A Cook Book to Celebrate British Farmers and their food.
If we are able to take any positives from the devastation the coronavirus pandemic has caused, perhaps the way it has given some families a chance to reconnect and take stock of the things that are important to them, is something to cheer. Families used to rushing from pillar to post and grabbing meals on the go have been able to take time to cook and share meals together in a way they had perhaps forgotten.
It has given some of us a new appreciation of what the food shop staff, delivery drivers, butchers, bakers, farmers and deli owners do to help us put great food on our table.
So, For The Love of the Land, celebrating the stories and recipes of some of the UK’s finest farmers, is a timely release from cook book specialists Meze Publishing.
Compiled by Jenny Jefferies, herself the wife of an arable farmer, the farms featured here cover the length and breadth of the UK, and see farmers specialising in a diverse array of produce; from game, pork, lamb, beef, cheese and dairy to the more unusual such as lavender, chillies and edible flowers.
Among those to feature are Michelin-starred chef and Great British Menu regular Tommy Banks, who grew up on a farm in Yorkshire, award-winners Daylesford Organic Farming and dairy farmer, Katie Lowe, also known as the The Female Farmer. Meanwhile the range of recipes is mouth-watering; and often quintessentially British; from Blackbrook Beef Bolognese from a traditional lowland farm in Leicestershire, Reestit Mutton Soup by two sisters who run their family farm on Shetland and Pheasant and Asparagus Bake from a family run game shoot in Cambridgeshire.
Jenny Jefferies, who compiled the book, commented: “After marrying my husband, John, I discovered the wonderful, challenging and sometimes isolating world of farming. I never before quite appreciated where our food came from so it’s been a real privilege to speak with the farmers within this book; they are truly the backbone of our country. They nurture and provide for us; putting food on our table for us to enjoy, so let’s give thanks and praise for all the hard work that they do.
“This book has become a labour of love and I hope this collection of stories and of the farmers’ favourite recipes is simply enjoyed for its food, provenance and for the sharing of good and positive stories. This is a celebration of British farming – enjoy!”
For many farming families like Jenny and John, working the land and raising livestock is a true labour of love, and what they produce is the backbone of the country’s food and drink.The dishes in this book make the most of local and seasonal ingredients, creating delicious meals, puddings and bakes that anyone can cook up at home.
Alongside that, members of these families have told the stories of their livelihoods: from losing sheep in snowstorms to stoking enthusiasm in the next generation, their honesty and passion is an inspiration and an education.
As the landscape of British farming changes, we need to support high-quality food production and understand how farmers can work in harmony with nature to make our eating habits more sustainable.
Whether you’re country born and bred or have never donned a pair of wellies, discover the food and stories in this book to help to put British farming back on the map and at the centre of your table.
22% of Jenny’s net profits from the sales of For The Love Of The Land will be donated to The National Literacy Trust.
For the Love of the Land is a 224-page hardback and retails at £22. It is available to purchase from Amazon, bookshops including Waterstones and online from www.mezepublishing.co.uk and www.jennyjefferies.co.uk with free signed for and gift wrapping at no extra charge.