Last Wednesday saw the inaugural meeting of the St Albans Cookbook Club - a club set up in St Albans by the wonderful Ren from Fabulicious Food and Sheba from Absolute Indian cookery school to discuss cookbooks, recipes and all things cooking related!
Our venue was The Bakehouse - a wonderful artisan bakery cafe in the middle of the city which won Best Cafe award at the St Albans Food and Drink Festival recently. With views overlooking the cathedral, this was the perfect spot for us St Albans foodies to meet. With Christmas cooking soon to be undertaken, the theme for this month was festive recipes. Each of us bought cookbooks either dedicated to Christmas, or with great sections for festive menu's, preserves, bakes and gifts.
Predominantly, the celebrity chef's came out on top. With Nigella, Gordon and Delia all writing books dedicated to the Christmas season, many of us use their books to find inspiration or create wonderful food through December, and so we shared our favourite recipes from these books. However, we also discovered some other wonderful gems including this Scandinavian Christmas recipe book
Each of us shared about the kinds of food we typically eat at Christmas or during the festive season. Sheba told us about a typical Kerelan Christmas. Rather than a roast dinner, a traditional Indian Christmas includes lots of different smaller dishes which the whole family come together and enjoy. Ren and Monika told us about a typical Polish Christmas. Heidi from Heidi's Kitchen Talk and Jess, another St Albans local shared their experiences of thanksgiving with us. Typical recipes include sweet potatoes with the marshmallow on the top, pecan pie, pumpkin pie and bean and mushroom casserole - a recipe I am definitely going to have a go at! I told the group about vegetarian recipes I like to make at Christmas. This year I will be giving Nigella's Pumpkin and Goats Cheese Lasagne a go over the Christmas season!
If you live in St Albans and the surrounding areas and would be interested in attending the cookbook club, please feel free to contact myself - or Ren and Sheba - We would love you to attend!
If you are a little further away and wishing you could attend, why not consider starting your own cookbook club? All you need is a venue (it could be your home), a few friends and some cookbooks to start!