Review
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On my Cookshelf – The GroundnutCookbook

by on December 9, 2015
Details
 
Title

The Groundnut Cookbook

Author

Duval Timothy, Folayemi Brown & Jacob Fodio

Publisher

Michael Joseph/ Penguin

Positives

Beautiful book - both writing & photography
Full of classic and re-interpreted recipes
Great headnotes
I love how travel and memories shape the recipes

Negatives

I'm totally biased - none!

Editor Rating
 
Delivery
10

 
Visual appeal
10

 
Writing style/ Recipe format
10

 
Inspiration
10

Total Score
10

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Delivery
10

 
Visual appeal
10

 
Writing style/ Recipe format
10

 
Inspiration
10

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I first heard/ read of the ‘guys’ of The Groundnut cookbook on Twitter which led me to their website where I pored over the menus and intriguing combinations. I loved the communal feasts/ long table meals they served and still serve up because that’s my dream

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A few weeks later, out of the blue and a very pleasant surprise, Folayemi wrote to me and then sent a gift of their beautiful, beautiful book.

I am a ‘Cookbook lover‘.

Aren’t you?

No?

Then, I’ll quietly nod while you excuse yourself from this place.

Don’t you have a bedside overrun with cookbooks, some of which you hug to sleep, crying over the beauty of some recipe/ notes – the words, the thoughts? Do you often find kindred and kith, kin in pages and pages of deliciousness? Well, I do and have in this book.

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This is a book about food, with heart. If it were a genre of music, it would be blues and jazz and soul. This is a book about cuisine and culture with gorgeous photography. It is about roots and heritage, beauty and courage and hope, about stories, about life. About long table dinners and feasts, about discovery and exploration and I cannot wait to cook the pages.

I’ve begun already – with a yam cake and plantain flat breads. Both of which I loved.

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One of the things I love the most about food writing is the power of description, especially when the writing puts to words that which I can’t articulate because I haven’t grown up thinking about it that way. Like how we ‘eat’ oranges in Nigeria. I’ve always found it tricky to talk about it because the few times I’ve tried to explain how we interact with oranges, I’ve found it hard to. So, I love how they write about ‘sucking oranges’, how the oranges are both cup and drink p. 16.

I love the Krest bottle on p. 36 because it takes me wayyyyyyyyyy back to a time when bottles were the rule.

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The model’s skirt on p. 40 and that segment of Pomelo is everything.

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The market scenes, produce shots, photos of all three gentlemen.

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I love that you spelled Moin-Moin right. p.165. Some people write moi-moi which isn’t etymologically correct so this pleases me much :).

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The photo of ground nut butter p. 316. The jar that reminds me of mosquitoes trapped in amber but the creaminess evident

The ingredient illustrations p. 320 – 325  

And this gorgeous blue-skied reminder that summer, warmth, heat will come…as we embrace winter and harmattan across many parts of the globe.    

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I also loved, loved, loved this gorgeous bowl of pepper soup on Blue Willow china because they are two things I’m mighty fond of.

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Things I’ve made

I’ve cooked the beautiful Puna Yam Cake. For dessert. p.75. Which I made and loved. Served with ice cream, brittle and …I can wait for take 2 where I actually follow instructions all the way and grate the yam so fine…that the result is crumbly rather than shreddy. But I’ve learned an important lesson. 1. how the yam looks going in, is exactly how it’ll look coming out; 2. Yam makes an awesome baking ingredient – gluten free too.

{Recipe – Puna Yam Cake}

The plantain roti p245. Beautiful with pepper soup and as the base of a wrap – coming soon to a blog post near you.

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Things I want to make

 

Maize meal noodles p. 126, 127. This is one of the recipes I’m most excited about. I cannot wait to try it with some tomatoey sauce and pesto…

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Garri oatcakes p.142. With tea, mint tea

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Drink p. 234. Turmeric is in season, as are watermelons and ginger. Yum, yum, yum.

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Kachumbari p. 238 – an herby tomato salad/ condiment

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There’s so much I love about this book, navigating the pages and recipes. For a while, I didn’t know which recipe ‘belonged’ to who, till I spotted the ‘name’ of the author on the top corner of the page. Duval. Jacob. Folayemi. 

Thank you so much for this beautiful book – this treasure of fusion and connections. And as I said, I can’t wait to cook the pages xxx

Bottom Line
 

Get. This. Book if you want to celebrate African cuisine and heritage. If you want inspiration for beautiful, simple to assemble food

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