When you see people shivering and wrapped up in scarves in April in the UK, you know the weather has gone haywire. Since we're quickly losing hope of a warm and sunny Spring, I thought we could warm ourselves up with some beans and sausages.
published by Workman, 2012, £10.99
Bean by Bean by Crescent Dragonwagon is a veritable bean feast. Beans are extremely versatile creatures lending their flavor and texture to many an interesting dish; even dessert (think Red Bean Ice Cream). There really are no boundaries when it comes to beans.
Crescent Dragonwagon is a new name to me and, yes, it's a name with a story. Once you get over the distraction of her moniker, you will see from her huge variety of bean recipes and histories that she knows her subject well.
For those of you who approach beans with trepidation, there is instruction included for how to de-gassify them. And while we're on the subject, Crescent says that lentils are the least gassy of beans. Hope that helps.
published by DK, 2012, £14.99
If you get your Cumberlands mixed up with your Saveloys, then perhaps you might like to know about a sausage identification guide with tempting recipes included. Sausage by Nichola Fletcher has identified and catalogued the major players of the sausage world.
The Europeans love their sausages and that's understandable when there are so many varieties available. But with so much on offer, it gets confusing trying to remember what meat is in which sausage. That's why I like the practical layout of the book. You can learn in an instant that Zungenwurst, for example, is made of pork while Teewurst is made with both pork and beef.
Maybe you want to dabble with making your own sausage. There is ample guidance given in the book for that, too. Sausage making isn't very complicated, so don't be afraid to give it a go.
Now that I have made myself hungry writing about these two subjects, I think I know what will soon be on my dinner plate tonight.