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Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Fantastic cookery book written in an easy-going and pleasantly informative style. (Review by Keith Millar)

Slow food from the heart of the Karoo by by Gordon Wright

Veld To Fork is a fantastic cookery book. It is very attractively presented with glossy pages and is written in an easy-going and pleasantly informative style by Gordon Wright.

Of particular note is the magnificent photography by Sean Calitz which illustrates the book. The photos are used not only to display the beautiful dishes which result from using the recipes, but also as wallpaper on some of the pages and, best of all, to show off achingly beautiful Karoo panoramas.

All in all, this is a book which could enjoy pride of place on any coffee table. However, you won’t want this book to be languishing in the lounge. You will want it next to you in the kitchen while you prepare many of the mouth-watering and delicious recipes on offer.

The publication is about good, honest and wholesome cooking using only the freshest of ingredients. The recipes are simple and result in tasty and healthy food. Veld to Fork is not about big words and complex ingredients. It rather encourages the preparation of food that is whole, pure and simple. Every dish is offered as a celebration of life through food. Particularly those that take a little longer to prepare.

The book has chapters on the preparation of Soups, Meat dishes, Sides and vegetables, Desserts, and Preserves and baked treats. Each chapter has highlights. How does a Biltong, Blue Cheese and Port Soup sound, for example. Or Spicy Crusted Whole Barbecued Rump, or Wholegrain and Herbed Pancakes with Creamy Sage Chicken Filling?

Under vegetables there is Roasted Beetroot with Feta and Fresh Mint, and how about a Frozen Hazelnut Nougat for desert. Preserves and Baked Treats offer many of the delights that Ouma used to make.

Gordon Wright starts his book with a brief biography of his life and his journey as a food lover. In the next chapter he talks about his home town, Graaf-Reinet, the Karoo in general, and its people. Later on he offers insight into cooking meat, as well as discussing the advantages of Karoo Lamb and Mutton, Nguni Beef, Free Range Chicken and Venison. His style is warm and friendly and his insights are very informative.

Each recipe is preceded by an anecdote, or an explanation of its origins - once again presented in a light-hearted and informative style.

In fact, with all its narrative, Veld to Fork is a unique book that is packed full of  exciting recipes while at the same time being a jolly good read.

I could write more but I must rush off to the kitchen to see how my Biltong, Blue Cheese and Port Soup in doing. However, I do hope someone gives me this book for Christmas!

Veld To Fork – Slow food from the heart of the Karoo is published by Struik Lifestyle. ISBN 9781432300937. The recommended retail price is R250. – Keith Millar