I just received this hefty book in the mail from Australia as a birthday present from my mother. Add the exorbitant postage, and this elegantly bound book, with cloth & embroidery, is quite an extravagant gift.
As an ex-pat Australian, I was only vaguely aware of Maggie Beer from a TV show she does with a rather whiny "chef" as well as the excellent products she has produced, although an unopened bottle of her verjuice sits somewhat forgotten in my pantry... Forgotten no longer! I now have several excellent recipes to use this mysterious substance in, thanks to Maggie Beer's well-researched and easy to follow recipes.
Okay, I haven't attempted one yet, but all the recipes are so simply presented it should be a snap. The first recipe I will try is Maggie's famous "sour cream pastry" -- just three ingredients - flour, butter and sour cream. Sounds pretty decadent.
So far I have enjoyed the stories of how Maggie's business grew. Also the photos in this large book are just breathtaking and make this Aussie girl quite homesick for her sunburnt land.
I love that the book is laid out in seasonal chapters. In this day and age where most produce (at least here in LA) is available all year round, consulting this book is will definitely encourage me to buy locally and seasonally. Something we can all do to reduce our carbon footprint, right?
One other thing -- I thought my library was complete with a couple by Bourdain, Gabriel Gate, my Larousse and Stephanie Alexander's excellent and comprehensive Cook's Companion, that lists all chapters via ingredient. I was wrong! Maggie's Harvest is a welcome addition to this handful of oft-consulted books.
And Mum, next time buy it from amazon, silly! You might save a fair few bucks!!