-to-date and now fills Instagram and Pinterest – not to mention catwalks and high-end fashion houses – with modern masterpieces. Grab your crochet hook and yarn and join the trend by creating a carrier for every outing.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Eco-resin Crafts : 30 Hand-crafted Projects for the Home / Oliver, Hazel
“Resin craft is a great way to make beautiful items for your home and jewellery for yourself or others.” (Catalogue)

Rag rug techniques for beginners : 30 planet -friendly projects using rag-rugging methods from around the world / Jackson, Elspeth
“Learn ten different rag-rugging methods and use them to create 30 stylish and practical items for yourself and your home. In Rag Rug Techniques for Beginners, Elspeth Jackson details ten methods that will help you learn the art of rag rugs, and inspire your craft creativity. Each chapter focuses on a different technique, from Shaggy to Locker Hooking, Loopy to Two-String Loom, and more. Elspeth will show you the skills, tools, and equipment you’ll need for each one, as well as providing advice on choices of fabrics and design.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Resilient stitch : wellbeing and connection in textile art / Wellesley-Smith, Claire
“Following on from her textile hit Slow Stitch , author Claire Wellesley-Smith considers the importance of connection and ideas around wellbeing when using textiles for individuals and communities, including practical ideas around ‘thinking-through-making’, using ‘resonant’ materials and extending the life of pieces using traditional and non-traditional methods. Contemporary textile artists using these themes in their work feature alongside personal work from Claire and examples from community-based textile projects.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Making a Living: How to Craft Your Business / Rochester, Sophie
“Carefully crafted to support anyone looking for practical, hands-on advice and inspiring stories to motivate them to make their dream business a reality. With chapters on market research, valuing & pricing your work, branding, marketing & sales, plus accounting & legal considerations, this is a step-by-step guide to getting your idea off the ground” (Catalogue)

The Wild Craft: Mindful, Nature-Inspired Projects for You and Your Home / Seixas, Catarina
“From botanical cookies, acorn coffee and wild green pesto, to making your own calendula salve and building a bird feeder The Wild Craft is filled with seasonal nature-based projects designed to reignite your love of the natural world and connect you to the earth.” (Catalogue)

Around the Kitchen Table: Good things to cook, create and do – the whole year through / Hansen, Sophie
“Best-selling Sophie Hansen and her artist and art teacher mum Annie Herron have teamed up – with recipes to cook, preserves to make, things to sketch, crafts for the not-crafty, and more.” (Catalogue)

The act of sewing : how to make and modify clothes to wear every day / Philip, Sonya
“A complete guide to sewing simple garments-with 4 full-size patterns-and all the tricks of alterations and embellishments explained so that you can make a wardrobe all your own”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

The World in your Kitchen: our latest cookbooks

Our latest selection of  new cookbooks brings the world to your kitchen! This month we have new books on cuisines from Colombia, Italy and Istria, as well as the latest collection of recipes from Samoan-born New Zealand chef Monica Galetti, At Home. We also have new books on herbs, baking and salads, as well as plant-based and vegetarian recipes.  And for those wanting to improve their skills in the kitchen, Kitchen Hacks is full of tips and tricks to make dinner time that bit easier. Our latest cookbook picks have something to suit everyone’s tastes, diets and desires!

Gennaro’s limoni : vibrant Italian recipes celebrating the lemon / Contaldo, Gennaro
“In Italian cooking, the lemon is as essential as olive oil and no part of it is wasted — flesh, pith, and skin are chopped into salads, juice is drizzled over meat and veggies and used in desserts and drinks, the leaves are used to wrap meat, fish, and cheese, while the aromatic zest adds complexity to a dish’s flavor. Join Gennaro in celebrating the lemon with this exciting collection of inspirational recipes.” (Catalogue)

Istria : recipes and stories from the hidden heart of Italy, Slovenia and Croatia / Bacchia, Paola “Istria is the heart-shaped promontory at the northern crux of the Adriatic Sea, where rows of vines and olives grow in fields of red earth. Here, the cuisine records a history of changing borders – a blend of the countries that have shared Istria’s hills and coasts and valleys. This book is a record of traditions, of these cultures and of Paola’s family: recipes from her childhood, the region’s past, and family and friends who still live beside the Adriatic coast. Among recipes for semolina dumplings, beef and pork goulash and apricot strudel are memories of the region and stories of the recipes’ authors: the Italian-Istrians who remained in the region after the 1940s, and those who left for new countries” (adapted from catalogue)

Colombiana : a rediscovery of recipes & rituals from the soul of Colombia / Velasquez, Mariana
“A cookbook featuring 100 recipes that offer a contemporary take on traditional Colombian cooking”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

The sweet roasting tin : one tin cakes, cookies & bakes / Iyer, Rukmini
“From the bestselling author of The Roasting Tin series, comes seventy-five easy and delicious one-tin bakes in one sweet package. From crave-worthy cakes and brownies to moreish muffins and loaves, simply pop your ingredients in a tin and let the oven (or for minimum-effort bakes, the fridge!) do the work. Keeping with her ethos of ‘minimum effort, maximum flavour’, Rukmini Iyer’s one-tin bakes are simple to prep, but still offer great-tasting results. From easy bakes to showstopping sensations, this book is for anyone who wants to bake using everyday ingredients and store cupboard staples”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

Herb : a cook’s companion / Diacono, Mark
“Packed with ideas for enjoying and using herbs, Herb is much more than your average recipe book. Mark shares the techniques at the heart of sourcing, preparing and using herbs well, enabling you to make delicious food that is as rewarding in the process as it is in the end result. The book will explore how to use herbs, when to deploy them, and how to capture those flavours to use when they might not be seasonally available. The reader will become familiar with the differences in flavour intensity, provenance, nutritional benefits and more, and over 100 innovative recipes that make the most of your new herb knowledge.” (adapted from catalogue)

Plant over processed : 75 simple & delicious plant-based recipes for nourishing your body and eating from the earth / Hannemann, Andrea “Andrea Hannemann believes that food is the fuel of life, and that consuming a nourishing, plant-based diet is the gateway to ultimate health. Andy’s mantra, “plant over processed,” embodies the way she eats and feeds her family of five in their home in Oahu, Hawaii. Andy was once addicted to sugar and convenience foods and suffering from a host of health issues. Fed up with spending time and money on specialists, supplements, and fad diets, she quit animal products and processed foods cold turkey, and embarked on a new way of eating.” (adapted from catalogue)

At home : my favourite recipes for family & friends / Galetti, Monica
“Monica Galetti’s career has taken her from her home in Samoa and New Zealand to the professional kitchens of London. Her new cookbook, At Home, showcases the easy, everyday dishes she enjoys at home, with family and friends, using simple ingredients that everyone will enjoy. From breakfast time and midweek suppers to celebrations, gatherings and the perfect Sunday lunch.” –Inside jacket.” (Catalogue)

Kitchen hacks & recipes
“Most cooking skills develop with practice and time, but sometimes it’s just a little trick that takes a dish from good to extraordinary. This book has tips on knife skills, food storage, preparation, food waste, time saving and the foundations of flavour”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

Salad : 70 delicious recipes for every occasion / Flanagan, Margo
“All eaters are welcome in this cookbook, with these recipes suitable for anyone and everyone, whether you’re gluten free, dairy free, plant-based, flexitarian, FODMAP or an absolute meat lover. Margo and Rosa show how to create the perfect salad, including a step-by-step guide to your essential ingredients, pantry staples, the layering process, a guide to dressings, and how to combine flavours and textures, giving you the confidence to put together sensational salads with what you have on hand. Salads are a perfect way to explore the world of wholefoods and incredible produce, so start making them the heart of your meal because life is too short to eat a bad salad.” (adapted from catalogue)

The weekday vegetarians / Rosenstrach, Jenny
“In her newest cookbook, columnist Jenny Rosenstrach writes about being a “weekday vegetarian,” i.e. eating a vegetable-based diet during the week and saving meaty splurges for the weekend. The Weekday Vegetarians shows readers how she got her family on board with meat-free meals. Organized by meal type, The Weekday Vegetarians offers one hundred recipes with excellent and practical tips. And who knows–maybe like Jenny’s family, the more you practice being “weekday vegetarians,” the more you will notice plant-based eating creeping into your weekends!” (adapted from catalogue)

Edible cities: Books on foraging

A selection of our books on foraging

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So far, raumati (summer) in Wellington has been pretty idyllic. Hopefully, you’ve been able to get out and enjoy the outdoors, maybe by taking a dip in the surprisingly welcoming ocean or enjoying time in the garden with a good book. If you’re looking for a new outdoor activity, and are keen to explore around Wellington a bit more, foraging could be an ideal new hobby for you! Wellington has an array of forgeable foods growing all around the city, including mushrooms, koromiko flowers and dandelion!

Of course there are risks with foraging, you need to be confident in identifying plants before you eat them! We suggest first connecting with Wellington’s vibrant foraging community. There are plenty of supportive online communities, and professionally led courses you can attend to gain this required knowledge.

Our libraries also have a wealth of resources to help you in your foraging adventures! Below is a booklist to get you started. Happy foraging!

A forager’s treasury / Knox, Johanna
“Features profiles of many edible plants commonly found in New Zealand, including advice on where to find them, how to harvest them and how best to use them”–Back cover.” (Catalogue)

Find it, eat it : cooking foraged food gathered around New Zealand / Daly, Michael
“Divided according to edible weeds, food foraged from the fields, forest and seashore and a pantry section, Michael Daly provides recipes that demonstrate the use of wild foods in everyday cooking.”–Publisher information.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A field guide to the native edible plants of New Zealand / Crowe, Andrew
“Over 190 trees, shrubs, herbs, ferns, mushrooms, lichens and seaweeds are described in detail in this useful and attractive book, with information on which part is edible and when, how plants have been utilised, particularly by Maori, their nutritional value, and where they can be found. In a separate section, Andrew Crowe also describes important poisonous plants that are native to New Zealand or are likely to be confused with the edible plants.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Seaweed and eat it : a family foraging and cooking adventure / Houston, Fiona
“Part cookbook, part natural history guide, with tasty recipes, fascinating folklore and inspiring ideas for seasonal feasts, this book leads the reader through the process of identifying, learning about and cooking unusual and wild native foods.” (Catalogue)

The edible city : a year of wild food / Rensten, John
”  In The Edible City, urban forager John Rensten gives us the tools to identify, source and cook delicious food from the year-long bounty around us, whether that’s winter cress and wild garlic soup, nettle and three-cornered leek gnocchi or stinging nettle tempura. This account of a year of urban foraging is perfect for the armchair enthusiast or home cook looking for exciting new ingredients to experiment with.” (Catalogue)

The thrifty forager / Fowler, Alys
“Fowler takes a fresh look at foraging, encouraging you to look closer to home, from the weeds in your garden to the trees in your street…Alys showcases her favourite edibles with a plant directory packed with useful information – photographic identification, plant description and tips on how to grow and how to eat it (including recipes such as fruit leathers and chutney) – that will give you the confidence to identify plants yourself.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Food you can forage : edible plants to harvest, cook and enjoy / Francis, Tiffany
“An accessible and engaging guide to foraging for families and amateur naturalists.” (Catalogue)

Our Latest Crime & Mystery Titles

“In fine, the truffle is the very diamond of gastronomy.”

— Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

In this month’s selection of new crime and mystery titles we have a hunt for the legendary Boscuri White truffle in the hills around Bologna. So, what better reason do we need to investigate just a little of the history of the mighty truffle.

Truffles are the fruiting body of a subterranean ascomycete fungus, and one of the most prized gastronomic ingredients in France, Italy and beyond. Described as the “Diamond of the kitchen” their use in cooking can be traced way back to the neo-Sumerians in 22nd to 21st century BC. The ancient Romans used them too, but they appeared to have fallen out of favour in the medieval period though there are one or two references from that time. Pigs and dogs are traditionally used to find wild truffles and fortunes can be paid for a good truffle dog.

It is from Renaissance period up to modern times that the truffle has really found its place. Hugely popular in Parisian markets of the 1700’s, they were often so expensive that they only appeared at the dining tables of nobles. It’s also used in a wide range of dishes; one traditional favourite is with turkey and, even more recently, truffle vodka. Up until recently, if you wanted to experience the flavour sensation of the truffle here in New Zealand then you would have had to import them; the first ever Southern Hemisphere harvested truffles were from Gisborne in 1993!!!

We have a wide range of other recently acquired crime and mystery titles too, for a small selection peruse below.

