Watching the video of your interview and reviewing the free sampling Amazon gives of your book, I had a question. Before I offer it, I want to say just how beautiful your photographs in the book were. I find that I am so much more inspired to cook amazing things when I have beautiful pictures along with the recipes. I also really love that you mentioned having a focus on what ingredients you have rather than being fixed on a tight immutable design. That was one of the things I most liked about The Enchanted Broccoli Forest years ago and I expect it is a huge draw for your book as well. The question I had was about where this book stands apart. With a number of seasonal cooking books on the market, the primary difference seems with your own permaculture twists seems to be a focus on ease of use. Fitting the whole thing more neatly into our modern lives than a number of older from-scratch recipes are. Is that assessment accurate? Also, how strongly does that theme play into the book as a whole? Are there other aspects that may not be as evident as well?
D. Logan wrote:The question I had was about where this book stands apart. With a number of seasonal cooking books on the market, the primary difference seems with your own permaculture twists seems to be a focus on ease of use. Fitting the whole thing more neatly into our modern lives than a number of older from-scratch recipes are. Is that assessment accurate? Also, how strongly does that theme play into the book as a whole? Are there other aspects that may not be as evident as well?
Hi D and thanks for such a perceptive question.
My aim is for the book to be enabling. I wanted to help people to learn to cook and to do so without recipes. So my primary focus was on offering methods and principles how to cook various types and styles of dishes and give ideas & inspiration which ingredients the cook could use to make them. I think that in an system (this being food production/consumption) the most flexible actors in the system are most likely to be successful. So, my aim was to encourage a flexible approach to ingredients, grounded in sound principles.
At its heart the theme is sustainability. To cook like this you need the skills and knowledge. To maintain the approach the food needs to taste good, be cookable within your time and money budgets and be appreciated by those you cook for. To be sustainable within the wider system you need to make the best use of what you have, only use what you need and recycle your waste products.
So time was a one criterion for me. Some of the recipes are very quick to prepare. Sometimes I looked to help use time (and energy) efficiently by batch cooking larger quantities. Another time saver is to preserve ingredients in advance so that they could be used quickly later. One of the things I advocate in my Three Steps Approach is advance planning and this can help save lots of time further on.
And I also look to help people cook using the most approriate/efficient energy source. For example, in the eggs section, I show that the eggehs can be cooked in the oven or on the hob as can many of the fish dishes.
The final section contains tips and tricks for using all of the piece of produce that you have, so the minimum is not used. So, for example, I included a recipe for carrot top pesto so that the leaves are not wasted.
I think the combination of these approaches sets The Permaculture Kitchen apart. Obviously, it's for you and others to judge how well I've done that
Carl Legge, author The Permaculture Kitchen
That sounds like it is stunning. It dovetails with my own cooking philosophies perfectly. I really hope I win this one, but even if I don't I am certainly going to add it to my book wishlist for purchase. Thanks for the concise answer and for taking this week to answer everyone's questions.