So, I belt in here after days of not wittering about anything and now I’m going to witter about food, not knitting. But there will be knitting next week. Been a bit busy writing web pages for Nice Things happening next week.
So, I’m sure I’ve gone on about a bit of a food obsession in the past. I collect cookery books the way some people collect knitting books. Well, I collect knitting books that way too, but you know what I mean. I’m sure I’ve talked about Ottolenghi before. I have all 3 available Ottolenghi books, and have given them as presents to many, many people. First there was just Ottolenghi:
Then there was Plenty:
And then there was Jerusalem:
All are much beloved, but Plenty is probably my favourite. Before any of these came my way, though, I had this little beauty:
Persia In Peckham. And it was Sally Butcher and this book that set me off thinking that in a past life I was probably Middle Eastern, as eating food from this book just feels like I’m eating food that I’ve always eaten – patently not true for a kid who grew up on a council estate in Nottingham where leeks were a bit of an exotic thing and we never had an onion in the house. (I know, I can’t quite believe it myself.) Sally’s shop, Persepolis, is fabulous, well worth the trip to Peckham. So, the point of this wittering. Fabulous though Persia In Peckham is, there are no pictures. Sally had not been writing a Guardian column, which is probably why the Ottolenghi gang got properly famous before she did. But this weekend in one of our two independent bookshops (one of the good things about living in a very hipster area), I saw this:
Snackistan. Which Amazon had flagged up for me a couple of times but I’d ignored. And then I realised it was by Sally! I thought about it for a few minutes and then thought yes, I have to have it, so handed over cash. It is wonderful. All the fabulous sort of food from Persia In Peckham with gorgeous photographs and very funny writing. I love how Sally writes, as well as brilliant recipes she shoehorns in facts and stories about Persia (Iran) and all over the Middle East and make me really, really want to go to Iran. In fact I lent Persia In Peckham to a neighbour who did go to Iran on business, as it’s wonderful for helping to understand the culture. Back to Snackistan. Who could resist chapters called ‘Meat On Sticks’ and ‘Meat Not On Sticks’? Well, perhaps a vegetarian, OK. But Sally has also written a vegetarian book – Veggiestan! Plus there is a blog (with recipes) to go with each book. So, this Saturday I am off South of the River to Peckham to stock up on wonderful things from Persepolis. And also to buy Veggiestan from the woman herself, if she’s in the shop and has a copy, which I SO hope she is and does. If you’re anywhere near Peckham, do go and look.