The hunting season / Benjamin, Thomas
“It’s truffle season and in the hills around Bologna the hunt is on for the legendary Boscuri White, the golden nugget of Italian gastronomy. But when an American truffle ‘supertaster’ goes missing, English detective Daniel Leicester discovers not all truffles are created equal. Did the missing supertaster bite off more than he could chew? As he goes on the hunt for Ryan Lee, Daniel discovers the secrets behind ‘Food City’, but the deeper he goes into the disappearance of the supertaster the darker things become. Murder is once again on the menu…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Riccardino / Camilleri, Andrea
“When Inspector Montalbano receives an early-morning phone call it proves to be the start of a very trying day. For the caller expects Montalbano to arrive imminently at a rendezvous with some friends. But before he can remonstrate, the caller announces himself ass someone called Riccardino and peremptorily issues his instructions.  Later that day news comes in of a brutal slaying in broad daylight by an unknown assassin who makes his getaway on a motorbike. And when the Inspector learns of the victim’s identity – a man called Riccardino – his troubles are only just beginning…” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an eBook.

The midnight hour / Griffiths, Elly
“Once-famous theatrical impresario Bert Billingham is found dead, no one suspects foul play. But when the post mortem reveals that he was poisoned, suspicion falls on his wife. Frustrated by the police response to Bert’s death and determined to prove her innocence. Verity calls in private detective duo Emma Holmes and Sam Collins.  She and Sam are convinced the answer lies in Bert’s dark past and in the glamorous, occasionally deadly, days of Music Hall. But the closer they get to the truth, the more danger they find themselves in.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Harlem shuffle / Whitehead, Colson
“”Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked…” To his customers and neighbors on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably-priced furniture, making a life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver’s Row don’t approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it’s still home. Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger and bigger all the time…” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The man who died twice / Osman, Richard
“It’s the following Thursday. Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster and a very real threat to his life. As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus? But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can The Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?”(Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an Audiobook.

The assistant / Dahl, Kjell Ola
“Oslo, 1938. War is in the air and Europe is in turmoil. Hitler’s Germany has occupied Austria and is threatening Czechoslovakia; there’s a civil war in Spain and Mussolini reigns in Italy. When a woman turns up at the office of police-turned-private investigator Ludvig Paaske, he and his assistant – his one-time nemesis and former drug-smuggler Jack Rivers – begin a seemingly straightforward investigation into marital infidelity. But all is not what it seems, and when Jack is accused of murder, the trail leads back to the 1920s, to prohibition-era Norway, to the smugglers, sex workers and hoodlums of his criminal past … and an extraordinary secret.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A change of circumstance / Hill, Susan
“DCS Simon Serrailler has long regarded drugs ops in Lafferton as a waste of time. Small-time dealers are picked up outside the local secondary school, they don’t have any information about those higher up the chain, they’re given a fine or a suspended and away they go. And rinse and repeat. But when the body of a 22-year-old drug addict is found in neighbouring Starley, the case pulls Simon into a whole new way of running drugs.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available as an Audiobook.

The sleeping nymph / Tuti, Ilaria
“A decades-old murder investigation has landed on Superintendent Teresa Battaglia’s desk. DNA analysis has revealed that a painting from the final days of World War II contains matter from a human heart. Teresa is able to trace the evidence to Val Resia, one of Italy’s most isolated, untouched regions. When Teresa’s investigation hits too close to the truth, a second human heart is hung at the valley’s entrance, a warning not to cross its threshold. Meanwhile, Teresa must not only deal with rapidly progressing physical and cognitive ailments, but also someone she hoped never to see again-a man who is now her supervisor”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Christmas table sorted

Read these popular recipes and save time preparing for the big Christmas cooking marathon. From traditional Christmas food to Instagrammable cake decorations, this selection of delicious recipes will take your stomach on a joy ride!

The Christmas table
“The Christmas table: festive menus & table crafts to celebrate the season in style. Planning the Christmas Day feast is an enjoyable thing to do each year for either a small or a large gathering of friends and family. This book showcases ways of organising the perfect menu, with  many fabulous recipes to choose from. Also, there are beautiful but simple suggestions for decorating the Christmas table with both modern and traditional themes.” (Catalogue)

Christmas express : quick, delicious & easy recipes for the festive season
“Preparing food for Christmas can often mean days of labour-intensive cooking. If you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is opening presents, then this book is for you. Using clever tricks and quality shortcuts, we show you how to create your favourite festive foods and flavours in a fraction of the time. It is all about spectacular food with minimum fuss. Enjoy over 100 illustrated recipes in this books.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Celebrating Christmas
“Over 100 new recipes to show off on Christmas Day and over the holidays make this a standout book to have and use for years to come or to give as a gift to a loved one. The fabulous recipes and ideas are right up to date and will guide the reader through the Christmas festive season. The book is themed by celebration opportunity- Christmas Eve Brunch Family Lunch Christmas Night Boxing Day There’s everything in this book that a home cook needs to know about the festive season.” (Catalogue)

Fill the tins : easy baking for home / Gray, Sophie
“This substantial, beautiful baking book gives you all the recipes and tips you need for successful home baking. Sophie Gray is an expert home baker with lots of helpful hints as well as a thorough and exciting range of recipes for every baking occasion. Including cakes and cupcakes; slices and tray bakes; bready things; pies and pastry; Christmas recipes; lunchbox stuff and more. Full of classic recipes plus fresh new tastes, this is the ONE baking book everyone needs to own.” (Adapted from Syndetic Summary)

Christmas basics : simple easy to follow recipes for the festive season
“This book is written by Pamela Clark, food write associated with Australian Women’s Weekly for 5o years. A lot of cooks come up with wondrous feasts at Christmas gatherings. This cookbook will teach you all the tricks for producing just about every recipe you’ve ever dreamed of that’s suitable for the holiday season. Included are tips, hints, accompaniments, time lines with photos to guide you through the many fabulous recipes.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Christmas with Kim-Joy : a festive collection of edible cuteness / Kim-Joy
“Kim-Joy’s baked creation was in the final of the Great British Bake Off 2018, and Baking with Kim-Joy was her bestselling debut book. Sharing her simple decorating techniques and delicious flavour, Kim-Joy will delight novice and seasoned bakers with her melted snowman cake pops, white chocolate igloos with marshmallow seals, penguin bao buns and incredible inspiration for designing your own magical gingerbread village.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Holiday Crafting and Baking with Kids / Strand, Jessica
“Holiday Crafting & Baking with Kids will bring the whole family together for some good holiday fun. It’s for every occasion: Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s, and Boxing Day! Step-by-step instructions, helpful templates, and color photos make it a cinch for little ones to follow along. Best of all, the materials and ingredients are inexpensive, easy to find, and even easier to turn into amazing gifts and decorations.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

 

Lemonade stands and other things to make and sell

Whether you have a talent to show, baking to share, or just need fill up your kids’ school holidays, these books will help your crafts and produce go further, and even make a profit!

More sewing to sell : take your handmade business to the next level : 16 new projects to make & sell! / Lindsay, Virginia Keleher
“Take your handmade business to a truly professional level with practical advice from industry experts! Best-selling author Virginia Lindsay teaches you how to sell your handmade items for a real profit. This hands-on guide to the sewing business, including sixteen new sewing patterns, all copyright- and royalty-free, ready to customise for craft fairs or online shops. Make the most of your fabric, time, and resources when selling handmade totes, aprons, quilts, and more!” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Traybakes : 40 brilliant one-tin bakes for enjoying, selling and giving / Miles, Hannah
“Traybakes are one of the simplest forms of cakes and are always popular. The joy of a traybake is that it can be prepared in very little time and cut into easy and regular shaped slices or squares to serve or sell – and of course to eat! They transport easily in their tin and are just right for offering up at a bake sale. Every recipe fits the same standard tin size, so there is no hunting for specially sized equipment, and they each make 24 slices. Chocolate brownies and blondies, lemon meringue, red velvet and more.” (Catalogue)

The lemonade stand cookbook : step-by-step recipes and crafts for kids to make–and sell! / Strahs, Kathy
“Kids have been running lemonade stands for decades, whether to raise money for a new bike, for a charitable cause, or simply to conquer boredom. Inspired by dozens of kid experts from all over the country, the author has poured her expertise as a food writer, entrepreneur, and mother into the ultimate guide to setting up your own lemonade stand. Find delicious drinks, such as Classic Lemonade and Cold-Brew Iced Tea, sweet treats such as Polka Dot Blondies and Chocolate-Dipped Marshmallows, grab-and-go snacks such as Owen’s Cheddar Chompers and Sunflower Crunch Balls. ” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Sustainable market farming : intensive vegetable production on a few acres / Dawling, Pam
“Sustainable Market Farming is a comprehensive manual for farmers raising organic crops sustainably on a few acres. Targeted at serious growers, this practical book provides profiles of a full range of crops, information about new, efficient techniques and farm-specific business skills to help ensure a successful, profitable enterprise.” (Catalogue)

 

How to show & sell your crafts : how to build your craft business at home, online, and in the marketplace / Jayne, Torie
“For crafters who want to take their craft to a new entrepreneurial level, this book is the perfect guide. Using highly-visual, step-by-step tutorials, How to Show & Sell Your Crafts is packed with helpful branding, selling, and merchandising tips that no serious crafter should be without. Using the workspaces, shops, salons, and “through-the-keyhole” profiles of some of the world’s most successful crafters, readers will learn the best ways to merchandise and sell their items online, at craft fairs, markets, pop-up events, exhibitions, and in shops. ” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Paper Christmas : 16 papercrafting projects for the festive season / Dawe, Emily
“Emily Dawe shows you how to create and style your Christmas in paper, from greetings cards and gorgeous gift tags to beautiful bunting and seasonal snowflake table runners. Use wrapping paper, origami paper or card with a hint of glitter and a spark of inspiration to make your Christmas extra special.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

 

Gardening for Profit / Collyns, Kate
“More and more of us are discovering the rewards of growing our own food. But what about producing enough to sell, or even trying to make a living in this way? This book is for anyone who is interested in selling some produce for profit – whether just surplus from a vegetable garden or wholesale from a fully developed professional business. It has everything including: finding land; winning customers and marketing your produce; working out what equipment you’ll need (and how much to budget for); sourcing funding; and deciding which crops to grow.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The big book of kombucha : brewing, flavoring, and enjoying the health benefits of fermented tea / Crum, Hannah
“Presents instructions for brewing and preparing the fermented tea known as kombucha, discussing its long history and health benefits, with recipes for smoothies, cocktails, sauces, salads, and puddings.” (Catalogue)

 

 

Creative calligraphy made easy : a beginner’s guide to crafting stylish cards, event decor and gifts / Lim, Karla
Add a special touch to your next event with an elegant handwritten menu and place cards. Renowned calligraphy designer and instructor Karla Lim breaks down the complex craft into simple steps so you can get amazing professional results in your cards and gifts, while also enjoying this meditative process.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

 

Modern terrarium studio / George, Megan
“Clean lines and bold color: these aren’t your average terrariums. Author Megan George presents 25 easy-to-make terrariums and living landscapes that push the boundaries of traditional terrarium design.  An overview of the author’s favorite popular plants, including tillandsias, cacti, succulents, tropical plants and mosses.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

 

Live well, spend less – a booklist

Make every dollar work for you while also enjoying your food, home, and giving great gifts. Have a browse of the books below for tasty recipes that use everyday ingredients, decorating ideas to make your home yours in a rental, tips for growing food in the backyard, and living life well while also saving money.

Interested in one of these titles but it’s not at a branch near you? You can have books delivered to a branch near you, by clicking on the ‘Place Reserve’ button.

