Cookbooks come in so many forms. Some are highly technical, loaded with instructions and minutiae. Others are more like a flimsy collection of recipes - and I mean that in the nicest possible way. And then there are those which offer a perfect combination of recipe and introductory text. Special Delivery by Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe falls into the latter category - my favourite.
For the benefit of readers who are not familiar with her work, Annabel Crabb is the ABC's chief online political writer. She writes a weekly opinion column for Fairfax, is the author of the bestselling book The Wife Drought and is a sought-after speaker and presenter. As host of the ABC's popular TV series, Kitchen Cabinet, Annabel has broken bread with Australia's most influential political leaders and shared her desserts in kitchens around the country.
In Special Delivery, Annabel has teamed up with her best friend from childhood, fellow food tragic and Kitchen Cabinet recipe consultant Wendy Sharpe, to bring you recipes for those knockout desserts as well as tons more ideas for soups, salads, pastries, breads and other treats ideally suited to make and take to those you love. Each recipe is offered up with transport instructions or an implicit promise to look the other way if you just want to eat it straight from the tin.
As well as being a good cookbook, Special Delivery is a delicious read. Succinct, cleverly written text leads into each recipe. And the recipes themselves are most inviting.
The chapters are divided between Drop-off breakfasts; lunch; dinner; cakes, tarts and biscuits; puddings and desserts; and drinks party. Recipes include Scandinavian cinnamon buns, chocolate pomegranate cloud cake, lemon verbena posset, goat's cheese and polenta muffins, spiced cherry Eton mess, and THE most amazing almond meringues (which I had the pleasure of tasting at an ANU literary dinner hosted by Annabel).
What more can I tell you? Add this one to your bookshelves, it's a goodie.
Special Delivery by Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe, Murdoch Books $39.99. Thank you to Annabel and the publicity team at Murdoch Books for giving me the opportunity to showcase this title.
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