I love the Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life cookbook! It’s not just a cookbook, it’s got great tips for growing your own a veggie garden and raising your own chickens! It’s also the companion cookbook to Jamie’s TV series of the same name (“Jamie At Home” on the Food Network and Cooking Channel)
It was so touching to read about his decision to take in flocks of abused chickens from egg factory farms and raise them with his free range chickens.
I also learned more about lamb and exactly what mutton is. Did you know that sheep over a year old are mutton and that the flavor is much more complex than younger lamb? Of course mutton must be cooked low and slow, but that’s how Jamie likes to cook!
He writes that mutton has gone out of style and that it would help farmers if more people requested it because mutton usually comes from breeding sheep. I don’t remember the last time I ate lamb and I don’t know that I like the flavor. But I keep wanting to try it especially when there’s chefs like Jamie Oliver inspiring me!
One complaint about the actual book is some pages are difficult to read due to pages with darker background colors.
And although his recipes are “dead simple” as he likes to say, with rustic homey ingredients, they aren’t always something I’d want to cook. But the recipes are always totally Jamie and you can hear his voice speaking through the words on the page. Very English! Very seasonal! BRILLIANT!
He works with a lot of ingredients that might be intimidating to some home cooks. Items like pork belly, rabbit, squash flowers scare me but it’s nice to know he’s on your side holding your hand inspiring you to try new techniques and ingredients.
No, I don’t know if I’ll ever seek out a partridge bird or cook up venison stew but Jamie was instrumental in bringing me to a deeper understanding and respect for animals and how it’s okay to hunt animals as long as it is done with total respect and without waste. No, I’m never going to kill my own food but I’m not so against others doing it anymore.
I love reading cookbooks, like some people love reading novels! I am inspired by recipes, and enjoy learning ideas from cookbooks; I like putting my own spin on a recipe rather than exactly following it. Please keep in mind that my opinions might be completely different from the other home cooks.
(review originally authored on Dec 17, 2010)