Wednesday, November 19, 2014


(above) one of monty's lovely dogs from 'the ivington diaries'
with the gradual shortening of the days the call to stay indoors and stay warm is getting stronger day by day. i've already started my autumn ritual of stocking up on books from the library to keep me going through these dark days when I can't get outside in the garden or allotment for a good dose of pottering. here's a few of my current faves…

river cottage handbook: chicken & eggs
i've long had the desire to keep my own chickens for eggs and since i've finally cleared most of the allotment i'm thinking about taking the plunge in the spring. i've looked at a number of books on chicken keeping over the past few years and none of them have come close to the river cottage guide which really answers a lot of important questions and gives step-by-step guides to their upkeep. who knew feeding chooks kitchen scraps was illegal?!

the ivington diaries: monty don
my love for monty don runs deep. ever since a friend bought me a copy of fork to fork about 20 years ago (and i never saw the tv programme until i found it on you tube this year!) i have always defaulted to the oracle of monty for all of my gardening queries. this book is great and i don't know why i've left it so long to read it as it has bountiful excerpts from his garden diaries which are both poetically anecdotal and informative whilst being completely down to earth and easy to read. a visit to monty's garden would truly be a wish come true but this book, as well as his many others, will continue to fuel my imagination…

jekka's herb cookbook: jekka mcvicar
i've been dipping in and out of this one over the past couple of weeks and there is truly a plethora of great recipes involving herbs which range from including your typical parsley and sage to more unlikely varieties such as catmint and myrtle. in recent years my love for fresh herbs has really developed and i usually have a great bounty of assorted herbs available year round so this book was great for getting some fresh ideas on how to use them. for me it is thyme right now. i just cannot get enough of it in everything and am definitely going to try the recipe for thyme souffle as it sounds divine!

Do you have any good winter reading recommendations - fiction or non-fiction?

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