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The Cook's Herb GardenBOOK REVIEWS

The Cook's Herb Garden

Mary Browne, Helen Leach & Nancy Tichborne
Random House

THESE three talented sisters have done it again, with the long-awaited herbal companion to their popular Cook's Salad Garden, which won the New Zealand Guild of Food Writers Food Book of the Year award in 1999.

The Cook's Herb Garden includes everything you need to know to grow, harvest and enjoy fresh herbs in the garden and kitchen. Mary Browne grew all the herbs and photographed them, Nancy Tichborne painted the lovely watercolour titles and illustrations and Helen Leach, an associate professor of anthropology at Otago University, researched the history of each herb.

The result is an authoritative book that yields more hints, tips and clever culinary ideas each time you browse its pages. The tasty recipes include many old staples, such as tarragon vinegar, parsley soup and lavender lemonade. Then there are the authors' family favourites, like Aunt Maude's Meat Paste, from an old recipe they learned from their mother. Among the yummier treats to try at this time of the year are strawberries with a lemon thyme marinade and refreshing mint green sparkler - the ideal pick-me-up after a hard day in the garden.

Best of all, this book shows that you don't need to be an accomplished chef to make full use of easily grown herbs, as each chapter includes a list of simple ways to incorporate herbs into your meals. Take sage - you can fry it with asparagus, beans and artichokes, or add the chopped leaves to garlic bread for robust soups, or soak in sugar syrup to infuse summer fruits. Delicious!

Weekend Gardener, Issue 86, November 15-28, 2001, Page 31

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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