Thursday, December 14, 2017

Christmas Ideas: Cookery and Craft

Literary Yarns : Crochet Patterns Inspired By Classic Books, Cindy Wang - £11.99
What s the perfect gift for your friend who loves literature? How about an adorable crocheted Moby Dick? Or a delightfully miniature Elizabeth Bennet? Or an elegant and fuzzy Jay Gatsby? Whether you need some holiday decor (Ebenezer Scrooge!) or want to craft your own nursery decor (the White Rabbit), Literary Yarns is full of adorable amigurumi for book lovers of all ages. 

The easy-to-follow patterns are drawn 18 classic novels, plays, and poetry. Make them for your friends, decorate your house, or use them as pretty much the cutest action figures imaginable.  The materials are readily available and the instructions are suitable for crafters with beginning crochet skills.

Protest Knits, Geraldine Warner - £9.99
Protest Knits is the book for you. From pussy hats to protest scarfs and political pin cushions to shy anarchist socks. Make your point with a crochet hook or pair of knitting needles. From the easy peasy to the more complex, here are more than 15 projects for some crafty therapy.

Knitting and handicrafts have a long history in protesting - the pussy hat project has been particularly successful but it joins a long tradition of crafty activism. In Canada, there's the Revolutionary Knitting Circle, which first made headlines for their protest at the 2002 G8 summit. Australia has the Knitting Nannas, who protest about environmental issues by holding 'knit-ins'. In the UK, activists from Wool Against Weapons knitted a seven-mile-long pink 'peace scarf' to protest against the country's Trident nuclear weapon programme. Then, a year later, they repurposed it into thousands of blankets for those in need in warzones and developing nations. And down in Chile, it's the hombres tejedores (knitting men) who break down stereotypes and teach other men to embrace the creative hobby.

In cities across the world, 'yarn bombing' reclaims urban spaces with a pair of needles, covering everyday items in brightly coloured knits. Like other forms of graffiti, yarn bombing can convey a message of protest - or it can just be street art for the sake of art. Knitting for change is a global activity. So get your needles and hooks out and change the world.

Really Cross Stitch - £9.99
Inspired by the banners and signs at recent marches around the world, Really Cross Stitch takes all that anger, outrage and protest and puts it inside a pretty, decorative border. Along with some snarky commentary and general annoyance.  Featuring more than 40 truly original cross stitch designs, the book also contains instructions on techniques for new stitchers.

Stitching for public protest is not new. First-wave feminists in the US and in Britain used needlework in their demonstrations and public protest lectures during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Needlework and other handcrafts, however, declined throughout the twentieth century, with second-wave feminists arguing against 'the oppression of the needle'. In the 21st century however there has been a steep resurgence and many are turning to crafting, especially needlework, as an activist strategy. In Knitting for Good, feminist Betsy Greer makes this point strongly when she proclaims, 'I think every act of making is an act of revolution.'

River Cafe 30 - £28        
With River Cafe 30, Ruth Rogers and her head-chefs, Joseph Trivelli and Sian Wyn Owen, invite you to join them in marking 30 years of memories and good food at London's The River Cafe. 

Since 1987, The River Cafe has championed simple, good quality Italian cooking and, along with Ruth and Rose's cookbooks, it really did change the way we eat. Ruth, Joseph and Sian have revisited and updated the best dishes from the first blue cookbook and introduce 30 new favourites from the menus today - Panzanella, Ravioli with Ricotta, Raw Tomato and Basil, Risotto with Porcini and Girolles, Braised Beef Fillet and, of course, Chocolate Nemesis.

Including Ruth's memories and unseen archive images, Rose's careful tips and hand-drawn illustrations, new photography by Jean Pigozzi and Matthew Donaldson, bespoke menu artworks from the restaurant's friends and 120 classic Italian recipes, River Cafe 30 encapsulates the essence of the restaurant and its food. This is a beautiful cookbook of recipes you'll want to cook time and again - a must-have for all food lovers.

Comfort: Delicious Bakes and Family Treats, Candice Brown - £20
Secondary school teacher and pub landlord's daughter Candice Brown stole the show with her amazing bakes and weekly lipstick change in The Great British Bake Off tent of 2016. This year the Sunday Times columnist has brought out her first cookbook - all about home comforts.

These are the recipes Candice learned to bake from her nan and mum, recipes close to her heart, that should be served up as a big generous slice - and preferably on a vintage plate if you have one.  Candice's recipes are easy to make, no nonsense and hearty.  She has a recipe up her sleeve for every occasion - for baking with kids, birthday parties for all ages, Christmas, afternoon tea, quick savoury bakes for weeknights and fancier recipes for weekends.

Fantasy Cakes : Magical Recipes for Fanciful Bakes,  Angela Romeo - £16.99
Bake your dreams come true with this stunning collection of over 60 recipes for modern occasion cakes that will delight and surprise. Includes glitter, mermaids, unicorns, rainbows, drip cakes and more!  Even the wildest of imaginations will be satisfied with this collection of fantastical recipes. From trendy drip cakes to surprise inside centres, creative flavours and finishes ensure every fun celebration is catered for with a beautiful fantasy-themed centrepiece.

For that person in your life who loves a little bit of bling and sparkle, for the young at heart, the daydreamers and the glamorous people for whom a victoria sponge simply won't do. Each recipe includes detailed instructions to ensure that even novice bakers can create something truly sensational. A selection of basic sponge recipes includes gluten-free and vegan versions so that no one is left out of the fun.

The Little Library Cookbook, Kate Young - £25
Paddington Bear's marmalade, a Neopolitan pizza with Elena Ferrante, afternoon tea at Manderley... Here are 100 delicious recipes inspired by cookery writer Kate Young's well-stocked bookshelves. From Before Noon breakfasts and Around Noon lunches to Family Dinners and Midnight Feasts, The Little Library Cookbook captures the magic and wonder of the meals enjoyed by some of our best-loved fictional characters.

No comments:

Post a Comment