TONICS & TEAS TRADITIONAL AND MODERN RECIPES, BOOK REVIEW…

If, like me you like the taste of different teas then it is worth reading “Tonics & Teas Traditional and Modern Recipes that Make You Feel Amazing”, by Rachel De Thample so you can decide which ones are healthier for you.

With over 141 reviews and most giving 5 stars this book is definitely one for your table.

Everyone knows that chamomile tea is the answer to a good night’s sleep, that lemon tea is an invigorating way to start your morning and that ginger tea can settle your stomach. But did you know that Jamu Kunyit, a ginger and turmeric tonic, is the Balinese equivalent of ‘an apple a day’ to ‘keep health problems at bay’?

Herbal medicinal vinegars can be antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral as well as helping fight respiratory infections, coughs and bronchitis; and adding black pepper and coconut oil to any turmeric drink can help your body reap the benefits more effectively.

Author, Rachel de Thample has gathered a collection of the best of these ancient drinks and traditional remedies, along with a few modern spins, offering tips on how to best build them into a busy lifestyle.

Organised into three chapters, she covers Tonics such as Dairy Kefir, Beet Kvass, Nettle Tonic and Ginger Shots; Teas such as Grasshopper Tea, Spice Route Tea, Armenian Herbal Tea and Afghan Pin Chai, plus delicious and beneficial Drinks such as Elderflower Cordial, Amazake and Kombucha. This eclectic mix of natural brews is the perfect way to give your body a healthy boost.

Rachel de Thample has worked in the kitchens of Marco Pierre White, Heston Blumenthal and Peter Gordon. She is the author of Less Meat, More Veg (Kyle Books) and FIVE (Ebury), and has served as Commissioning Editor of Waitrose Food Illustrated and Head of Food for the pioneering organic box scheme Abel & Cole. She lives in Crystal Palace, London, where she has helped set up numerous local food initiatives, including the award-winning Crystal Palace Food Market and the Edible Garden. Rachel is currently running preserving courses at River Cottage in Devon, runs seasonal Market Table pop-up dinners and writes for The Simple Things and Locavore magazines.

‘This charming little book offers recipes for remedies from kombucha, kefir and medicinal vinegars to herbal teas and my favourite “immune powerhouse”, elderberry syrup with echinacea and ginger. Rachel alleviated her achy joints with turmeric in golden chai, while her mother’s high blood pressure was quickly reduced by drinking a potent probiotic drink made with beetroot and whey.’ –The Mail on Sunday

This eclectic mix of natural brews is the perfect way to give your body a healthy boost.

It would make a great present for anyone who needs a tonic. A great little book that makes foraging fun especially when a lot of ingredients are probably already growing in your own garden, like rose petal, rose-hips, herbs and dandelion roots. So many great recipes, you won’t know which one to try first.

HOW TO ENJOY OLD RECIPES FROM SOME OLD RECIPE BOOKS…

I don’t know about you but I have been baking lots more during lockdown, but it has given me the chance to be quite choosy and really study recipes. I had boxes of old recipe books so I decided I would go through them all and try out some of my old recipes. But then you end up with a load of books around you and some recipes that need the weights changing.

So, I bought this lovely new recipe book to put my new found recipes in (see below) which is a great size. You can write down any recipes you love in it. Prompts will also help you do that easier – areas for ingredients, directions, times for preparation and cook, and it is only £6.97 from Amazon so what’s not to like about it.

As I was going through all my books I found my original GCSE Cookery Book, which fascinated me as one of my courses was a salad !!!! I guess it was all about the timing back then as you had to do a starter, main course and a sweet. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a GCSE in cooking but it definitely put me in good stead for the future. One section that made me smile was about the storage of milk – It is important to store milk carefully to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria and to prevent scouring so never leave your milk in the sunlight, keep in cool dark place, always use clean jugs, keep it covered, and boil suspected milk!

If old cookbooks once belonged to family, then the connection is particularly strong, as I remember my grandmother and mother using the same books for special meals and I have a few written out that are falling apart that were my Mums. I have stuck that together and popped it into the recipe book. I think it’s going to take me a while to sort through them all and I am sure I will need another recipe book to put them in.

I guess I have really loved baking more than anything else and I have been doing quite a bit of that for my family recently. My son and his wife only moved down to where we live in January and with Covid-19 we have not even seen the inside of the house yet. So, I decided I would bake a few things for them then at least we can see them outside there house for a few minutes standing at a safe distance of course. I have also been baking for my 18 month old granddaughter who is going through that faze of not liking many things that are put in front of her but she will always eat my muffins and my fishcakes. I know she loves cheese so I just make sure there is a lot in both of them and make her vegetable muffins and the fishcakes have sweet potato and broccoli in so she is getting her vegetables down her.

I also bought Mary Berry’s Fast Cakes : Easy Bakes in Minutes, it’s a fantastic baking book with lots of recipes that only need one bowl to work with. Mary has incorporated her ‘all-in-one’ method of preparation into as many recipes as possible, so her recipes are faster to make than ever. Nearly 100 of the bakes take only 10 minutes to make and Mary has included small bake variations for fruit cakes, which traditionally take a long time in the oven, so you can make one even when you are pushed for time.

There are scones, buns and biscuits that you can whip up for tea, traybakes and fruit loaves perfect for a school or village fete and of course foolproof cakes for every occasion from everyday recipes such as a Honey and Almond Cake to Mary’s First-Rate Chocolate Cake. Not forgetting recipes you can make with your kids from Happy Face Biscuits to Traffic Lights and Jammy Buns. Fast Cakes: Easy Bakes is available from Amazon and other good book shops from £17.39 for the Hardcover or the Kindle Edition which is the one I bought is just £7.99 and worth every penny.