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Thursday, 21 February 2013

My latest purchase: Mr Wilkinson's Favourite Vegetables

Mr Wilkinson's Favourite Vegetables

Matty is an avid reader. If we had his books alone, they'd fill a pretty decent bookshelf. He'll read a book a week, but is generally pretty good at passing them on when he's done. Sharing the literary love. The real problem is my complete inability to say no to a cookbook. I don't hear voices in my head, it's more that the cookbooks grow legs and jump into my hands, take out my credit card and pay for the purchase. They even know my PIN for heaven's sakes!

There was no buyer's remorse with this one. Mr Wilkinson's Favourite Vegetables has actual recipes you'd reasonably believe you can cook and won't stuff up. They're also interesting and creative without being naff. It's one of those cookbooks you open and instantly feel a connection to the dishes: approachable but impressive.

So we had a bunch of friends over on the weekend for a fried chicken fiesta. More on that later in the week. I needed something on to accompany the chicken. This fried chicken is hard to outshine, so some fairly solid sides were in order. The day Matty and I were engaged, we visited Daylesford to visit their Producer's Fair. We saw Mr Wilkinson himself whip up a pretty amazing potato salad with smoked yogurt (amazeballs - photo below) and summer truffles. That one made the menu quick smart.

Smoked yogurt

We visited Hams and Bacon (the new deli/supply shop next to Pope Joan/Bishop of Ostia) to pick up some of the yogurt. I went a little nuts and also grabbed some smoked maple syrup (this stuff has a place in heaven's pantry, I swear), some chicken and the cookbook. On perusing the book, I stumbled upon his recipe for cornbread. Hooley dooley. So good.

I won't include the recipe here. Go buy the book - you can thank me later. It takes a little while - you make you own creamed corn, which is simple but super impressive even on its own. But the results are fantastic. Sprinkled with a little smoked maple syrup, it was something else. And really, what could be a better buddy for fried chicken than cornbread? I think if we left them unattended we'd find them later making out behind the shelter sheds. Or not.


I'm thinking another recipe-video is in order for the fried chicken fiesta. Hopefully you can dig its action later in the week.

PS. Mr Wilkinson is not an uncle of mine and I'm not being paid for this post. It's just a shit hot book.


  1. Two questions: Is Corn bread colloquially known as Cornpone? And just how many copies of Raptor Red has Matty got in his bookshelf?

    1. Well, my good friend, wiki tells me:

      Corn pone (sometimes referred to as "Indian pone") is a type of cornbread made from a thick, malleable cornmeal dough (which is usually egg-less and milk-less) and baked in a specific type of iron pan over an open fire (such as a frontiersman would use), using butter, margarine, Crisco or cooking oil. Corn pones have been a staple of Southern U.S. cuisine, and have been discussed by many American writers, including Mark Twain.

      To be honest, I'd never heard of cornpone, but now my interest has be piqued!