delicious love to eat

Delicious – Love to Eat

By Valli Little

ABC Books

Valli Little grew up in a family that liked to travel. She remembers eating fresh pasta on a sun-drenched Tuscan patio and spicy tagines in Moroccan souks. Now it is her job to plan her travels in search of new food experiences. In Love to Eat, she takes us to some of her favourite countries, gives pantry essentials and presents 120 recipes with mouth-watering pictures.

Regional specialities from Italy use the rustic flavours of olive oil, tomatoes, basil and cheeses in polenta, risotto and pasta dishes. Desserts use fresh fruit, mascarpone and fortified wine. Spanish dishes bring together cured meats, olives, legumes and spices such as cinnamon, paprika and saffron.

French rely on onions, garlic, butter, cream, cheeses, vinegars and wines. There’s truffle chicken with champagne sauce and sweet goats cheese tarts with roasted blueberries. Indian recipes rely heavily on spices. There are pizzas with naan bread, dhals, curries and tandoori dishes. What about Turkish delight pavlova?

New British cuisine breaks away from the traditional stodge. Salmon tarts have a crushed pea sauce and chicken pie has potato pastry. Then there’s death by butter, cream and sugar Banoffee cake featured on the cover. America contributes popcorn prawns, crab cakes, Boston baked beans, southern fried chicken, macaroni cheese slice and of course – cola cakes.

The Asian collection of recipes is plundered from Korea, Japan, Thailand, China and Vietnam. There are also hybrids such as chilli pears with sweet wontons and ginger cream. If you like it hot, Latin American dishes rely on chilli, even having a chilli chocolate ice cream.

The Australian section includes barbequed sausage rolls with beer-braised onions, pasta with prawns and macadamia pesto, barramundi in paper bark with chilli ginger dressing, vegemite roast chicken with macadamia couscous and chilli pineapple pavlovas. Just the thing for an Australia Day splash.

Lezly Herbert

The Paying Guests

paying_guests_3019701aby Sarah Waters

Virago Press

Four years after the end of the First World War, London is still recovering. Many families have lost their sons and disillusioned ex-servicemen with no employment are demanding change. Spinster Frances Wray lost both her brothers in the war and when her father died there was nothing for her and her mother to live on. The servants were let go and taking in lodgers for 29 shillings a week helped to pay bills, but little did they know how much the paying guests would disrupt their lives. Lilian and Leonard Barber were a young couple of the newly emerged ‘clerk class’ and living in a genteel part of London suited their upward mobility.

At a time when ‘groovy’ meant stuck in drudgery, Francis and Lilian are both frustrated that circumstances have deprived them of the lives they wanted to lead. They become friends and, being a vintage Sarah Waters novel; Sapphic desires wait to bubble to the surface. Waters, who is known for novels set in Victorian times and featuring lesbian entanglements, takes her time establishing the characters and drawing out the possibilities. The tension builds as passions increase but about half way through the book, there is the feeling that the story can’t possibly end well and dread becomes intertwined with desire. Waters still takes her time when complications happen and when a death occurs, things become so muddled ‘they turn into quicksand’.

The Paying Guests draws in the reader and teases them with modern day possibilities. The characters are meticulously constructed and surrounded by the confines that existed a hundred years ago. The background of the lingering repercussions of a war that didn’t seem to mean anything anymore is intense. Lives were thrown into upheaval. A generation of young males were killed or displaced and women took on more responsibilities and dreamt of possibilities. Frances’ friend Christina shows what can be achieved but Francis and Lillian have a far more difficult journey. As Waters says – love might be straightforward but the world isn’t. This breathtaking novel is chock full of surprises and is difficult to put down.

Lezly Herbert

LGBT familiesLGBT Families

by Nancy J Mezey

Sage Publications

Part of the SAGE Contemporary Family Perspective series, this book presents a comprehensive yet accessible understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families today. It draws upon and makes sense of the increasing scholarly literature about LGBT families from the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. It pays particular attention to how structures of race, class, gender, sexuality, and age shape LGBT families, and how members of such families negotiate the social landscapes within which they exist.

The book will help readers better understand the formation, experiences, challenges, and strengths of LGBT families. It addresses two main questions – why are new family forms so threatening to certain groups of people in society and how are new family forms beneficial to the society in which they exist?

Mezey looks at families constructed around various sexual and gender identities with in-depth coverage of the literature on lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people. She focuses not just on middle-class white families, but also on a diversity of families based on race, class, and age differences. The multitude of data and research serves as an example for how to make evidence-based arguments, rather than basing conclusions on beliefs or limited experiences. Global Boxes highlight the challenges and successes of LGBT people and their families around the world and films and Internet resources that explore issues raised in each chapter are included.

Lezly Herbert

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