Androula’s Kitchen, a new travel-, crafts- and cookbook
January 19, 2013
Sonia, whose blog I’ve been following for awhile now, has recently self-published a truly beautiful hybrid cookbook. It is a great mix of reminiscences as well as new discoveries of her family’s heritage on the island of Cyprus.
Androula’s kitchen, Cyprus on a plate, contains a wonderful variety of personal anecdotes and practical information about current and lost ways of life on Cyprus. Sonia also follows up her passion for the island’s traditional skills such as pottery, weaving and basket making, letting us see current examples of the crafts through beautiful photos accompanied by informative explanations. You really get a taste of daily life on the island, and we haven’t even got to the recipes yet.
The second half of the book is given over to ‘Food glorius food”. What makes it unique is the personal element- nearly all of the traditional recipes were either made in Sonia’s cousin Androula’s kitchen, or given by relatives and friends in the village. Where the recipes are more general, various friend-cooks give handy tips and snippets of history and anecdote to accompany the bread, soup or pudding being made.
I love to read cookbooks, and this one is my favourite kind to have- you get all kinds of background stories that put the dish in a context and add so much more to its enjoyment.
In Sonia’s own words….
‘…this book is a record of my journey in search of some of the island’s local traditions and crafts, which have been integral to the Cypriot way of life for centuries. It is a tale of the people I met, the food we made and enjoyed in Androula’s kitchen, and some of the Cypriot’s best loved recipes, which I collected along the way. The ancient history of Cyprus is well documented; I wanted to find out about the mundane life of yesterday and its place in modern Cyprus’.
This book is brimming with spices, landscapes, stories, characters, seasonings, sweets, art, and handwork, but most of all a lot of heart and soul. It is a real gift, and it makes an ideal one as well.
No I’m not getting a cut, this is an unsolicited endorsement of a fellow writer’s worthwhile and beautiful creative product.