Now that summer is here (in the northern hemisphere, anyway), what is the most ‘Summery’ book you can think of? The one that captures the essence of summer for you?
(I’m not asking for you to list your ideal ‘beach reading,’ you understand, but the book that you can read at any time of year but that evokes ‘summer.’)
It’s hot here, but not as hot as other parts of the world – but too hot for me anyway. Actually, this morning it’s dull but the forecast is for sun later on. Nothing came to mind when I read this question – no book leaped up to remind me of “the essence of summer” . Maybe it would be the books I read on holiday, but this question is not about “beach reading”.
Then my husband came up with a perfect answer (why didn’t I think of it?) – Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson. This is a beautiful book full of recipes that you can eat all year round reminding you of summer even in the darker days of winter. I love Nigella’s books as much for her writing as for her recipes:
Summer then, is an idea, a memory, a hopeful projection. Sometimes when it’s grey outside and cold within, we need to conjure up the sun, some light, a lazy feeling of having all the wide-skied time in the world to sit back and eat warmly with friends. I’m not talking about creating some overblown idyll of perpetual Provencal summer, but of extending that purring sense of sunny expansiveness.
In this book are recipes for pasta dishes, salads, Spanish, Italian, Eastern Mediterranean recipes and so on – wonderful desserts, ice creams and summer drinks. Imagine The Ultimate Greek Salad, Red Mullet with Sweet and Sour Shredded Salad, followed by Figs for a Thousand and One Nights, Slut-Red Raspberries in Chardonnay Jelly, Arabian Pancakes with Orange -Flower Syrup, or Margarita Ice Cream!