Here are also some useful and free resources:


Live well, spend less : easy ways to save money in every part of your life / Gray, Sophie
“This simple, practical and definitely not boring book on living well while spending less will appeal to families but also to students, flatters and fixed income households. It incorporates tips, suggestions and strategies  with a light-hearted, easy-to-apply and, honest approach. Covering all aspects of life, there are suggestions for making money as well using less of it.  Topics include: food, energy, cleaning, cars, outdoors; family life, kids and money, leisure, celebrations, looking sharp and presents.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

5 ingredients : quick & easy food / Oliver, Jamie
“Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated – that’s why Jamie’s Quick & Easy 5-Ingredient Food is sure to become your new best friend in the kitchen. It’s all about making the journey to good food, super-simple. Every recipe uses just five key ingredients, ensuring you can get a plate of food together fast, whether it’s finished and on the table super-quickly, or after minimal hands-on prep, you’ve let the oven do the hard work for you. We’re talking quality over quantity, a little diligence on the cooking front, and in return massive flavour. Each recipe has been tried and tested (and tested again!) to ensure the book is packed with no-fuss, budget-friendly dishes that you can rustle up, any day of the week.” (Catalogue)

Home sweet rented home : transform your home without losing your deposit / Grillo, Medina
“Stylish living in a rented space. You’ve got the keys from your landlord, moved into your new home, and the boxes are unpacked. Now you want to put your stamp on the place, but how do you do this when you can’t redecorate or renovate? Here, interiors blogger Medina Grillo shares her favourite tips, tricks and DIY projects for transforming a rented space. Learn how to create a gallery wall without damaging the paintwork, add a splash of colour with home accessories, update and improve fixtures and fittings — and make your rented house feel like home.” (Catalogue)

Easy on the pocket, easy to prepare : inexpensive family meals / Holst, Simon
“Who said eating needs to be complicated or costly? In Easy on the pocket, Easy to prepare, Simon Holst shows that doing both is within the reach of cooks of any ability.” (Catalogue)

Edible DIY / Baker, Lucy
“Based on the popular Serious Eats column by the same name, Edible DIY includes 75 easy recipes in five chapters: Crunchy, Boozy, Sweet, Spicy, and Jars. With plenty of packaging tips throughout, Edible DIY is the perfect solution for making inexpensive edible gifts in your own kitchen with everything from Chocolate-Peppermint Marshmallows and Coconut Granola to Homemade Sriracha and Espresso Barbeque Sauce. Illustrated with inspirational full-color photography throughout.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Grow all you can eat in 3 square feet
“Want to grow your own vegetables and food, but don’t have enough space for a garden? Don’t let lack of space get in the way of growing healthy, organic foods at home. Apartment dwellers, schoolteachers, and anyone else who wants to grow a lot of food in a little space will find a great small garden resource in Grow All You Can Eat in 3 Square Feet. Small-space gardeners, find your start in Grow All You Can Eat in 3 Square Feet, packed with information on window boxes, potted plants, patio gardening, raised beds, small square-foot gardening, container gardening, and everything else related to growing your own small garden. Whether you want to grow a full garden, grow tomatoes, grow an herb garden, or just pick up great tips for small gardens, Grow All You Can Eat in 3 Square Feet is the resource you need.” (Catalogue)

Budget bytes : over 100 easy, delicious recipes to slash your grocery bill in half / Moncel, Beth
“The debut cookbook from the Internet expert on making eating cheap dependably delicious. As a college grad during the recent great recession, Beth Moncel found herself, like so many others, broke. Unwilling to sacrifice eating healthy and well-armed with a degree in nutritional science, Beth began tracking her costs with obsessive precision, and soon cut her grocery bill in half. Eager to share her tips and recipes, she launched her blog, Budget Bytes. Soon the blog received millions of readers clamoring for more.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The budget-wise gardener : with hundreds of money-saving buying & design tips for planting the best for less / Mendez, Kerry Ann
“The Budget-Wise Gardener is here with the inside scoop on nailing the best deals and having it all. Author and “plantaholic” Kerry Ann Mendez is a resourceful garden pro who knows where the bargains are hiding. In these tip-filled pages you will learn: How to select plants that pay for their keep and keep on giving; How to navigate catalogs and garden centers to your benefit; How to time your purchases to take advantage of deep discounts and giveaways; How to find treasures at plant, bulb, and seed swaps; and much more.” (Catalogue)

Op shop chic / Lyons, Rosie
“Op shops are treasure troves of the beautiful and unique. In Op Shop Chic, Rosie Lyons shows you how to recycle your pre-loved finds into sylish and original objects to brighten up your home, garden and wardrobe.” — Back cover.” (Catalogue)

A girl called Jack : 100 delicious budget recipes / Monroe, Jack
“In her first cookbook, Jack shows you how to adapt the way you shop to be less wasteful, and to value the techniques of inexpensive but good cooking. Her recipes are reassuring and just the thing to make confident, budget-conscious cooks of us all, suggesting great alternative ingredients and different approaches to getting a good result – this is real food for real people.” (Catalogue)

Low-cost living / Harrison, John
“This book offers practical ways to save money and energy and make better uses of your resources. When economic conditions are tough, we all need to watch our spending. John Harrison’s simple, tried and tested methods will help you to enjoy a better standard of living while saving money and helping the environment. Discover the benefits of growing your own fruit and vegetables, raising chickens, making butter, cheese and bread, and brewing your own beer. Save energy, save on your bills. Harvest food for free and avoid waste.” (Catalogue)

Is it afternoon tea time yet? New cookbooks this month

There’s lots to whet your appetite in the new cookbooks this month — from tea and cake combinations, to how to cook everything gluten-free, to homemade Italian sweets. Have a browse and enjoy!

For more of the latest cookbooks and other new non-fiction (and more), visit our What’s New page.


Tea & cake : perfect pairings for brews and bakes / Franklin, Liz
“A celebration of teas – black, white, green, flowering and more – and the perfect cakes to pair with them. What better way to make the best of your fine tea than to pair it with the perfect cake, designed both to complement and enhance the experience and enjoyment? Pairings such as Japan’s Gyokuro tea with Fudgy Dark Chocolate and Almond Cakes or White Tea with Buttery Carrot and Orange Cake are just an example of the myriad combinations that prove to be a match made in heaven.” (Catalogue)

How to make anything gluten free : over 100 recipes for everything from home comforts to fakeaways, cakes to dessert, brunch to bread / Excell, Becky
“Are you avoiding gluten but yearn for fresh bread, all your favourite takeaways or a naan bread with your curry? And for your sweet tooth do you crave jam doughnuts, bakery-style cookies and classic cakes? How to Make Anything Gluten-Free is the first cookbook that shows you how to unlock all the food you truly miss eating – but nothing tastes or looks gluten-free. Becky Excell has spent years developing delicious dishes and sharing them with her followers on Instagram. She is here to show you that a gluten-free life can be exciting and easy, without having to miss out on your favorite foods ever again.” (Catalogue)

Vegan boards : 50 gorgeous plant-based snack, meal, and dessert boards for all occasions / Kasbee, Kate
“The 50 plant-based boards and platters in Vegan Boards are incredibly beautiful to the eye and deliciously tempting to the palate. Finally, a book of beautiful food board ideas for snacks, parties, and family meals that fit your plant-based diet. Serving artfully arranged foods on boards or platters is extremely popular, but until now, all the books on the subject have been full of meats, cheeses, and other animal products. Vegan Boards is the first book to make this trend accessible to people who follow an entirely plant-based diet. The results are delectable-and gorgeous to behold.” (Publisher description)

Torta della nonna : a collection of the best homemade Italian sweets / Davies, Emiko
“Take your sweet tooth on a tour of Italy with this collection of sixty much-loved sweets recipes. Recipes include sweet Italian breakfasts (including Lemon and ricotta cake, Italian brioche croissants, and Little custard and quince jam pies); classic treats from nonna’s oven (Hazelnut cake, Chocolate and amaretti flan, Stuffed peaches); snacks (Rosemary and sultana buns, Sweet breadsticks, Strawberries and wine); biscuits (Red crown biscuits, Almond biscotti, Polenta biscuits); and more.” (Catalogue)

Chinese takeaway in 5 : 80 of your favourite dishes using only five ingredients / Wan, Kwoklyn
“Kwoklyn Wan’s mega-popular Chinese Takeaway is back, but this time using only five ingredients! Alongside a basic store cupboard of five essentials – salt, pepper, soy sauce, sugar and oil – you can make a feast of easy dishes using the bare minimum. All your favourites are here – from Tom Yum Soup to Prawn Toast, Sweet Chilli Salmon and Lemon Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork Balls or Beef in Oyster Sauce, Aubergine Fritters and Chilli Ginger Crispy Tofun.” (Catalogue)

Neighbours Day Aotearoa is just around the corner

Neighbours Day Aotearoa 2021 runs from March 20-March 30th this year, and the theme is The Great Plant Swap to support neighbourhoods to growing stronger together. We’ve lined up an inspiring list of books to spark your creative ideas, from help with your own garden plants to ideas for activities. Share a plate with your neighbours and also grow connections on this Neighbours Day. Or, it’s never too late to plant something now to share later.


The sharing solution : how to save money, simplify your life & build community, by Janelle Orsi.
Sharing is the answer! This book is packed with heaps of ideas to connect with your neighbours :
Meals and food, through bulk buying clubs, meal-sharing arrangements, community gardens, neighbourhood fruit harvests, household goods, a book club, tools and toys to appliances and exercise equipment, car-pooling, caregiving for pets, children, older family members, or relatives with disabilities…. the list could go on. The ultimate beauty of sharing is that it’s a solution we create for ourselves.

Day walks of Greater Wellington, by Marios Gavalas.
Consider sharing transport to go on walks together. This book is a really helpful guide to over 70 walks (with approx times and grades) divided into 5 regional sections – across Otaki, Wellington city, the eastern bays, Wainuiomata Valley and the Hutt Valley. Illustrated with maps and plenty of photographs, this is a handy tool to choose the right path for the day.

The everything plant-based meal prep cookbook : 200 easy, make-ahead recipes featuring plant-based ingredients, by Diane Smith
“Enjoy hundreds of delicious plant-based recipes to mix and match with your meal prepping, like: Tropical Spinach Smoothie, sheet Pan Ratatoville with Creamy Polenta, Cauliflower-Sweet Potato Mash, Pan-Seared Artichoke Hearts with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Loaded Tahini-Spiced Potato Skins, Chocolate-Orange Zucchini Cake, and tasty meals for every part of the day!” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The LEGO neighborhood book : build your own town! by Brian Lyles.
Pool your LEGO resources to build on a much larger scale! Try your hand at creating your own neighborhood in miniature. Add buildings, shops, and then design the interiors by filling your buildings with furniture and light fixtures, as well as the finishing touches to your models with plants, traffic lights, scaffolding, and park benches.

Modern potluck : beautiful food to share, by Kristin Donnelly.
This updates the potluck concept into a new generation, These 100 make-ahead recipes are perfect for a crowd and navigate carnivore, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan preferences gracefully. With beautiful color photographs and lots of practical information such as how to pack foods to travel, Modern Potluck is the ultimate book for gathering friends and family around an abundant, delicious meal.

Root, nurture, grow : the essential guide to propagating and sharing houseplants, by Caro Langton,
The handbook is a practical guide with step by step instructions on how to make the most of your favourite houseplants through simple, propagation techniques. There are also welcome techniques projects including homemade rooting mediums, seed-bombs, and a self-watering plant pot. Share your plants with neighbours by making beautiful gifts and displays.

The thrifty pantry : budget-saver family favourites from under $2.50 per serve This cookbook is for the thrifty minded, with 100 recipes using common staple ingredients. Each recipe is helpfully costed out, this tailor made for cooking on a budget or at short notice. Chapters are organised into cost per serve plus there’s a handy recipe key for gluten free, vegetarian and freeze-ahead meals.

Festive vegan feasts

Looking for some delicious vegan options for the holidays? Find something delicious below! We’ve also included a link to browse more vegan cookbooks on our catalogue.

More vegan holiday cookbooks


Vegan Christmas cookbook : over 70 amazing recipes for the festive season / Oakley, Gaz
“The first ever vegan Christmas cookbook, from YouTube and Instagram sensation Avant Garde Vegan. Vegans and vegetarians everywhere will have the best holiday period ever with Gaz Oakley’s fantastic alternatives to the traditional turkey and trimmings. Gaz is an expert in bold flavors and textures, so everyone can enjoy a spectacular centerpiece and amazing food throughout the festive season. ” (Catalogue)

The superfun times vegan holiday cookbook : entertaining for absolutely every occasion / Moskowitz, Isa Chandra
“Bestselling author, vegan goddess, and comfort food queen Isa Chandra Moskowitz is back with her biggest book ever — to prove that making festive vegan food for any occasion can be easy, delicious, and superfun. You’ll start with New Year’s, stop for Valentine’s Day on the way to Easter and Passover, and cook through Hanukkah, and Christmas. And with more than 250 seasonal recipes, you’ll mix, match, and remix for every celebration in between — filling your life with holiday cheer the whole year round.” (Catalogue)

Happy vegan Christmas / Jönsson, Karoline
“Roasted nuts and vegetables, fragrant citrus and cloves, jewelled lingonberries and cardamom buns fresh from the oven – these are the delights that make a Scandinavian vegan Christmas. Inspired by classic Scandinavian Christmas cooking and seasonal dishes from around the world, this is a treasure trove for vegans, veggies and flexitarian foodies. Inspired by both classic Scandinavian holiday cooking, as well as seasonal dishes from around the world, this is an indispensable treasure trove for the vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian foodie. Roasted nuts and vegetables, fragrant citrus and cloves, jeweled lingonberries, and cardamom buns fresh from the oven–these are the delights that make a Scandinavian vegan Christmas.” (Catalogue)

Vegan Christmas / Fitzjohn, Audrey
“This book is a foolproof guide to making plant-based meals for the holidays. You could start your guests with a round of blinis and faux caviar. Then, when they’re getting snacky, bring out the arancini and dairy-free aioli. When you’re laying out the big dinner spread, you can offer your vegan guests tempeh and mashed sweet potatoes, stuffed pumpkin, and many more devilishly starchy options. Then, for dessert, roll out the chocolate truffles, a black forest cake, fruit pies, and more Plus, who even needs meat or animal products, when you’re surrounded by your friends and family?” (Catalogue)

