A few years ago Australian Rohan Anderson did what many of us only dream of doing: he decided to live as much as possible on the food he grew, raised or hunted himself. He started a blog called Whole Larder Love to document his observations and adventures. Luckily for us, that blog has turned into a book by the same name, just released here in the USA. Read on for my review and a recipe from the book.
Some may dismiss Mr. Anderson's undertaking as romantic and impractical but I say hogwash. All great endeavors need at least a drop of romanticism to get them started and to sustain them in the long haul. And I challenge anyone who spends some time with this cookbook to call Mr. Anderson impractical. Here you will find a hard working, rugged, and passionate man doing what he can to feed himself and his family from the most practical place of all: his back yard.
• Who wrote it: Rohan Anderson
• Who published it: powerHouse Books
&bulll; Number of recipes: Over 80
• Recipes for right now: Kale Fusili Tris, Tortilla Espanola, Red Wine Beef Pie with Tuscan sausage (aka Man Pie), Pumpkin Dip, and Butternut and Leek Soup.
• Highlights: Besides recipes, there is information and very basic advice on gardening, hunting, fishing, preserving, and foraging. These sections are more encouragements than extensive, step-by-step guides. Like the blog, Whole Larder Love is full of beautiful, richly toned photographs taken by Mr. Anderson. They saturate each page and are very inspiring. The final pages are devoted to basics such as Pasts, Bread and a list of gear.
• Quibbles: This book isn't perfect. The recipes aren't written in the classic (and helpful) way of listing the ingredients in the order they are used. There really isn't an index, just what amounts to a table of contents/recipe guide, only it's in the back of the book, and while I enjoy and appreciate reading cookbooks from other countries that retain much of the vernacular of that country, it can be confusing when the names of things are different. (I assume that a capsicum is a sweet pepper??)
• Who would enjoy this book? People who like doing things from scratch, gardeners, hunters, gatherers, romantics and pragmatists, crazy-ass cooks, and anyone who has ever dreamed of making an entire meal from what they found in their back yard. Probably not for vegans and vegetarians, raw foodists, or people who don't like to get their hands dirty.
"There is a connectivity of this life of ours. I like that it's complex, that it's connected and unending, and that all things are linked by some invisible thread. I like that we are flawed, that we can shine, and that we make mistakes. Making this book was all of those things and more. It's been quite the adventure ..."
— Rohan Anderson from the Introduction to Whole Larder Love
→ Whole Larder Love website
→ Interview and photos of Rohan Anderson from Mr. Blanc, part 1 and part 2
Rohan Anderson building a smokehouse (video)
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Whole Larder Love: Grow, Gather, Hunt, Cook by Rohan Anderson, published by powerHouse Books
Related: Eating Local: Would you Ever Hunt for Wild Game?
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Rohan Anderson of Whole Larder Love; author photo: Cory White/Mr. Blanc )