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Book Review - Use it all - The Cornersmith Guide To a More Sustainable Kitchen

I've got my compost bin and I try to write a shopping list and meal plan, but the truth is, like most of us, I can always do better when it comes to minimising waste in my kitchen.

So, I was particularly interested to read "Use it all"- a practical guide to reducing food waste.

The book is by Alex Elliott-Howery, owner of Cornersmith Cafe & Picklery in Sydney, known for its sustainable, ethical approach to food, and Jaimee Edwards, who teaches fermenting and traditional cooking skills at Cornersmith's cooking school.

The book transcends the usual straightforward 'recipe' format in favour of an approach featuring chapters centred around a seasonal shopping basket of produce. There are also scattered throughout 'foundation recipes' - flexible recipes designed to use whatever is in the cupboard - like 'Clear out the Pantry Cookies'.

It's an orginal and highly practical idea for anyone who's keen to cut back on waste (and save money through doing so). Each basket makes around five meals and five sides along with a range of sweet, snacks and drinks, as well as offering suggestions of things to do to with those little bits of left overs, like the parmesan rind, 'tired' herbs or leftover bread rather than bin them.

There's really nothing 'fancy' in the boxes, it's pretty much all unpackaged wholefoods and there's an encouragement to buy whole - like chicken or fish and, as the book says 'use it all."

It's actually really, really surprising how much you can make from this one basket - kudos to the authors.

There are also lots of recipes for preserves, pickles, cures and ferments, useful if you're an urban gardener or spy a glut of seasonal produce at your greengrocer.

It's a wholesome, inspiring book that's all about simplicity and the joy of elegant sufficiency and how to use what you have down to the very last dried bean.

Go here for a gorgeous recipe from the book for a rhubarb and ricotta tea cake

Use It All by Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards, photography by Cath Muscat. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99.’

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