Food, glorious food – our picks of cooking books

An eclectic mix of health foods, comfort foods and fast foods


Modern Baking : cakes, cookies and everything in between / Hay, Donna
“Donna Hay, Australia’s bestselling, favourite and most trusted cook, brings you one of her most beautiful books yet: Modern Baking, with over 250 mouth-watering recipes for cakes, biscuits and all kinds of divinely delicious sweet treats. Inside are more than 250 recipes – my all-time favourite essentials, plus some super-smart shortcuts for when life gets crazy busy.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Lateral Cooking / Segnit, Niki
Lateral Cooking is, in a sense, the ‘method’ companion to its bestselling predecessor, The Flavour Thesaurus – and is just as useful, ingeniously organised and enjoyable to read. The recipes in each chapter are then arranged on a continuum, the transition from one recipe to another generally amounting to a tweak or two in the method or ingredients.” (adapted from Catalogue)

River Cottage : Veg Everyday! / Fearnley-Whittingstall, Hugh
“Why don’t we eat more veg? They’re healthy, cost-effective and, above all, delicious. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall believes that we should all be eating more of the good stuff, as he explains in this brilliant book. With over 200 recipes and vibrant photography from Simon Wheeler, River Cottage Veg Every Day is a timely eulogy to the glorious green stuff.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Eating Well Everyday / Gordon, Peter
“Using easily sourced ingredients and simple methods, the Godfather of fusion cooking Peter Gordon has created over 170 dishes that demonstrate his passion for innovative flavours and textures in an everyday setting.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Let Me Feed You, Rosie Daykin (ebook)
“Rosie’s cooking is as unfussy and straightforward as it is delicious and beautiful. Given how busy life can be, she doesn’t believe making a comforting home cooked meal should make it any more complicated; because complicated doesn’t always mean better. Let Me Feed You is a warm, humorous cookbook full of easy-to-follow recipes destined to become new favorites.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Healthy Kids Cookbook / Bloomfield, Jill
“More than 60 delicious and easy recipes for any child learning to cook! From homemade breakfast smoothies to rainbow salad, nutritious sweets and wholesome party food, Healthy Kids Cookbook has everything you need to cook yummy meals and snacks that are packed with nutrition. With step-by-step recipes, full-page colour photography, notes for the parents, and variations to suit different tastes and dietary requirements, this book is perfect for any household that has young chefs in training!” (Catalogue)

Alternative Vegan : healthy plant-based recipes that break the rules / Reginato, Marie
“Marie Reginato makes plant-based cooking more exciting with over 75 healthy recipes with the option of adding in seafood or eggs. With delicious recipes – a majority of which are dairy, egg and gluten free – and the wiggle room to stick to a healthy lifestyle long term, Alternative Vegan is the carefully-crafted, modern approach to ditching the “one size fits all” mentality.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Tacos and Margaritas / Burggraf, Steve
“This is a smart, fun collection of everyone’s favorite foods in a single book–who doesn’t love hot dogs, hamburgers, tacos, and margaritas? With more than 100 recipes, from quick and easy to classic to more gourmet fare, including some more unusual ingredients, this book brings all of your fast-food favorites together in one place.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Saving our health one meal at a time

This month’s selection of cook books feature nutritional advice on brain health, how to balance your micro-biome for gut health, and how to replace ‘dieting and deprivation with nutrition and nourishment’. Also featured are books on the secrets of saving money in the kitchen by eating real food (even on a budget), plus frugal eating by using all the scraps to make really great delicious recipes. And best of all learn about vegan gardening and growing techniques for self-suffiency and a smaller carbon foot print. And much more.


Root & Leaf : big, bold vegetarian food / Harris, Rich
“In this exciting book vegetables take centre stage as Rich Harris explores the many ways of using them, including pickling, smoking and fermenting, alongside the more traditional roasting and braising. Rich’s use of vegetables focuses on flavour, bringing out the natural tastes of vegetables and playing with complementary textures and qualities… Rich’s recipes show you how to celebrate vegetables in their delicious and varied glory.” (Catalogue)

Fear-Free Food : how to ditch dieting and fall back in love with food / Hobbs, Nicola Jane
“Imagine having a peaceful relationship with food. One which leaves you feeling healthy, happy and full of life. No anxiety or guilt. No calorie counting or cutting out food groups. In Fear-Free Food, nutritionist and Intuitive Eating Counsellor Nicola Jane Hobbs shows you how to break free from the toxic messages of diet culture, make peace with food and discover how to truly nourish yourself.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Cooking with Scraps : turn your peels, cores, rinds, and stems into delicious meals / Hard, Lindsay-Jean
“Stop throwing away your food scraps and start enjoying them on your table’ A collection of 80 surprising, creative, delicious recipes for anyone who wants to cook smart, sustainable, and impressive meals out of unused bits of produce, cheese rinds, stale bread, and other oft-discarded foods.” (Catalogue)

The Vegan Cook & Gardener : growing, storing and cooking delicious healthy food all year round / Warren, Piers
“This book shows what fruit and vegetables you can grow at home, how to store any excess to keep you going all year round, and how to prepare your produce with a selection of satisfying and delicious recipes. Discover the fun and huge sense of satisfaction that comes from cooking something you have produced yourself. Learn about vegan gardening, self-sufficiency, year round growing techniques and seasonal recipes, fruits and vegetables, herbs, salads and sprouts, challenging crops, plus lots of vegan resources.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Great Taste : cooking (and eating) from morning to midnight / Kosann, Danielle
“Founders of popular website ‘The New Potato’ mixes food with lifestyle in this trendy, healthy cookbook: funny anecdotes, celebrity run-ins, and a healthy serving of fashion. Sisters Danielle and Laura Kosann have always loved cooking and eating out. Now, their debut cookbook brings together antics and anecdotes with 85 original recipes that anyone can make, as long as they’re hungry and have a kitchen.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Chinese Soul Food : a friendly guide for homemade dumplings, stir-fries, soups, and more / Chou, Hsiao-Ching
Chinese Soul Food draws cooks into the kitchen with recipes that include sizzling potstickers, stir-fries that are unbelievably easy to make, saucy braises, and soups that bring comfort with a sip. These are dishes that feed the belly and speak the universal language of “mmm!” You will find helpful tips and techniques, such as caring for and using a wok and how to cook rice properly, as well as a basic Chinese pantry list that also includes acceptable substitutions.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Better Brain Food : eat to cheat dementia and cognitive decline / Hobbins, Ngaire
“International expert on nutrition for older people, dietician Ngaire Hobbins presents a compelling argument that the food you eat can make a big difference to your quality of life as you age. Combined with delicious recipes from Michelle Crawford that offer optimal nutrition for brain health, Better Brain Food is the lifestyle guide you need as you or those you love grow older.” (Catalogue)

Catherine Saxelby’s Complete Food and Nutrition Companion : the ultimate A-Z guide. / Saxelby, Catherine
“Despite the huge gains in nutritional knowledge, healthy eating has not become easier. In our time-poor society, fewer people regularly cook and eat at home, and many rely on take-away and fast foods. In effect, we are suffering from malnutrition in the midst of plenty, along with many modern lifestyle diseases: obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. With more than 500 entries covering whole foods, processed foods, additives, nutrients, supplements and more, this is the ultimate family reference for good health and nutrition.” (adapted from Catalogue)

A Kitchen Fairytale : healing with food, delicious recipes for everyone / Van der Byl-Knoefel, Iida
“Written by ‘expert patient’ Iida, who has used the principles of plant-based wholefoods with no added sweeteners, fats or oils to regain her own health. This cookbook explicitly follows the approach of the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis and also provides help with other autoimmune conditions. It shows how anyone eating according to those principles can do so simply, sustainably and enjoyably–and inclusively so that family and friends can eat the same way whether they have health issues or not.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Stuck for dinner ideas? Why not try one of these cookbooks!

In recent years, people have been seeking more wholesome and natural diets to combat ill health; but with all the information available out there, finding the right path to health can be confusing and frustrating. No one enjoys restrictive meal plans, bland recipes, or eating the same thing every day.

Instead of worrying about what to eat and how it’s going to affect our bodies, 31 day Food Revolution offers readers an action plan to eating food that is healthy, humane, sustainable, and delicious. In other titles in this selection you can experience the wonderful flavours of Palestine, enjoy delicious German cuisine, find out the amazing stories of six famous women in What She Ate, or you can create exciting, satisfying meals in Fit Men Cook. You can also find tips on how to run a profitable enterprise and much more.


Overdrive cover More from Magnolia, Allysa Torey (ebook)
“Ever since the Magnolia Bakery opened its doors in 1996, people have been lining up day and night to satisfy their sugar cravings with cupcakes, layer cakes, pudding and ice cream. In the well-loved Magnolia style, Allysa brings you new twists on old favourites, such as Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting and Peaches and Cream Pie. These are desserts that Allysa makes hr family and friends at home – unfussy, straightforward and simply delicious.” (Overdrive description)

Nourishing Newborn Mothers : Ayurvedic recipes to heal your mind, body and soul after childbirth / Jones, Julia
“As a Newborn Mother your heart is wide open, you are sensitive, you are brand new. You are being invited to re-invent yourself because when a baby is born, so is a mother. This cookbook is a tool that will help you avoid feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. These Ayurvedic recipes will help heal your mind, body and soul after childbirth.” (Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Strudel, Noodles and Dumplings, Anja Dunk (ebook)
“A celebration of modern German home cooking from Anja Dunk’s young family kitchen. Strudel, Noodles and Dumplings is a long-awaited revival of this underserved national cuisine, proving that there is more to German food than Bratwurst and Black Forest gateau. Anja Dunk’s German food is gently spiced, smoky and deeply savoury. From recipes such as whole-wheat buttermilk waffles to caraway roast pork, her way of cooking is vibrant, honest, quick and deeply intertwined with the seasons and the weather.” (Overdrive description)

Baladi Palestine : a celebration of food from land and sea / Kalla, Joudie
“Following on from her bestselling Palestine on a Plate, Joudie Kalla introduces readers to even more of the Middle East’s best kept secret – Palestinian cuisine. ‘Baladi’ means ‘my home, land and country’ in Farsi and Joudie once again pays homage to her homeland of Palestine by showcasing the wide-ranging, vibrant and truly delicious dishes of this country.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Overdrive cover The 31-Day Food Revolution, Ocean Robbins (ebook)
“In this book, Ocean Robbins, CEO of the Food Revolution Network, reveals the dark secrets the food industry doesn’t want you to know that are making you and the people you love sick. He then shows you how, in just 31 days, you can use the healing power of foods to heal your gut, lose excess weight, dramatically lower your risk for diseases including cancer, heart disease, dementia, and diabetes – and contribute to a healthier planet.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover What She Ate, Laura Shapiro (ebook)
“Dorothy Wordsworth believed that feeding her poet brother, William, gooseberry tarts was her part to play in a literary movement. Eleanor Roosevelt dished up Eggs Mexican – a concoction of rice, fried eggs, and bananas – in the White House. Eva Braun treated herself to Champagne and cake in the bunker before killing herself, alongside Adolf Hitler. In the irresistible What She Ate, Laura Shapiro examines the plates, recipe books and shopping trolleys of six extraordinary women, casting a new light on each of their lives – revealing love and rage, desire and denial, need and pleasure.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Feel-Good Cookbook, Ainsley Harriott (ebook)
“Following the success of his most recent Friends and Family Cookbook, Ainsley is turning his culinary attention to feel-good cookery food that makes you feel great. Capturing Ainsley’s enthusiasm for making cooking fun, The Feel-Good Cookbook brings us food that is good for the body and the soul: healthy, tasty and easy to prepare. 150 brand-new recipes make up a bible of deliciously simple recipes, essential for time-pressed cooks wanting fresh, flavoursome and nutritious food.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Fit Men Cook : 100+ meal prep recipes for men and women – always healthy, never boring / Curry, Kevin
“In Fit Men Cook, Kevin Curry, fitness expert and social media sensation with millions of followers and hundreds of thousands of downloads on his app, shares everything you need to live a healthy life each day- from food shopping lists to common dieting pitfalls to his ten commandments of meal prep. Readers will also be inspired by Kevin’s personal story of overcoming depression and weight gain to start a successful business and fitness movement.” (adpated from Catalogue)

Green, Supercharge, Vegetarian, Vegan and so much more! – New Cooking Books

This recent picks collection includes lots of lovely cook books – all available from the Branch Libraries and from our ebooks online.

