How to Use This Book

How to Use This Book

By
Amanda Ruben
Contains
0 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781741175264
Photographer
Elisa Watson

It’s no coincidence that a cookbook of mine is called Feasting. I don’t know any other way to cook or eat.

As a very young girl I stayed up late in case there was an extra chocolate soufflé at my mum’s dinner parties. My first memories in a commercial kitchen are of peeling snow peas for her catering business in the 1980s; she was known for her decadent coronation chicken salad, which became our biggest seller at the Cooper & Milla’s food stores more than twenty years later. Our family meals were always cooked and eaten in the kitchen, with the food laid out for everyone to help themselves. At Chanukah there were doughnuts, birthday dinners always ended with those soufflés, and Shabbat meant four courses. The best thing about Friday nights at my grandparents’ was the leftovers my brother and I would eat the next morning for breakfast – everything from cabbage rolls to potato kugel. On holidays, we’d spend hours at farmers’ markets and roadside stalls, lugging produce back to rented houses to cook for that night’s dinner. My husband, Mark, who grew up eating meat and three veg, still talks about the amount of food laid out on the table the first time he ate dinner at my parents’ house.

At Miss Ruben we’re known for creating picturesque, abundant grazing tables using the freshest ingredients, which is what really defines my food. And the aim of this book is to let you create a little bit of this at home, by mixing and matching the recipes to make your own feasts. The sides and starters are interchangeable; many of the mains can be adapted to serve four people or fourteen. And the signature salads often hold up as a course on their own with nothing more than some great sourdough.

Most of these recipes can be prepared with little skill. Some require a bit more effort but are well worth it, and for others you can cheat a bit and no one will be the wiser. In many of the recipes you can swap ingredients depending on what’s in your fridge: asparagus for beans, feta for goat’s cheese, sweet potato for pumpkin. The Roast chicken slaw is just as good with a quality store-bought chook. If you don’t want to cure your own salmon, buy some ready-made and make the gorgeous little Buckwheat blinis. But believe me, you’ll never want to buy hummus or packet noodles again after you’ve made them yourself.

All eggs used in the recipes are 70 g (2½ oz), free range and room temperature unless otherwise specified. Milk is always whole milk unless otherwise specified, although I have tried to use a number of dairy replacements such as Home-made almond milk.

But mostly this book is about stopping your busy lives to bring people together to eat. Enjoy.

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