Are you ready for some do it yourself yum yums? Eh? Sure you are. I am always ready for cuisine that tickles the tongue and stirs the imagination. If your idea of good eating primarily entails KFC then go forage elsewhere because this is not mega chain food chop chop. If Yvette Van Boven can’t turn you onto to creating your own meals from scratch–without a shyte-load of expensive culinary toys–then you are doomed to plastic wrapped microwave hell for eternity. Yes, you too can learn how to make bread and cheese and sorbet from scratch via this Dutch Cookbook of 2010 Award Winner which is now available in English stateside. All those luscious red tomatoes loitering whispered slyly to me from the library shelf, “Hey there. You, pick us up! You know you want to. No regrets, we promise!” on first sight. Then, you know how we all do with cookbooks, a random opening and flipping of the pages to see if anything looked good enough to spend time actually making is in evidence. O and was there ever! Oof Verschuren’s photograph of Gooseberry Jam with Orange (p.15) enticed me into spending time right there and then with Yvette’s Zucchini Flapjacks with Basil Cream (p. 54), Biscuits (p.30), Red Bell Pepper Soup with Orange and Tarragon-Basil Oil (p. 1330, Papardelle with Spicy Lamb Ragu and Capers (p. 216), and Raspberry Sorbet (p. 315), and -well you’ve got the idea by now, I hope, that Yvette’s Home Made totally captivated moi via the salivary glands.
If you’re more into photography than food -well–that’s another reason to taste this book’s delights. There are beautiful landscapes of Paris, people, and how to make bread and how to make cheese. If you’re a writer then take note of the engaging and encouraging voice of Home Made: “Let’s get going . . . .” Yvette does not adore ice cream but apparently Oof, her husband, loves it and makes a great deal of it according to his own notions of flavors. Most of which will NOT be found via Ben & Jerry in the frozen food aisle. Guess what, everything looks doable. Intimidating curious would be do it yourself cooks is not the name of Yvette’s game. This is do it yourself cooking presented as it ought to be–try it, change it, go for it, make it your own! Have a great time and enjoy everything you eat!
Oof’s photographs are the sort that fool your hand into reaching out for the green tea ice cream, apple crisps and even the dog biscuits. Yes, the dog biscuits. If you’re a gardener lucky enough to have zucchini, carrots, and onions galore then get a grip on this cookbook for everything from roasting that zucchini to stuffing peppers with cheese you’ve made yourself. If you’re sick and tired of all the same old flavors and textures presented time and again in tried and true cooks’ books then wander through Home Made for some inspiration not found from a Pampered Chef party. Living well entails eating well–and you don’t have to be an Iron Chef to enjoy every meal.
Okay, I’m off to get some raspberries to make sorbet!
Go see all that Yvette does herself in Amsterdam and Paris. What’s a food stylist do? Click the photograph below to find out. Enjoy!