Overdrive cover Supercharge Your Life, Lee Holmes (ebook)
“A guide to making your supercharged kitchen the heart of your home, with over 160 nutritious recipes and information and inspiration to help you consume and live with purpose. If you’ve spent years navigating one restrictive diet after another, it’s time to shed the fear of eating the ‘wrong’ thing and fall in love with food again. At the heart of it all, there is food – a force for joy and connection in every aspect of life.”(adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Green Roasting Tin, Rukmini Iyer (ebook)
Seventy-five one-tin recipes: half vegan, half vegetarian, all delicious. With all seventy-five recipes in this book, you simply pop your ingredients in a tin and let the oven do the work. From flexitarians to families, this book is for anyone who wants to eat easy veg-based meals that fit around their busy lives.(Overdrive description)

Midnight Chicken : (& other recipes worth living for) / Risbridger, Ella
There are lots of ways to start a story, but this one begins with a chicken. There was a time when, for Ella Risbridger, the world had become overwhelming. One night she found herself lying on her kitchen floor, wondering if she would ever get up – and it was the thought of a chicken, of roasting it, and of eating it, that got her to her feet and made her want to be alive. Midnight Chicken is a cookbook to make you fall in love with the world again.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Jackfruit & Blue Ginger : Asian favourites, made vegan / Gill, Sasha
“THE MODERN ASIAN VEGAN RECIPE BOOK 90 plant-based, veganised versions of traditional Asian recipes inspired by the cuisine of India, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and China.” (Catalogue))

Easy Leaf Tea : tea house recipes to make at home / D’Offay, Timothy
“Unravel the history, sample the flavours and experience the amazing versatility of the world’s favourite brew and all its health-giving properties. However you take your tea: over ice in a tall glass, whipped up with soy, nut or dairy milk in a mug, or from the finest china cup, this book will ensure you get the most enjoyment from your brew.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Superfoods 24/7 : delicious recipes for superfoods at every meal / Nadel, Jessica
“Nutritional information, clever techniques and over 100 recipes for building different superfoods into your diet until you find yourself getting your superfood boost at every meal of the day. The hook of sneaking the best nutrients into every meal of the day (including sweet treats and snacks) is one that makes this book something different from the other superfoods books on the market. Filled with nutritional information and clever techniques for naturally and organically building different superfoods into your diet until you find yourself getting your superfood boost at every meal of the day.” (Catalogue)

Bento Power : brilliantly balanced lunchbox recipes / Popowa, Sara Kiyo
“Many people bring their lunch to work to save money, time and to help control what they are eating but sometimes it’s hard to think of interesting, nutritious things to make. Sara has come to the rescue with her vibrant, fun and inspirational approach to lunch boxes. She concentrates on having 5 clear elements: complex carbs, protein, fruit and veg, and sprinkles as well as the 5 colours used in authentic Japanese cooking: red, white, black, yellow and green. With just a few essential ingredients, you add your extras to create highly nutritious, vegetarian, colourful boxes of joy.” (Catalogue)

Sugar-free Home Preserving : jams, conserves, fruit butters and curds / Pearson, Valerie
“Sugar-free Home Preserving is centred around the idea of reducing the amount of sugar in our diets. The more we study food science, the more we realise that sugar is not so good for us and that we must limit our sugar intake. However, that does not mean that we cannot enjoy the same delicious foods that we have become accustomed to. In fact, we can make those same foods without sugar by using natural alternative sweeteners or foregoing sweeteners altogether.” (Catalogue)

Going nuts for guts: New Cooking books!

The Nourishing Cook book cover

It seems the world is very conscious of health issues in an age where obesity, auto-immune diseases and other chronic conditions are prevalent. The vast number of conflicting information available makes it difficult for people to choose the healthy life-style they want. Not to worry – this selection of books will help you make well-informed choices; they all agree on gut health being a priority to regaining a healthier lifestyle, by choosing to eat for gut health.

Syndetics book coverSmart Baby Cookbook : boost your baby’s immunity and brain development / Lauren Cheney.
“A blueprint for your child’s nutrition and brain health Doctor-approved and parent-tested, the Smart Baby Cookbook helps you give your young one a head-start for a healthy life, beginning with the best first foods, through to finger foods and family meals.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Happy Gut : feel-good recipes and remedies for better gut health / Reece Carter.
“The whole wellness world is going nuts for guts, and with good reason. The discovery that the gut and brain are not distinct and separate entities but closely connected is life-changing for everyone. Now, it is impossible to ignore the importance of gut health to chronic health complaints. In this vibrant book, naturopath, Garden Apothecary guru and Herb Nerd Reece Carter offers gentle traditional remedies born of the naturopathic tradition that you can make at home, as well as the most effective, easy and delicious ‘food as medicine’ recipes to help you feel better. Powered by the latest research into the gut-brain axis, The Happy Gut will show you the pathway to everyday good gut health.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPure & Simple : a natural food way of life / Pascale Naessens ; translator, Marguerite Storms.
“In Pure and Simple, Pascale Naessens shares her method for staying happy, healthy, and slim, with more than 60 recipes. She recommends a lifestyle that embraces only natural, unprocessed foods, but she is not advocating for a diet dominated by restrictions. Instead she celebrates delicious meals, pleasure, and health. Her approach has only one rule–no carbohydrates with protein. So, you can eat anything you want, but not together. You don’t need to count calories or restrict portion sizes. You will cook delicious food simply and easily. You can drink wine. You will be satisfied. And you will enjoy your food with relish.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Nourishing Cook / Leah Itsines.
“This isn’t an ordinary cookbook; it’s a creative guide that will inspire you to have a go and learn just how simple it is to cook delicious and nutritious meals that everyone will want to eat. Self-taught cook and food blogger Leah Itsines is happiest when she’s preparing delicious food for the people she loves. She’s on a mission to help others make healthy eating an easy lifestyle choice by promoting creativity and confidence in the kitchen. With over 100 colourful recipes that are close to Leah’s heart, The Nourishing Cook will inspire you to have a go and learn for yourself just how effortless it is to create nutritious meals that everyone will want to eat…. the key ingredient is balance – if you enjoy a varied diet that is flexible and full of wholefoods, you needn’t deprive yourself of anything!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMacros : a wellness and lifestyle guide to transform your body / by Sophie Guidolin.
“Sophie Guidolin has a very simple philosophy for nutrition: eat well, live well. Her latest book includes delicious recipes for clean eating as well as advice on macro nutritional counts, a 7-day meal plan and an exercise program. Sophie is an inspirational mother of four. Her authentic voice has resonated with her one million followers, with whom she shares her parenting, relationship, exercise and nutrition journeys.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Ultimate Gutfixx : how to be successful living a plant-based lifestyle / Scott Mathias.
“At last, a solution to gut issues, which becomes a lifestyle for the health of the human body and planet earth, all wrapped into one very interesting and informative read. Scott Mathias is a ‘self healed’, upwardly mobile 60+ year old vegan chef and ‘gut whisperer’. He is renowned for his inspirational best selling raw vegan recipe books. Now he has stepped off the pages and into his own lifestyle likening it to that led by the humble hippopotamus. Scott shares his wisdom around taking a 24 hour approach to his health and using the rhythm of the day – as the hippo does – and identifies food for elimination, food for ingestion, digestion and absorption and foods for the fasting hours.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Wicked Healthy Cookbook : free. from. animals. / Chad Charno, Derek Sarno, and David Joachim ; foreword by Woody Harrelson ; photographs by Eva Kosmas Flores.
“[This book] takes … plant-based cooking to a whole new level. The chefs have pioneered innovative cooking techniques such as pressing and searing mushrooms until they reach a rich and delicious meat-like consistency. Inside, you’ll find informative sidebars and must-have tips on everything from oil-free and gluten-free cooking to organizing an efficient kitchen”–Amazon.com.

Syndetics book coverThe Autoimmune Solution Cookbook : over 150 delicious recipes to prevent and reverse the full spectrum of inflammatory symptoms and diseases / Amy Myers, M.D.
“The companion cookbook to the revolutionary New York Times bestseller The Autoimmune Solution, filled with more than 150 nutritious, easy-to-prepare, every day recipes to heal symptoms of inflammation and autoimmune disorders, including Graves’ Disease, Psoriasis, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Celiac disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and Multiple sclerosis. The Autoimmune Solution Cookbook delivers more than 150 grain-free recipes designed to prevent and reverse the full spectrum of autoimmune diseases, including allergies, obesity, asthma, cardiovascular disease, fibromyalgia, lupus, IBS, chronic headaches, fatigue, multiple sclerosis, colitis, Graves’ disease, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Food Medic : recipes + fitness for a healthier, happier you / Dr Hazel Wallace.
“Junior Doctor, personal trainer and Instagram hit Dr Hazel Wallace’s first book brings you over 70 nutritional recipes to look and feel amazing whilst debunking the diet myths.’I’m a girl who juggles two jobs, who loves to lift, who adores real food – and can’t resist chocolate. As a junior doctor and a personal trainer, I know that we all feel our best when we are free of illness, full of energy and at a healthy weight – and I know it can be done, even if you lead the busiest of lives! I want to show you that eating the most natural, unrefined and unprocessed wholefood ingredients can be enjoyable, uncomplicated and easy to incorporate into a busy lifestyle. I want this book to change your life.’Hazel x” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Autoimmune Protocol Made Simple Cookbook : start healing your body and reversing chronic illness today with 100 delicious recipes / Sophie Van Tiggelen.
“The Autoimmune Protocol Diet is gaining attention as the top health-supportive diet for the 50 million people suffering from autoimmune conditions; however living the AIP way can feel confusing and overwhelming. You may have no idea where to start and are overwhelmed by the seemingly endless list of foods to avoid and strict guidelines to adhere to — the reality is that you can do the AIP diet easily (and deliciously!) This book makes AIP clear and understandable with short, succinct explanations of the different AIP approaches and 100 AIP-compliant recipes that are inventive and delicious — and don’t make you feel like you are eating on a restricted diet.” (Syndetics summary)

Flavours of the world: New cooking books

Take a culinary journey and taste the flavours of the world! This collection of cook books invites you to cook dishes from France, Turkey, Melbourne, the Middle East and more.

Syndetics book coverMy mother’s kitchen : New Zealand’s best chefs, bakers and foodies share their mothers’ special recipes.
“In this book an extremely impressive line-up of over 70 New Zealand chefs, cooks, bakers, writers and foodies share the stories and recipes from their own mother’s kitchen, the food that they remember and which triggers all the best memories of early family life. The contributors include international chef Peter Gordon; Ben Bayly of The Grove; Peta Mathias; Bevan Smith from Riverstone Kitchen; Karena and Kasey Bird and many more. This is a very special New Zealand cookbook to enjoy and share.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIstanbul & Beyond : exploring the diverse cuisines of Turkey / Robyn Eckhardt ; photographs by David Hagerman.
“Standing at the crossroads between the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Asia, Turkey boasts astonishingly rich and diverse culinary traditions. Journalist Robyn Eckhardt and her husband, photographer David Hagerman, have spent almost twenty years discovering the country’s very best dishes. Now they take readers on an unforgettable epicurean adventure, beginning in Istanbul, home to one of the world’s great fusion cuisines.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverOur Syria : recipes from home / Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi ; photography by Liz and Max Haarala Hamilton.
“Syria is where food, memory, and resilience collide: recreate the flavors of this beautiful country in Our Syria, for delicious meals anywhere in the world. Friends and passionate cooks Itab and Dina met Syrian women in the Middle East and Europe to collect together the very best recipes from one of the world’s greatest food cultures. They spent months cooking with them, learning their recipes and listening to stories of home. Our Syria is a delicious celebration of the unique taste, culture, and food of Syria-and a celebration of everything that food and memory can mean to an individual, to a family, and to a nation.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJoel Serra’s Modern Spanish Kitchen / by Joel Serra Bevin.
‘Food is not what you cook, but what you make others taste.’ Joel Serra Bevin was born in New Zealand and grew up in Tasmania. Inspired by his Catalan great-grandfather, Papa Serra, Joel moved to Barcelona where he has immersed himself in his much-loved Spanish food and cooking. These eighty recipes offer both a beginner’s guide to eating and drinking like a local in Barcelona and Spain, with fresh takes on Spanish favorites such as Fideua with Squid Ink, Allioli, Pulpo Gallego and Leche Merengada, as well as plenty of inspiration for those looking to experiment.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Palestinian Table / Reem Kassis.
“150 delicious, easy-to-follow recipes inspired by three generations of family tradition. While interest in Middle Eastern cuisines has blossomed, the nuances and subtleties of Palestinian food are still relatively unexplored. In The Palestinian Table, Reem Kassis weaves a tapestry of personal anecdotes, local traditions, and historical context, sharing with home cooks her collection of nearly 150 delicious, easy-to-follow recipes that range from simple breakfasts and quick-to-prepare salads to celebratory dishes fit for a feast–giving rare insight into the heart of the Palestinian family kitchen.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverThe Adriatic Kitchen : recipes inspired by the abundance of seasonal ingredients flourishing on the Croatian island of Korčula / Barbara Unković.
“Barbara Unkovic has always been drawn to the land of her father, the sun-soaked Croatian island of Korcula in the Adriatic Sea. She spent several years living there, in the seaside village of Racisce. Now, inspired by the island’s culinary traditions and its abundance of fresh, seasonal ingredients, Barbara has produced The Adriatic Kitchen , a delightful, rustic cookbook full of gorgeous recipes and evocative memories.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverI Heart Rome : recipes & stories from the Eternal City / Maria Pasquale ; photography by Andrea Federici and Giorgia Nofrini.
“Rome is an open-air museum; it’s a modern-day marvel of a city that has seen centuries of emperors, popes, movements, triumphs, and tragedies. Through quirky local stories and glorious pictures, I Heart Rome takes you on an inspiring journey through the Rome that tourists rarely get to see. From carbonara recipes to artichoke-frying techniques, just about everything food-related is up for–and causes much–debate in Rome. You too will heart Rome after delving into this book.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFlavours of Melbourne : over 90 restaurants, bars & hotels with their signature recipes.
Flavours of Melbourne uncovers favourite restaurants and bars in the rooftops and laneways of the city. Inside, you’ll find beautiful photography showcasing each restaurant and bar plus signature recipes from head chefs using the fantastic produce that surrounds Melbourne. Discover the hottest restaurants, cafes and bars in the cosmopolitan capital of the country with Flavours of Melbourne. With fantastic photography, signature recipes and insightful editorial, it’s an insider’s look into the very best Melbourne has to offer.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHong Kong food city / Tony Tan.
“To eat in Hong Kong is endlessly fascinating and exciting. A mere dot on the map of China, and home to seven million migrants, Hong Kong boasts a food scene that is breathtakingly rich and varied. Tony Tan explores this vibrant city through 80 exquisite dishes, from the cutting-edge contemporary to the traditional, from both the high and low of Hong Kong cuisine – with recipes from the city’s iconic hotels, its hawker stalls, and even a legendary dumpling house on the outskirts of Kowloon. Tony weaves his recipes with stories that trace Hong Kong’s Chinese roots, explore its deep colonial connections and tantalise us with glimpses of today’s ultra-modern city and most delicious eating spots.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTuscany : simple meals & fabulous feasts from Italy / Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi ; photography by Helen Cathcart.
“At the heart of every Tuscan there is a pride for their region and an incredible sense of responsibility and love for their surroundings. In Tuscany, Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi take readers on a culinary journey through a Tuscan day. The pace of both life and cooking in Tuscany is slow and calm. Breakfasts are considered, lunch often eaten at home with family, and weekend dinners a feast. In Tuscany, there is a dolci (dessert) for every month of the year, and Katie and Giancarlo do not disappoint. Tuscany takes you on a culinary journey across this diverse landscape, exploring the traditions and cooking techniques that make this food so extraordinary.” (Sydetics summary)

