Apron Strings Recipes from a Family Kitchen is the debut book from seasoned blogger Nessa Robbins. Nessa has been running the incredibly popular Nessa’s Family Kitchen. Nessa’s blogging background is, I think, what gives her book such a friendly feel – in blogging the writer is almost ‘chatting’ about their food adventures, trials and tribulations and this style carries forward into Nessa’s book. To read, and of course to cook from, the book is to get up close and personal to Nessa, Apron Strings, makes you feel you’re sat at Nessa’s kitchen table having a good old natter over a cup of tea and hopefully a slice of cake – for there’s some real cake beauties to be found, sure who could resist a Chocolate Nut Cannonball or Praline Carrot Cake?
Apron Strings is a handbag sized (A5) sized gathering of recipes, household and garden tips, party and picnic ideas and heart warming tales of family and friends, and her efforts to keep them all fed & watered well.
And the gardeners are catered for too ...
The vast majority of recipes are accompanied by fabulous photography, which will have your mouth watering. There are plenty of handy tips dotted throughout the book that will reduce the ‘kitchen fear’ for newbie cooks/bakers.
The recipes are incredibly easy to follow and most have just a short list of ingredients, many of which you will have to hand. There’s an eclectic mix of traditional and more modern favourites, with recipes for the likes of Nutritious Noodle Soup, Carrageen Moss Pudding, Lamb Tagine, Sweet Scones, Crispy Beefburger, Vanilla infused Strawberry Jam and Nan’s Tea Brack.
Most of the recipes are suited to easy/quick, child friendly (there’s a children’s birthday party section too), cooking for families and it is, I suspect, mostly mums who will pick up this book and say, “Hey this woman is just like me.” There is not a trace of supermum syndrome about this charming writer.
Whenever you dip into the book – whether it be in January to find a comforting winter warmer, during July for a sunny family picnic, or during August for a faded summer kitchen supper for friends – you will find a selection of inspiring and memorable recipes.
Nessa qualified as a Nurse and has worked in various hospital and community settings before concentrating on food full time; but, once a Nurse always a Nurse: as Nessa says “Taking care of a loved one, whether they are only sick for the day or if they have a more serious illness, can be extremely fulfilling”; and there are homely/old fashioned tips and recipes to be found for easing ear ache, sore throats and common colds to name but a few; easy to digest, nutritious food for convalescents, such as steamed fish with parsley sauce and dietary advice related to pregnancy too.
This book is everything you could want from an everyday, every occasion cook book. A real keeper.
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: New Island Books (28 April 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1848402416RRP: £19.99