The bookshop is such a humbling experience - surrounded by pages of others peoples lives or recordings of the things people have done. For every book in a book shop is interesting for someone - and when it boils down to it, there is someone behind every single book. Someone that found the time to do something noteworthy among the demands of every day life. I often spend my day off in a bookshop and I'm usually found in the cookbook sections. Fiction books I tend to buy on my Kindle but cookbooks, cookbooks are more visual and I feel like I need to hold the book between my hands to FEEL it.
I can spend hours marvelling at the amazing people who spend their days toiling, creating and living the recipes they share. It was while doing this that I discovered a slim but pleasing looking book among the bigger books. My eye was instantly drawn to the muted colours that I use so much in my own photography. But not just that, there was something about this book - the way Eleanor combines her writing and photography is just magic.
I think I knew I was buying the book before I even opened it up, but when I did I landed on a beautiful photograph of some honeyed balsamic shallots. It was then the tannoy announced the shop was closing and not wanting to hold the cashiers up, I took a quick pic on my phone (my way of jotting things down) and headed home. Later that eve I looked at the book on Amazon (and even added it to my cart) but deciding I wanted to make the recipe I had seen vowed to cycle into town the next day to buy the book.
I honestly felt like a child bringing a prize home from school cycling home with that cookbook.
Over 100 nutritious recipes lay in the semi matte pages and the weights and portions are clearly and simply marked - there's main meals, light meals, starters, desserts, snacks and breakfasts as well as some of Eleanor's kitchen basics - like sauces and dressings. But the way she writes about her recipes, you can tell that she literally lives the food she makes and eats and my heart is so full that her spirit has just so beautifully embraced a change in her families diet (her young daughter developed a condition that led to an exclusion of gluten).
I'm so pleased to have this book in my collection - even when I look at the light meals I am totally inspired to add other recipes in the book to upsize to a main as each one is fuss free but subtly brilliant (the best kind of brilliant in my opinion). Eleanor makes everything feel possible. In fact, back to Amazon (see there was a reason I told you that!), when I ordered a spare camera battery to arrive at my mums, I accidentely checked out a second copy of the book. It arrived just as we were going out the door to see my nan in hospital - realising my mistake I was going to pack it up and send it back, but my mum who isn't a keen cook picked it up and instantly said she would keep it. Rushing back and forth looking after elderly parents has meant her own well being has taken a back step and I'm delighted she was attracted to this book - which isn't an easy feat.
And for me, well this book is just what I needed at the moment - I generally get home around 8pm from the studio every day so I can cast my eye over this while eating breakfast (I'm a big believer in thinking about food while eating food - so much healthier than checking emails or Twitter) and can pick up any extra ingredients I need that can be easily obtained en route home or at lunchtime. My favourite recipe so far is the salmon, dill and horseradish cream salad.
Post bought to you with Eliza Shaddad - Alright Again. Accompanies the thoughtfulness of this book beautifully.
Formally Emma Gutteridge