Food science – New Cooking books in July

You don’t need to be Stephen Hawking to be informed about the latest science when it comes to food. Check out Gastrophysics below, or one of the other books that talk about cutting edge research in what tastes good and is good for you. If the lab isn’t your jam (even the Burger Lab) then the other new arrivals still have you covered. From the urban metropolises of Japan to the Oregon farm, these other books cover the whole spectrum of natural and nutritious home-grown veggies to furious fast food.

Syndetics book coverBadditives! : The 13 Most Harmful Food Additives in Your Diet — and how to avoid them / Linda Bonvie and Bill Bonvie ; foreword by James S. Turner.
“Ever wondered how colored cereals get those vibrant hues? Are artificial sweeteners a healthy substitute for sugar? Badditives! cuts through the fog of information overload with current, updated research, identifying thirteen of the most worrisome ingredients you might be eating and drinking every day.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverGastrophysics : The New Science of Eating / Charles Spence ; foreword by Heston Blumenthal.
“Why do we consume 35% more food when eating with one other person, and 75% more when dining with three? How do we explain the fact that people who like strong coffee drink more of it under bright lighting? And why does green ketchup just not work? The answer is gastrophysics, the new area of sensory science pioneered by Oxford professor Charles Spence. Now he’s stepping out of his lab to lift the lid on the entire eating experience — how the taste, the aroma, and our overall enjoyment of food are influenced by all of our senses, as well as by our mood and expectations. Crammed with discoveries about our everyday sensory lives, Gastrophysics is a book guaranteed to make you look at your plate in a whole new way.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThug Kitchen : eat like you give a f*ck : the official cookbook.
“‘Thug Kitchen’ started their wildly popular web site to inspire people to eat some Goddamn vegetables and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow (“This might be my favorite thing ever”) and named Saveur’s Best New Food blog of 2013–with half a million Facebook fans and counting–Thug Kitchen wants to show everyone how to take charge of their plates and cook up some real f*cking food. This book is an invitation to everyone who wants to do better to elevate their kitchen game. No more ketchup and pizza counting as vegetables. No more drive-thru lines. No more avoiding the produce corner of the supermarket. Sh*t is about to get real.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverScraps, Wilt + Weeds : Turning Wasted Food into Plenty / Mads Refslund & Tama Matsouka Wong.
Inventive and delicious food, made from what most people throw away, SCRAPS, WILT & WEEDS features 100 recipes by Mads Refslund, one of the initial partners at Noma, the world-renowned Danish restaurant, using local ingredients in a sustainable, no-waste fashion. Using scraps from vegetables, fruits and animal proteins–food that would normally go to waste–Refslund creates beautiful and accessible recipes for the home cook without sacrificing anything to flavor.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDishing up the Dirt : simple recipes for cooking through the seasons / Andrea Bemis.
“Andrea Bemis, the creator of the popular farm-to-table blog Dishing Up the Dirt builds on her success with this beautiful, simple, seasonally driven cookbook, featuring more than 100 inventive and delicious whole-foods recipes and dozens of color photographs.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSuper Grains : cooking techniques and recipes using grains from amaranth to quinoa / Joanna Farrow.
Super Grains is a stylish guide to the nutritional benefits of different grains, with culinary advice, recipe ideas, complementary flavour combinations and inventive ways to cook with these often overlooked ingredients. Eat healthily by eating well. ‘Super’ grains are loosely defined as being less refined and therefore more pure than those treated with pesticides, fertilisers, irrigation and other forms of modern farming. They include quinoa, millet, buckwheat, spelt, wild rice and many other nutritious staples. Experiment with healthy risottos, muffins and burgers made from grains. Feast on a guilt-free split pea stew, richly flavored with Ethiopian spices.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJunk Food Japan : addictive food from Kurobuta / Scott Hallsworth ; photography from David Loftus.
“Packing a heavy punch and offering a fresh new look at Japanese food, Junk Food Japan showcases Kurobuta’s ‘insanely delicious delicacies’ (Jay Rayner, Observer). It is food that is both incredibly inventive yet comfortingly familiar. Signature dishes featured in this exciting new cookbook include Barbecued Pork Belly, Tea Smoked Lamb and Kombu Roasted Chilean Sea Bass. It is food full of flavour and guaranteed to wow friends, family and hungry gatecrashers.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAmazing Edible Seeds : health-boosting and delicious recipes using nature’s nutritional powerhouse / Vicki Edgson and Heather Thomas ; photography by Yuki Sugiura.
“Trained nutritionist Vicki Edgson and experienced food writer Heather Thomas set out the origins, nutritional make-up and health benefits of 20 seed varieties before exploring their diverse and delicious culinary uses. With more than 50 recipes that demonstrate the amazing versatility of these small, nutrient-packed ingredients, Amazing Edible Seeds offers numerous ways to enjoy seeds, from sprinkling them over salads or your breakfast bowl, to the more unexpected and adventurous applications to stews, risottos and desserts.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA New Way to Dinner : a playbook of recipes and strategies for the week ahead / Amanda Hesser & Merrill Stubbs ; photography by James Ransom.
“A smart, inspiring cookbook showing how to plan, shop, and cook for dinners (and lunches and desserts) all through the week. The secret? Cooking ahead. Starting with flexible base dishes made on the weekend, Amanda and Merrill mix, match, and riff to create new dinners, lunches, and even desserts throughout the week. Blistered tomatoes are first served as a side, then become sauce for spaghetti with corn. They also share clever tips and tricks for more confident cooking, showing how elements can work across menus and seasons to fit your mood or market, and how to be scrappy with whatever’s left in the fridge.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBurger Lab / Daniel Wilson.
Burger Lab examines the elements that make up the ultimate burger: the perfect squishy bun; a pickle that has just the right amount of tang and crunch; the exact quantity of mayo and ketchup to deliver maximum flavor without over-powering the burger; and the ultimate pattie that’s meaty, juicy and umami-intense. It is a science to get all the elements perfect, but in this unique cookbook Daniel Wilson shows us how to get the chemistry exactly right.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Winter Health Events in July – Food and Sports

Hear an inspiring talk by Kenny McFadden (Steven Adams’ coach) on how he changed a young man’s life with basketball; listen to Anne Else talking about memories of New Zealand cooking and baking based on her world-renowned book: The colour of food: a memoir of life, love & dinner,  and get energized by having a go at Pilates with Anne from Thrive Pilates.
All events are free to attend, located on the warm Central Library ground floor.

Wednesday 12 July, 5:30-6:30pm, Anne Else Talk: The Colour of Food, A Memoir of Life, Love and Dinner
Monday 17 July, 12-1 pm, Anna (Thrive Pilates): Pilates Lesson
Saturday 29 July, 2-3pm, Kenny McFadden Talk: Steven Adams and Basketball

Author talk by Anne Else: The Colour of Food, a memoir of life, love & dinner

Syndetics book coverWellington author Anne Else will be sharing her inspirations of food based on her internationally renowned book: The colour of food : a memoir of life, love & dinner / Anne Else.
“She has the writer’s instinct for a good story and the editor’s keen eye for accuracy and brevity… This is a disarmingly intimate life account that fast forwards and winds back as she savors and suffers a life of friendship, motherhood, love, loss and mealtimes.”- Susette Goldsmith, Listener [sourced from Amazon.com]

Anne Else is a New Zealand writer, editor, blogger, and the author or co-author of five books on women and social history. In 2004 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature. The Colour of Food is her first book about her own story.

5:30-6:30pm, Wednesday 12 July,
Wellington Central Library Ground Floor.

Anna from Thrive Pilates: Pilates Lesson

Syndetics book coverHave a go with Pilates at Wellington Central Library. Anne from Thrive Pilates will teach you how to do Pilates, so wear your comfy clothes and start exercising on the floor.
Pilates is an exercise system that focuses on stretching and strengthening the whole body to improve balance, muscle-strength, flexibility and posture. Thrive Pilates has given pilates a modern twist and is a fun way for you to achieve core control, alignment, precision, axial elongation, breathing, concentration and movement integration.

12-1 pm, Monday 17 July,
Wellington Central Library Ground Floor.

Kenny McFadden talk: Basketball

Syndetics book coverKenny McFadden was awarded Sports Legend of Wellington in 2014 and was introduced to the Hall of Fame. He is the coach who had changed Steven Adams from a troubled youth to an NBA star in the OKC Thunder team. Kenny McFadden was a “player-coach” of the Wellington Saints he took the team to 7 straight finals appearances winning 5 NBL titles from 1982 to 1988. Kenny founded Hoop Club, the largest basketball club in New Zealand. Kenny was the head coach for the Junior Tall Blacks, taking them to the FIBA U19 World Championships in 2009 in Auckland.  Kenny is also the president of the Wellington Basketball Association. Join Kenny McFadden for his inspiring talk about how he had changed a young person’s life through basketball.

2-3pm, Saturday 29 July,
Wellington Central Library Ground Floor.

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Health food fix – New Cooking books

Making and enjoying healthy meals doesn’t have to be difficult, time consuming, boring or expensive. Make life easy with this collection of healthy recipes cookbooks.

