The Camper Van Coast Cookbook
So here we are in September: where did the time go? September can be a funny month: not really summer, not really autumn. It’s kind of transitional. It’s the month for being impulsive with how we spend our leisure time, grabbing each and every opportunity to enjoy any bits of sunshine that may come our way. We might need a cardi to cover up a little but we are still in the outdoor season and we ought to make the most of it while it lasts.
If you’re tempted to adopt such an attitude and maybe head off for a weekend under canvas, or just spend time outdoors, might I suggest some reading material? It’s The Camper Van Coast cookbook by Martin Dorey with recipes by Sarah Randell.
I don’t even drive, let alone have a camper van, so please don’t let the title put you off. It’s a cook book that celebrates our wonderful coast, outdoor living and of course food. The book is packed with recipes: no less than 95. The recipes use some of our freshest and finest local ingredients and can be simply cooked on just two rings. It’s a bit of a bible to have to hand should you be camping, caravaning or alike. Sandwiched between the recipes are wonderful ideas of things to see and do at the seaside: visiting Britain’s finest lighthouses, finding the best place to idle away time people-watching, where to find the best coastal camping spots, where to ride a donkey or go skinny dipping without too many stares! The book is both entertainingly and informatively written as well as beautifully illustrated with scenic views and coastal life. It is fair to say it gets you in the mood (for cooking, not skinny dipping).Also, the recipes work just as well when cooked at home in a conventional kitchen, as I have done on many occasions since first reading this book.
The book is divided into seasons starting with spring and ending with Christmas lunch. The recipes open with some bake to take recipes for the road. Now that’s my kind of thinking. There’s parmesan shortbreads with a spicy kick; raspberry and banana traybake with cinnamon crumble topping (below) and lemon ginger squares, which having made, I can report are truly delicious and would make any long journey bearable.
The spring chapter offers up the likes of clams with chorizo and sherry; wild garlic pesto; carrot and feta patties; pan-fried sea trout with lemon parsley salsa (below) and rhubarb and custard pots. Rolling into summer the barbecue comes out for some simple suppers; barbecued fish parcels with lemon basil butter; aubergine, pepper and halloumi kebabs with lemony houmous and rocky road bananas. One pot cooking comes into its own with tasty recipes for ratatouille; paella; one pan lamb with peas, broad beans and mint and for pudding poached greengages or apricots with lemon and lime cream.
There are frying pan mini pizzas; olive, rosemary and real ale damper bread; parasol mushroom and rock samphire omelette and rainy day popcorn for autumn, while warming winter recipes see off chilly toes and provide fuel for those frosty days out: sausages with white bean, garlic and sage mash; welsh rarebit with real ale and even a cocktail for winter spiced perry. The recipes end with Christmas dinner (with all the trimmings) should you be the kind of footloose and fancy-free soul who prefers to opt out of the traditional family gathering style christmas dinner.
For me christmas dinner will always be at home (or the home of my family), but I must say it’s a great little menu to have up your sleeve should your oven ever pack up on Christmas day and you only have two rings to hand on which to cook.
A passionate home cook and eater, Louise Gorrod authors Buttercup Days which chronicles family life, her love for nostalgia, occasion, beautiful things and of course cooking. Louise lives beside the seaside with her husband and two young children in East Sussex from where she juggles her role as one half of Seen PR alongside mummy-stuff, writing and baking cakes. You can follow her on Twitter @ButtercupDays. Read more posts by Louise Gorrod.
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