It's not surprising that Joanne Harris's novels -- Chocolat, Blackberry Wine, and Five Quarters of the Orange -- celebrate the pleasure and magic of food, since her fondest childhood memories are of making pancakes with her great-grandmother Mémée, picking blackberries with her grandfather in Yorkshire, and exploring the early morning markets of Noirmoutier. Now, with coauthor Fran Warde, Harris shares her treasured collection of family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation in this illustrated cookbook.
Harris encourages cooks to engage all their senses when cooking -- look at what you're cooking, smell the ingredients, mix them with your fingers, and enjoy their sounds and textures. Cooking, she reminds us, is about as close to magic as modern society allows: to take a handful of simple, fresh ingredients and turn them into something wonderful, otherworldly.
The 120 recipes include French classics such as Onion Soup and Onion Tart, Coq au Vin, and Crème Brûlée, as well as family favorites like Anouchka's Chile Garlic Bread, great-aunt Simone's Marinated Tuna, and great-aunt Marinette's Slow Fudge Sauce. And, of course, there's an entire chapter devoted to chocolate -- cakes, meringues, and spiced hot chocolate.
My French Kitchen, a remarkable collaboration between Joanne Harris, a writer who loves food, and Fran Warde, a former chef who loves to write about food, belongs in your kitchen.