Syndetics book coverGood to Glow : feel good food / Tali Shine, Steph Adams.
“This book is your guide to the world’s hippest and most delicious, healthy and organic cafes! It features unique and exclusive recipes and signature dishes from destination spots handpicked by the author, Tali Shine. You will find mouth-watering recipes for juices and smoothies, brunches, dinners, as well as sweets and treats. Good to Glow is your go-to travel and health guide that will get you on the road to a glowing lifestyle. With numerous useful health advice and tips from the real experts and a glossary for global locations in one separate chapter.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSuperfoods Super Fast / by Michael van Straten & Barbara Griggs.
“This book is for anyone who wants fuel their body with superfoods and needs to do it super fast! It’s packed with 100 amazingly nutritious recipes to make in 210 minutes or less… Julie Montatagu’s vegetarian recipes are fast, simple and specially designed for busy people who love to eat deliciously healthy food.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverOh She Glows Every Day : quick and simply satisfying plant-based recipes / Angela Liddon.
“Angela Liddon’s eagerly awaited follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Oh She Glows Cookbook, featuring more than one hundred quick-and-easy whole-foods, plant-based recipes to keep you glowing every day of the year.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe Gut Makeover Recipe Book / Jeannette Hyde, nutritional therapist BSc.
“Transform your body, mind and health with the Gut Makeover now. The Gut Makeover Recipe Book makes this lifestyle easier than ever. There’s no calorie counting, you won’t go hungry and you’ll find out how to fit the Gut Makeover around family life. Packed with easy, delicious and nourishing recipes, all of which have been carefully crafted by nutritional therapist Jeannette Hyde. The Gut Makeover Recipe Book also explains the revolutionary new science that reveals that the state of our gut is central to our weight and health. This is more than another fad diet. This is a lifestyle you’ll want to adopt for life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpice Health Heroes / Natasha MacAller ; photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
“The alchemy of roasting and blending the perfect spice mix is a careful balance of sweet, sour, bitter and spicy that can elevate a dish to something truly special. But beyond their remarkable taste, many spices have huge benefits to health and nutrition that are only now beginning to be recognized in the Western world. This beautiful cook book includes a detailed study of the history, myths and traditional uses of spices. Spice Health Heroes takes you on a journey through the spice cabinet and will inspire you to add a fragrant spice to every meal.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHealing Bone Broth Recipes : incredibly flavorful dishes that nourish your body the old-fashioned way / Sharon Brown, with Reb Brown.
“Transform your health with simple Paleo and gluten-free recipes utilizing the concentrated nutrients of bone broth, a buzzword ingredient for healthy food celebrated by Paleo dieters. Healing Bone Broth Recipes teaches readers how to incorporate bone broth into their diets with 100 family-friendly and delicious Paleo and gluten-free recipes….the simple recipes in Healing Bone Broth Recipes are sure to bring everyone together over a delicious, healthy meal.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Wholefood Pantry : change the way you cook with 175 healthy toolbox recipes / Amber Rose.
“Rid your cupboards of ready-made ‘staples’ and change the way you cook with this essential collection of healthy recipes for stocks, sauces, spice mixes, butters, oils, ferments, cultures, chutneys and more.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverSuper Foods & Power Juices / editorial & food director, Pamela Clark.
“Full of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals, super foods help provide you with energy and nutrients to live your life to the full.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book cover100 Days of Real Food : fast & fabulous : the easy and delicious way to cut out processed food / Lisa Leake.
“In her first cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food, Lisa Leake revealed how simple it is to think out of the box in the kitchen by replacing unhealthy prepackaged and processed foods with “real food”. Now, Lisa is back with 100 quick-and-easy recipes and simple cheat sheets that will work with every family’s busy lifestyle. Along with these family-friendly recipes, 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous incorporates ideas for adult, big-kid, and little-kid packed lunches and new seasonal meal plans and shopping lists.” (Syndetics summary)

 

Socks & Plum Pudding for Christmas

In 1912, Lord Liverpool became governor of New Zealand. Alongside him, stood his wife, Annette Louise Foljambe, Countess of Liverpool. As soon as the War started in 1914, Lady Liverpool became an active supporter and fundraiser for the New Zealand troops sent to fight overseas.

Her Excellency's Knitting Book coverHer Excellency’s knitting book , compiled under the personal supervision of Her Excellency the Countess of Liverpool was published in 1915.  It was intended to encourage the women of New Zealand, as well as children (boys and girls!), to take up knitting as a valuable skill and turn it into a mass war effort by crafting useful items that would be sent to soldiers fighting for the Empire. Socks in particular were in high demand, a pair only lasting a couple of weeks. Often, the knitter would add a little hand-sewn personal note inside the garment for its recipient. The initiative became hugely popular and contributed to making soldiers feel that they weren’t forgotten back home.
One of these little books has been a treasure in our Rare Books room at the Central Library. It contains a hand-written introduction by Lady Liverpool herself, encouraging “the women of New Zealand” to take their part in the war effort by using the patterns in the book to produce some much needed comfort for the troops.

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The book despite its very modest dimensions as it was designed to be carried in a knitting bag, contains a myriad patterns and knitting instructions to guide the novice (“To wind wool so that you work from the inside of the ball, p.41) as much as the accomplished knitters . It is also dotted with quaint advertising from businesses all over New Zealand such as this Harringtons ad:

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The patterns not only cover garments of use to soldiers such as cholera belts, but items for women, children and babies. In case you always wanted to knit a cholera belt, here are instructions:

Cholera belt

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Christmas in the trenches Dominion articleThis clipping from The Dominion’s 16 July 1917 issue is a testimony of the extent of the contributions from the civilians back home. You can access the full article in the Paperspast database. Published in July, it was calling for “funds of gifts of various kinds” to ensure that soldiers on the front would receive comforting parcels from home, in time for Christmas. Plum puddings were highly prized for their capacity to travel well and their festive significance: “This year, owing to the shortage of certain classes of foodstuffs in the Motherland, these gifts, particularly plum puddings and fancy articles of food, should be more welcome than ever to the men in the fighting lines.”

 

Syndetics book coverOne of the most likely sources of the time for recipes of plum pudding would have been Mrs Beeton’s Every-day Cookery and Housekeeping Book as suggested in A Distant Feast : the origins of New Zealand’s cuisine by Tony Simpson (recipe p. 66).

Here are images of our own original copy of Mrs Beeton’s 1893 edition, available from our stacks on the second floor of the central library. It includes several versions of the Plum Pudding recipe (p. 379-381, pictured).

Mrs BeetonMrs Beeton Plum Pudding

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Syndetics book coverMrs Beeton was an incredibly popular influence in the  kitchens of the time and has remained a seminal influence in the art of cookery, as our collection bears testimony.
However, “her reputation as an innovator is unjustified“, according to Tony Simpson, author of A Distant Feast, who believes that Eliza Action should have claimed the title.
And indeed, Simon Hopkinson’s (British former chef and critic, considered to be one of the best cookery writers) quote on the cover of Eliza Acton’s Modern Cookery for private Families stands as more than a stamp of approval: “The Author’s Christmas Pudding is as perfect as any festive pudding can be. I would not cook, nor eat I wish to eat, any other than Acton’s.” You will find her recipe p. 416 of this edition.

To read more about Eliza Acton refer to Syndetics book coverThe real Mrs Beeton : the story of Eliza Acton  by Sheila M. Hardy with foreword by Delia Smith.
For her own recipes, read Modern Cookery for private families : reduced to a system of easy practice in a series of carefully tested receipts in which the principles of Baron Liebig and other eminent writers have been as much as possible applied and explained  with an introduction by Jill Norman.

And finally, another source of recipes that has withstood the test of time is Auguste Escoffier’s A Guide to Modern Cookery. Published in English in 1907, it became a Bible for many generations of chefs and amateurs cooks. Hailed as one of the greatest chefs and food writers of all times, Escoffier redefined French cuisine and propelled it into the 20th Century, influencing cookery internationally.  Here is a photo of the 1951 reprint we hold in the stacks with Escoffier’s version of the very British Plum Pudding.

Mrs Beeton Auguste EscoffierEscoffier3

For more contemporary publications regarding “The King of Chefs and the Chef of Kings”, Escoffier’s nickname, check our catalogue here.

Notes:
A very interesting documentary about Lady Liverpool and her war efforts, screened on TV3 News last August can be watched on this New Zealand History page with an accompanying article.

And for the francophiles out there, a recent episode of the highly entertaining food programme “On va déguster” produced by the French national radio station France Inter has a very informative piece on Auguste Escoffier. You can read and listen here! Bon Appétit et Joyeux Noël!

Nāku te rourou: Pūhā Pesto (And History) On Lazy Afternoons

There’s as many paths to cooking as there are cooks, I’m sure. But last weekend I found myself in the unusual position of starting a recipe because I’d been spending some time with our library rauemi on World War One.

Here at Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui we’re gearing up, like the rest of the country, for the anniversary of WWI, the Great War as it was known. And we kaitiaki pukapuka who look after the Māori and New Zealand sections, well, we’re researching. Less famous than the 28th Māori Battalion, the “Native Contingent” of Māori men were sent in the Great War to Egypt, to Malta, to Gallipoli, to France and to Belgium. You can read more about this here at New Zealand History Online, or come in to browse our collections on the subject (start here).

Reading about all this got me thinking about the food the ope taua must have eaten on the move in the Mediterranean. I’ve heard stories before of soldiers finding pūhā ki tāwāhi, and a  quick search confirmed for me that pūhā, the sow thistle (and endemic New Zealand variety, sonchus kirkii), is found all over the world. It’s part of Italian peasant cuisine as “Minestra con Pollenta”, and is used as a salad herb in Malta and Greece, where it’s called zohos. Though I have no records, I can well imagine army rations being supplemented by sweet, fresh pūhā, or even combined with more traditional Mediterranean cuisine. And since I hankered for something new to spread on my rēwena bread, Sunday afternoon had me pulling out the blender to mix up an experimental batch of pūhā pesto.

Pesto is a mediterranean spread that can really have anything in it, but in its most common form, it’s a paste made from basil, pine nuts and parmean. Quantities are approximate, but make sure you have:

1 bunch of pūhā (when I was eating it in the rohe o Hauraki, pūhā was always what we called the sow thistle sonchus. I learned, talking to other people since, that watercress (wātakirihi) is sometimes called pūhā as well. But for this recipe I used the less bitter, spikier thistle pūhā)

50g parmesan cheese
50g pine nuts
Juice of ½ lemon
Oil (I used rice bran, but olive oil is standard, and goes with pūhā in Crete)
You’ll also need a blender, unless you want to be shredding leaves and pounding them up for a while.

I only used the tender leaves of the pūhā, and dicarded the stalks and spiky leaves, because I wasn’t about to cook them, which softens their sting. So I plucked off all the leaves and blended them up until finely shredded.

Then, because I wanted to keep a close eye on proportions and what I was doing, I transferred the shredded leaves out of the blender into a measuring jug before adding the pine nuts, grating in the parmesan and, because I don’t have a mortar and pestle anymore, smashing the three ingredients together with the end of a very solid rolling pin. Use your number eight wire ingenuity, and something in your kīhini will work.

Then I added the oil, a drizzle at a time, and mixed it in til it was a nice, spreadable consistency. When I tasted it, the flavours of the pūhā and pine nuts made a very nutty taste, so I squeezed in the juice of half a lemon to help counteract that – it worked nicely. Now is when you can adjust the ingredients as you see fit – more tīhi, more nuts, a little more lemon for the sour taste – I spent a while playing around with the taste. But in the end I had about half a jar of delicious pūhā pesto. The leaves worked really well and it tastes fresh – definitely my new favourite way to eat pūhā!

This I’m sure will go well with rēwena – but since my potato bug (which I’ve discovered is called a kōtero) was in recovery mode when I made the pesto, we had to be contented with crackers. They were both eaten very quickly – the only downside to mahi kai!  But if you’re on the lookout for inter-cultural recipes (or a good reason to make more food) while we commemorate Māori overseas, here’s a starter for you.

Pesto

Nāku te rourou is a monthly food blog focussing on Māori food and recipes. Don’t think Julie and Julia. Think kīhini chaos, kānga pirau, and kai for the soul. Nau mai ki tāku kīhini… Welcome to my kitchen.

Māori words used in this blog entry:
rauemi – resources
Te Matapihi ki te Ao Nui – Wellington City Libraries
kaitiaki pukapuka – librarian
sope taua – troops
ki tāwāhi – overseas
rohe o Hauraki – region of Hauraki (the Hauraki plains and Thames Valley)
kīhini – kitchen
tīhi – cheese
mahi kai – cooking

Nāku te rourou: Rēwena Starter Diary: Or, a Bewildered Beginning

Nāku te rourou is a fortnightly food blog focussing on Māori food and recipes. Don’t think Julie and Julia. Think kihini chaos, kānga pirau, and kai for the soul. Nau mai ki tāku kihini… Welcome to my kitchen.

4.24 pm Monday afternoon: I am not entirely calm about this week’s kai blog. Having volunteered (foolishly!) to get this food blogging ball rolling, I’m confronted with the sad fact I haven’t so much as seen a proper, hole-in-the-ground hangi in years, my kitchen is the size of a cupboard and, since moving to urban Pōneke five years ago, I’ve no idea where or from whom to get pūha, gather kaimoana, or find a decent eel. I’m not starting with much know-how, is what I’m saying.

But hei aha! I hate to pass up a challenge, and I’ve the great advantage of working in the whare pukapuka. This manu has an easier job ki te kai mātauranga when it’s all searchable via our catalogue. Our kai Māori books here at the library are diverse and there are some real taonga in the mix – I could (and will, at some later date!) write a whole blog just about them.

For starters, I decide to try a rēwena mix. This potato bread uses a fermented potato water mix as a rising agent rather than yeast, and the mix is called a ‘bug’. The bugs can live forever (it seems) and recipes and bug cultures are passed down families. Since my whanau’s not big on bread, I’ll be starting from scratch, and after some research, I’ve chosen two separate tohutao paraoa from our Māori cookbook collection at the library, calmed down a bit, and I’m underway.

Tuesday night, at home in my Aro Valley eyrie: I’ve equipped myself with a bag of rīwai from the dairy and I’m ready to try my first recipe. Recipe #1 is from David Fuller’s 1978 Maori Food and Cookery, which is full of delightful, archaic line drawings.

