“Green Rice” from “Together: Our Community Cookbook”

When I first bought this book and brought it back home in September, my husband Tim was skeptical. “Another cookbook?” he asked, reasonably, motioning at the more than 100 cookbooks I have on our bookshelves. “Really? I assume it’s for the blog, then?”

I explained that actually, no, it wasn’t for the blog. At least it wasn’t at that point. I just bought it mostly because I wanted to support the work of The Hubb Community Kitchen, which was opened after the horrific Grenfell Fire tragedy as a kitchen for displaced people to use. Proceeds from the cookbook are used to help fund the kitchen, and they’ve already been able to refurbish the space and to be open for seven days a week (up from two days a week before the cookbook), so it worked. There are, to be sure, some recipes in here that I can find elsewhere in my cookbook collection. But that’s not the point.

Green Rice was the first thing I cooked out of this book when I first bought it. The author of the recipe is from Iraq, and she writes it’s a version of a traditional dish from there, making this the first time I’ve ever cooked from an Iraqi recipe. It was delicious.

I’ve since made it subsequent times, and it’s been a hit every time. I made it again when Andrew was home from university over Christmas, and he loved it too. It does require a bit of forward planning, because the lamb has to simmer for an hour before you get on with the rest of the recipe, but it is easy. Most surprising of all, even though it’s got a fair amount of dill in it, even Tim, who hates dill with a passion, liked it. When I expressed surprise, he said there were enough other flavours in it that you didn’t notice the dill as much.

Just writing about it again is making my mouth water for it. Highly recommended.

“Green Rice” from “Together: Our Community Cookbook”

“Jeera Chicken” from “Together: Our Community Cookbook”

Kirstin: And finally, we are back in the game! It’s not like I haven’t been cooking for the last few weeks. If anything cooking has taken up a significant part of my time over the Christmas period. But blogging hasn’t. Anyway, I digress. This is from the Duchess’s cookbook.

Tate (previously known as Ella): You know how I feel about the monarchy.

Kirstin: Yes. Yes, I do. But hear me out. This book is written by the members of the Grenfell Tower community. The community that got together after the fire in the tower and cooked meals for those who had survived.

Tate: That is completely valid.

Miles: And I really like the curry too.

Kirstin: I do too. Except for the part where I accidentally stuck my covered-in-chilli-finger into my eye. That was a huge fail part of the meal.

Tate: It smelled lovely while you were cooking it.

Kirstin: Why thank you. I do like to have all the ingredients ready before I start to make a curry, so I had to faff a bit at the beginning, figuring what I needed. But it was worth it. And I have leftovers for work tomorrow too.

“Jeera Chicken” from “Together: Our Community Cookbook”

Cookbook of the Month, January 2019: Together, Our Community Cookbook

Kirstin: So we haven’t posted anything during December.

Maureen: I don’t know about you, but we were very busy over Christmas.

Kirstin: We were too. Busy cooking, cooking, cooking. In fact, all cooking and no blogging.

Maureen: Same here!

Kirstin: And when we talked about which book to do next, you suggested this one!

Maureen: I did. It’s a small book but it has some interesting recipes. And it’s all for a good cause too.

Kirstin: With photography by one of my favourite photographers, Jenny Zarins. Gah! I love her work!

Maureen: I’ve already cooked a few of the recipes and they’ve been great.

Kirstin: Let’s get to it! And a Happy New Year! When did it get to be 2019?!?

Cookbook of the Month, January 2019: Together, Our Community Cookbook