Tender - A cook and his vegetable patch.

Tender - A cook and his vegetable patch, by Nigel Slater

This book is pure romance. Surprised? I was too. Mr. Slater writes of his garden as many would the love of their life. There is a charm in the way he waxes poetic about asparagus, cheerfully grumbles about the friendly foxes that invade his garden, and with surprising frankness names those vegetables he could do without the existence of. Transformed from a young boy who would eat no vegetables other than peas and, if forced, finely chopped carrots, to a man who revels in the hearty flavor of the rutabaga, Mr. Slater shares recipes, tips and tricks to bring out the best in all those that he loves, (and even some of those vegetables he still doesn't.)

Tender has me itching for the day I have ground of my own to cultivate, and hurrying to the store to experiment with those vegetables that I have long thought I hated. (Beets being at the top of that list...) I can't wait to wade through the beautifully laid out recipes provided hear and I mildly lament that this is a library book, and not one I can turn back to infinitely for inspiration,

The printed book is rather larger than I was expecting when I went in search of it. I was expecting a small paperback, perhaps an inch thick, and what I found was a hefty hardcover nearly three inches thick. Not that I'm complaining...this book has a joy to it that very few cookbooks choose to delve into. Humor, too, though that seems to be more pervasive in the cookbook world. All in all, I would heartily recommend that you get this book, especially if you have a love for gardening, as it is equally a gardening manuel as a cookbook. The price tag is higher than I would usually be willing to spend on a cookbook, at $40.00, but in this case it would be worth it.