Tessa Kiros, author of the popular 'Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes' and 'Twelve: A Tuscan Cookbook', delivers more unashamed nostalgia and magical food in 'Apples for Jam'. Chunky (400-plus pages), beautifully bound and with a gorgeous pink and red cover depicting well-worn children's shoes, this is a book that you fall in love with on first glance. Fortunately there's more than enough solid content inside to hold your attention.
Kiros, who is half-Finnish and half-Greek-Cypriot, was brought up in South Africa and travelled the world before settling in Tuscany with her Italian husband and two daughters. Her globe-trotting past is sprinkled throughout the book as she weaves her girls' experiences (and drawings) with her own, taking ideas and recipes from many different cultures and traditions.
Each chapter and the recipes contained therein are colour coded - Kiros runs the spectrum from gold to monochrome, orange, green and white. There's Rosemary Semolina Puddings (red), Chocolate and Vanilla Biscuits (stripes), Chocolate Loaf (brown), Fun Dough for kids (yellow) and persimmon, plum, raspberry and blueberry Fruit Butters (from, where else, the pink section). Kiros' memories - playing princess, creeping up to the witch's house, "hopping, scar-free, from one moment to the next" - capture the breathless excitement of childhood while the recipes actively fortify all these games and experiences. It is crammed full of food that children will enjoy both the eating of and, in some cases, the making and Kiros is a thoughtful cook, advising readers to be careful about adding ingredients that children may find too intense.
A loving celebration of childhood and family life, 'Apples for Jam' is crammed with great recipes that you'll itch to try out in your own kitchen. A wonderful read.