Amy Cotler’s The Secret Garden Cookbook is a charming themed cookbook filled with easy and yummy recipes. The book’s lovely layout is great and I love the well-written historical and cultural information about the Victorian era. I like the full-colour pictures but I wish there were more and that they were more relevant to the theme.
What a fun cookbook! The book is divided into seven chapters: Yorkshire Breakfasts, A Manor Lunch, An English Tea, From the Kitchen Garden, Dickon’s Cottage Food, A Taste of India, and Garden Picnics. I love the variety of dishes! There are recipes for dinner, breakfast, drinks, snacks, condiments, lunch, and teatime. Cotler shows us how to make currant buns and fruit lassi as well as a proper pot of tea. I cannot wait to try making brandy snap lace cookies, bacon and cilantro pancakes, and Yorkshire pudding! The recipes are clearly written and feature familiar and accessible ingredients. I especially like that the dishes seem easy and that they do not feature an extensive ingredient list.
The cute page designs are fun and colourful. But, I really wish they had featured throughout. I like the beautiful and bright full-colour pictures but they are a little generic. They are also very modern and seem as if they could belong to any contemporary cookbook. I wish the pictures were more interesting and more relevant to the theme. Furthermore, a few more pictures of the dishes would really enhance this book.
I love the little snippets from The Secret Garden book that are included throughout. I loved reading about the culture and food of Victorian England. It is especially fascinating to learn about the eating habits and daily activities of the rich and poor people of that era. Cotler’s writing is presented in a brief, easy-to-read, and interesting format. Her style is so simple and approachable that I learned a lot of information very quickly and without feeling overwhelmed.
The Secret Garden Cookbook is a wonderful recipe collection. This is a perfect gift for fans of The Secret Garden, those who love literary cookbooks, or simply anyone who loves food! I love literary cookbooks and I cannot wait to get my own copy of this lovely collection!
Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – Harvard Common Press for this book in exchange for an honest review.
💮💮💮💮 ½ flowers out of 5!