Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Stephanie Alexander: a book giveaway

I was too late getting to the food co-op this week. Sweet potatoes had all but gone – pretty much the only vegetable my little cuddlebug will eat. 

So Luca helped me pile in what was left of the parsnips.

While they napped yesterday, I decided on Stephanie Alexander's parsnip croquettes*. Cooked till tender, then fried in a little butter and cumin, mashed with egg yolk and rolled in wholemeal breadcrumbs, they were sweet, crisp and they had me wishing I bought more parsnips.

Sadly, though, Kian made it quite clear that roasted sweet potato is still his favourite thing to eat. 

I've had The Cook's Companion ever since it was published. It's one of those timeless books with recipes for everything, from bug meat coconut curry and lemon risotto to lamb shanks and popcorn.

The funny thing is I laid my hands on another copy a few weeks ago. The cover is different and infinitely more charming than the one I have, so I couldn't resist. 

It would make the perfect present so I'm giving it away. To say thank you for all the lovely comments lately. Just leave me a comment if you'd like to win this magnificent tome. 

Do you collect cookery books? What about ones you already have – or is that just me? 

Update: Congratulations Libby!

Parsnip croquettes from The Cook's Companion

900g parsnips, peeled and trimmed
1 tsp ground cumin
2 eggs, separated
1 tbsp chickpea flour (I used plain flour)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
olive oil

Cut parsnips into chunks. Boil until tender, then drain well. Melt 50g butter, then add cumin and sweat for 1-2 mins. Mash parsnip and add egg yolks. Sift in flour (I didn't bother!) and season. Mix thoroughly (there shouldn't be any lumps, but guess what? Mine did) and chill for 1 hour (I chilled for 20 mins). Lightly whisk egg whites. Spread breadcrumbs on a plate. Rolls spoonfuls of parsnip mixture into sausage shapes or flattish cakes. Dip first in egg white and then in crumbs and chill until needed (or don't chill if you have hungry children to feed). Fry in butter and oil until crisp and brown.


  1. Oh I love the look of that book! We have so many cookbooks that we had a new bookcase built! I keep a couple in the kitchen though and always use Good Housekeeping for the basics. X

  2. What a nice give-away! I love books! But, honestly, I am not a big fan of cooking, wish I was, but I just seem to lack the creativity and inspiration for it, especially during the busy weeks. So, in general we have lots of healthy, but boring meals: rice, pasta veggies.... Perhaps a good cookbook could change that? ;-) Thanks and best wishes!

  3. Oh, I am so into cookery books. Lately it's vintage ones. I picked up a first edition Margaret Fulton recently, with memories of my mum cooking from it. She visited over the weekend and made the lemon meringue pie from it- lush. I did, however, chuck out all the food magazines I had collected, now that they are all online. But a book is a beautiful thing :) great giveaway, from sarah.
    ps. sent you an email about FIG things and bush kinder things ;)

  4. This is a gorgeous looking book. I've often wandered past it in the stores. I have a very limited supply of cook books, as most are still packed up in our boxes in Canada, and so I often find myself browsing the web for great recipe ideas.

  5. This book looks wonderful, I have picked it up from time to time in bookshops but never committed. I have to admit to being a cookbook addict, I read them like novels from front to back. I have some fave authors whose books I ALWAYS buy regardless just cause I adore them, Nigella, Tessa Kiros, Nigel Slater and Jamie and I have to have Sophie Dahl as well as her books are stunning.

  6. I love books of all kinds which would explain why I am a librarian. I have only recently taken up cooking so I am trying different books out lately.

  7. A great giveaway. I have this book myself ( so don't include me in the giveaway). I love how it is set out by ingredients.
    If I only had one cookbook, this would be the one.

  8. Hello, I stumbled upon your lovely blog from Lemon Rhodes :) This is such a fantastic giveaway! I've heard many a great thing about The Cook's Companion and I've always wanted it, but have often been distracted into buying the latest new release instead (and the price tag has always deterred me too). This cookbook would certainly provide the much-needed boost of inspiration I need in the kitchen at the moment!

  9. Hi there. I actually just found my way to your blog whilst doing a bit of research about home schooling... The post about your decision to give your children a longer childhood was really nice. My eldest is 3 and I'm certainly feeling the same, but I wanted to share with you an option that we're looking into which might help your decision to go the homeschooling route. (Of course I thought I'd comment here because I'd love to win that fantastic cookbook too!) I live in Tassie but am from Cornwall originally, I had both my children here and now have a great group of friends. Myself and two close friends are thinking of forming our own homeschool co-op, we each will take a day of the week to have all the children for a few hours, so we all get 2 days a week break. We're excited about it, but in the very early days of planning, working out kinks and being very realistic about our expectations, if we're doing this we're in it for the long haul! Just thought I'd share, it's good to have lots of options. If you'd like to know more send me an email! Josie

  10. Don't enter me in the giveaway as i already owned this one (but never made good use of it so recently sold it to a 2nd hand shop) - good on you for making a good effort with it. i love Stephanie Alexander and used it more as a book to read for pleasure (is that crazy!)

    I do have a good collection but most are for my hubby as he is the real cook in the family - i only do it because he is too busy so let him take over whenever he is free!

  11. This is such a wonderful book, and one I longed to own for years before finally buying. It is a bible of the kitchen and I love my colourful stripey edition. We use the bag it came in for ferrying books to and from the library on rainy days. I would love to win a copy for my sister though. I am gradually filling her kitchen shelves with my favourite cookbooks which she is slowly learning to cook from and love as much as me.


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