Summer’s finally arrived!
As you can imagine, my cup runneth over at the sight of English strawberries. Wimbledon’s round the corner, the World Cup is about to start, there are a myriad festivals and outdoor events running until September and most crucially…the Pimms is flowing. Oh yes, and the beer, the wine and the bloody marys.
Much as one seeks comfort in winter’s rib-sticking stews, not to mention the excuse to eat indecent amounts of pongtastic cheese, this is definitely the time of year when everything, for better or worse, is illuminated. Time to cut down on the cheese sadly, there are hotpants to be worn.
Perhaps such exuberance for summer stems from growing up in a country where winter drags on for what feels like eternity, so what better way to celebrate warm sunny days and al fresco dinners with a holiday camping outdoors? Nothing beats that sense of adventure and freedom when on the road, driving a VW campervan cross-country and soaking up all the sensory joy that is summer; the colours, the smells, and not least…the food.
Come mid-June, the west coast of Norway fills up with campers from all over Europe and on my grandparents’ farm us grandchildren would pick berries and sell them to these happy campers (the phrase had to make an appearance somewhere in this post) so I was thrilled to see my publishers Saltyard Books‘ first cookbook The Campervan Cookbook packed with 80+ recipes from campervan enthusiast Martin Dorey and Sainsbury’s Magazine editor Sarah Randell receiving rave reviews in the Telegraph, the Independent, the Daily Mail and from fellow food blogger Fiona Beckett.
The book is primarily a cookbook with brilliant recipes for every occasion, be it barbecues, afternoon tea or ideas for what to do with freshly caught mussels, mackerel or how to make jam jar cocktails. There are invaluable tips for foraging, shrimping, prawning, and crabbing, the latter being a favourite pastime when I was a kid. This book is about how to cook with a limited larder of ingredients without depriving yourself, or resorting to baked beans every day. As Fiona says, even if you have no intention of going camping, this book makes you want to. Just take a look at some of the photos below:
The Campervan cookbook is essentially a bible for adventurous and outdoorsy gluttons who want to make the most of summer’s wild offerings, I certainly count myself as a freedom-loving glutton and if it weren’t for the small matter of squeezing into those hotpants then Martin’s cheesy eggy bread would be my go-to dish pretty much all summer.
To celebrate the start of summer Saltyard Books have kindly given me a copy of The Campervan Cookbook to give away to a reader who relishes exploring the outdoors and raiding nature’s wild larder as much as Martin, Sarah, the Saltyard crew and I do. As the subtitle of the book is Life on 4 wheels, cooking on 2 rings and Martin reputedly loathes washing up, here is the competition:
Submit your favourite recipe for cooking a dish on 2 rings with minimal washing up. Extra points will be given of course for anecdotal flair (ie, where did you first cook the recipe, and it doesn’t have to be on a camper van), wit and liberal use of Marmite (just kidding, but I do like Marmite). If you have a blog, post the recipe on your blog and leave a comment below with a link to your recipe. If you don’t have a blog but fancy winning the book, feel free to write the recipe in the comments below or if you’re feeling bashful and don’t want to publicly share the recipe please email me signejohansenATgmailDOT com
Deadline is Monday 21st June 2010 and the winner will be announced later that week with their recipe posted here. Look forward to seeing lots of entries!