Fuller’s recipe calls for much more flour than potato, and a small amount of sugar, and needs to be mashed to a ‘fairly firm texture’ after the potatoes boil, then left in a warm place ‘to prove’. Oh no, I thought, here comes the wild yeast. Anyway, I duly follow the recipe, leave the starter on a warm shelf to ‘prove’ (read: ferment), and come back to check it a day later. It looks like a sludgy lump of dough and doesn’t seem to be rising. I don’t know what I did wrong. Aaaaaaargh! There will be no picture of this; it’s too humiliating. Also, too sticky. Time for plan B.

Cooking with Charles Royal (2010) is one of the latest heirs to the (rather small) genre of published Māori cookery books David Fuller pioneered. It’s a much more modern volume, and the rēwena starter recipe is quite different. After boiling, you remove the potatoes and only use the water they were boiled in (perhaps this was my mistake in the first recipe?), adding enough flour to make a ‘thin batter’. Then you prove it by leaving it for, according to Charles, up to two hours. I don’t have a hot water cupboard, so I put the covered bowl on the deck under the BBQ for shade before I left for work. I’m a bit dubious about leaving my baby bug to develop on its own while I toddle off to the wharepukapuka, but needs must.

Thursday evening: When I get home there’s a lovely surprise waiting for me. The bug has grown, and smells lovely and yeasty. It’s not super bubbly yet, which worries me a bit, but there are bubbles on the surface, and it’s early days yet.

The Bug
I hope you can see the bubbles. There are bubbles there, honest.

I’m just happy to have made something vaguely ferment-y! The bug is meant to be fed with sugar (again, for the recipe, see the book here) the night before it’s used. I’m hoping to get started on step two, making the bread, tonight or tomorrow night, so I wake up early on Friday morning to check on the starter. The whānau all arrived last night from the Coromandel and they’re keen to try anything that might have food value, but their stuff fills the entire house and I have a heart-stopping few moments when I can’t find my starter bowl! After a couple of minutes of screeching, I mean searching, I locate it perched on top of the heater after someone’s re-arrangement of the lounge. I feed it with a spoonful of sugar, get my teina to take some photos, and settle the bug on the window sill for the day.

Bug on Window Sill
Are you quite comfortable, my little bug?

Come tonight, I hope it’ll be bubbling and ready for the next step – the step in which I get to make delicious bread! I have to admit to some nervousness. I’ve never made rēwena before and neither has my Mum, so I’m flying blind here. But there are as many rēwena recipes, it seems, as there are cookbooks or rēwena cooks, so I’m by no means out of options! Next blog, instalment two of rēwena in which, fear not, photos of bready goodness and success will come.

Rārangi kupu:
“Nāku te rourou” – part of a well-known proverb (whakatauki) reading “Mau te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi”/ “with my food basket and your food basket, the iwi will thrive”. This emphasises cooperation between individuals for the wellbeing of the group.
Kihini – kitchen
Kānga pirau – sour corn
Kai – food
“nau mai ki taku kihini” – welcome to my kitchen
Hangi – a Māori earth steamer oven
Pōneke – Wellington
Pūha – sow nettles, boiled leaves used in Māori cooking
Kaimoana – seafood
“hei aha!” – whatever!
Whare pukapuka – library
Manu – bird
“ki te kai mātauranga” – “to consume knowledge” – references a well-known proverb, “Ko te manu kai i te miro, nōna te ngahere, ko te manu kai i te mātauranga, nōna te ao” – “the bird that eats the miro berry has the forest, the bird that eats of knowledge has the whole world.” (see also ‘manu’).
Taonga – treasure(s)
Paraoa – bread
Hinengaro – mind
Kōhanga – Māori language pre-school education
Pīpī manu – baby bird
Rēwena bread – potato-yeast bread
Paraoa poke – fried bread
Whānau – family
Tohutao – recipe
Teina – younger sibling of same gender

November Cooking

Syndetics book coverArt Smith’s Healthy Comfort : How America’s favorite celebrity chef got it together, lost weight, and reclaimed his health! / [Art Smith].
“Several years ago, when Smith “tipped the scales at 325 pounds,” he signed on with a health coach who got him “walking, biking, and eating right.” In this self-help-cookbook hybrid, the slimmed-down celebrity chef and restaurateur describes these successful recent shifts in his personal diet.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGoodness Me It’s Gluten Free / by Mary & Vanessa Hudson.
“One of life’s simple pleasures is eating food that is both visually appealing and packed so full of flavour that each bite is a delight to the taste buds, As this can be a challenge when eating gluten free we have carefully crafted all the recipes in this cookbook so that gluten free baking will once again satisfy this simple pleasure.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverGreen Smoothies & Protein Drinks / Jason Manheim ; photography by Leo Quijano II.
“The green smoothie is hands down the best supplement to any diet. With at least one green smoothie a day, your body will not only receive an extra boost of nutrients, but will eventually crave these healthier foods naturally. Slowly but surely, unhealthy foods will be replaced by healthier counterparts, and your overall diet and well-being will benefit from the change. With fifty delicious and nutritious healthy green smoothie recipes, advice and information on digestion, food combining, detoxing, fighting disease, weight loss, and diet, this guide really packs a punch.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe CSIRO & Baker IDI Diabetes Recipe Book / CSIRO, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute ; photography by Cath Muscat.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you are not alone. More than 1.5 million Australians have diabetes, and more than twice that number are likely to develop diabetes in the next five to ten years. The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be controlled so you can lead a normal life. The right eating plan, regular exercise and, where necessary, diabetes medication, can make all the difference. The CSIRO and Baker IDI Diabetes Recipe Book provides you with more than 100 delicious recipes for every occasion – from feeding a family to hosting an elegant dinner party.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAll Natural : a skeptic’s quest to discover if the natural approach to diet, childbirth, healing, and the environment really keeps us healthier and happier / Nathanael Johnson.
“Why are severe injuries to women during childbirth increasing in the U.S.? Can our prevailing assumptions about diet and nutrition “to a large extent be responsible for the epidemics in heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis”? How can humans be a functional, helpful part of nature rather than destroying it? These are some of the questions that journalist Johnson explores in his quest to “unravel the confusion surrounding technology and nature.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverAllergies, Away! : creative eats and mouthwatering treats for kids allergic to nuts, dairy, and eggs / Ginger Park and Frances Park.
“When sisters Ginger and Frances Park opened up a chocolate shop in Washington, D.C., they couldn’t wait to share their gourmet sweets with their friends and family. Unfortunately, Ginger’s son, Justin, was born with severe food allergies, and even visiting the shop-made Justin sick. Far from discouraged, Ginger and Frances vowed they would find alternatives for Justin that tasted better than the real thing. Inspired by their mission, Frances and Ginger wrote Allergies, Away!, a fun and healthy cookbook chock full of recipes for the millions of parents whose children have food allergies.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverAt My Table : delicious recipes from 60 celebrated chefs for people with diabetes / edited by Amanda Bilson and Janni Kryitsis.
The first absolutely accessible yet entirely sophisticated recipe book for people with diabetes, their families and friends. Every cook will discover favourite recipes in this collection – from Maggie Beer’s Haloumi and Citrus Lentils and Adam Liaw’s Scallops with Green Olive Tapenade and Preserved Lemon Powder to Luke Mangan’s Warm Oriental Duck and Mango Salad and Janni Kyritsis’s Pink Gin Granita. Amanda Bilson, the wife of renowned chef Tony Bilson, who has had Type 1 diabetes for 45 years, and Janni Kyritsis, an acclaimed chef himself who has Type 2 diabetes, have invited the best chefs in Australia to contribute wonderful recipes – some for everyday eating, some for special occasions.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVB6 : eat vegan before 6:00 to lose weight and restore your health– for good : the flexible diet you can really stick to, with more than 60 easy, delicious recipes / Mark Bittman ; foreword by Dean Ornish.
“When Bittman (columnist, New York Times; How To Cook Everything) was told by his doctor that he was prediabetic, had pre-heart disease symptoms, and should become a vegan, Bittman did what any other omnivorous food writer might do: ask for a compromise. He created his own diet, essentially becoming a part-time vegan. Bittman’s plan is simple: he avoids animal products and processed foods of all kinds before dinnertime, eats whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, cooks at home, exercises, and focuses on improved health rather than the scale. When six o’clock rolls around, all bets are off and Bittman eats whatever he wants-in moderation.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverThe Eat Well Cookbook / Jan Purser & Kathy Snowball ; photography by Greg Elms.
“Staying excited about eating or cooking when your diet is restricted (i.e., gluten or dairy free) often seems difficult. Purser, a naturopathic nutrition counselor, and food writer Snowball (coauthors, The Detox Cookbook) strive to show that despite such diet challenges, one can have a variety of delicious dishes from which to choose.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverFeel Good Food : wholefood recipes for happy, healthy living / Tony Chiodo.
Feel Good Food is an inspiring and heartfelt cookbook for anybody who cooking and eating, and appreciates great health and fantastic flavour modern, everyday cookbook with stylish and simple recipes for every occasion.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Truly Healthy Family Cookbook : mega-nutritious meals that are inspired, delicious and fad-free / Tina Ruggiero.
“In The Truly Healthy Family Cookbook, award winning nutrition expert Tina Ruggiero delivers what we all crave: an approachable cookbook filled with inventive, playful recipes that pack a powerful nutrient punch. Ruggiero proves that healthful eating can be fun, decadent and satisfying, without a huge amount of effort.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverSmart Bites for Baby : 300 easy-to-make, easy-to-love meals that boost your baby and toddler’s brain / Mika Shino ; preface by Meirav Sakalowsky ; foreword by Lisa Stern ; nutritional consultation and foreword by Bonnie Modugno ; photographs by Beatrice Peltre.
“Smart Bites for Baby incites an essential revolution in pediatric nutrition!… Smart Bites for Baby helps you give your child a jump start on nutrition – and success.” (Book jacket)

I love reading with my Mum and Dad – Books for families

It’s family reading time! Share your hobbies and favourite books, and enjoy the laughter and joy they create.

For engine and speed lovers:
Syndetics book coverSupercars / [written by Mark Hillsdon].
“Your heart is pumping faster to the revs and roars of the engines. Yes, the love of cars is in the big and small boys’ gene.” (Staff review)

Syndetics book coverTop Gear : the cool 500 : the coolest cars ever made / Matt Master.
“Ever since Karl Benz first powered up his Patent-Motorwagen in 1885, man has salivated and swooned over automobiles. And none more so than the motoring fanatics at Top Gear Magazine, who have test-driven, critiqued and worshipped some of the finest cars in motoring history.” (Library catalogue)

For the creative science fantasists:
Syndetics book coverEnder’s game / Orson Scott Card.
“Six-year-old Ender Wiggins, a star pupil in Battle School, suddenly finds himself in a real war when he’s chosen to lead Earth’s people to victory in an interstellar battle against insectoid aliens.” (Adapted from Booklist)

Syndetics book coverAirborn / Kenneth Oppel.Airborn
“A swashbuckling new fantasy by the bestselling author of the Silverwing trilogy. In the early 20th century, a young orphan serves as a cabin boy aboard an airship and is witness to life-and-death battles in the sea and above land.” (Syndetics summary)

For those with unstoppable feet and adventurous minds:
Syndetics book coverThe world is waiting for you / Barbara Kerley.
“”What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question kids get asked over and over. But very few connections are made for kids between the present and the future. This book shows kids a pathway from their current interests and talents to a future career or interest. And in so doing, it also encourages adventure, exploration, and discovery, three core principles of National Geographic’s mission. It’s a celebration of possibility–so simple and so profound.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book cover125 years : the moments, the people, the discoveries that changed the world.
“A collection of memorable National Geographic programs to celebrate 125 years of the society.” (Syndetics summary)

For the colour and flavour cultivators:
Syndetics book coverPasta sauce! : grow your own ingredients / Cassie Liversidge.
“K-Gr 4-Kids interested in digging into this project will need to bring an engaged grown-up along for the ride, but it shouldn’t be hard to find one. Adorable, friendly vegetables take readers on a chapter-by-chapter guide through each ingredient in the garden: tomatoes, onions, basil, peppers, and garlic. Supplies for growing each one are laid out, and step-by-step instructions follow, with a few hilarious veggie jokes interspersed throughout. The introduction provides a “rough guide” for when to sow and harvest, but makes the wise recommendation to check the local weather. Some terms are defined while others, like “worm tea” and “wormery” are not. The pasta-sauce recipe is a little vague at times, using “about ten big handfuls” and “a bunch” as measurements. Each step is illustrated with photos and includes instructions for kids to cut onions and garlic, but recommend asking an adult to help cut the pepper. In spite of a few inconsistencies, this is a fun concept in an attractive package that could get kids growing and cooking their own food.” (Adapted from School Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverGrow your own plants / [Alan Titchmarsh].
“Using a variety of simple propagation techniques, learn how to grow your own plants for free. Alan Titchmarsh shows how to sow seed, take leaf and root cuttings, divide shrubs, and how to promote growth in your young plants. He covers all the essentials and provides inspirational ideas for filling your garden with flowers, shrubs, trees and vegetables, all grown from scratch.” (Syndetics summary)