Books: Pleasures of eating

<i>The Feast Goes On, The Monday Morning Cooking Club</i>.
The Feast Goes On, The Monday Morning Cooking Club

The Feast Goes On, The Monday Morning Cooking Club
HarperCollins, $49.99 (April 2014)

After keeping company with this book for a week I know this: ''fressing'' is a concept I'd like to become intimately acquainted with. It's a Yiddish term meaning to eat with abandon - not out of necessity or routine but for pleasure. And who better to encourage the reluctant fresser than the authors of 2011's much-loved Monday Morning Cooking Club? This time, the six Sydney ''sisters'' put the call out for the Australian Jewish community's favourite family recipes. They've collated the best into helpful chapters: lunchtime, everyday, comfort, feasting, fressing and tradition. I love the lunchtime salads, particularly a ''Middle Eastern crunch'' recipe of chicken, hummus, rice, pinenuts and pomegranate from Famish'd founder Georgia Samuel. But it's the comfort chapter, stuffed with soul-warming recipes for cabbage rolls, shakshouka eggs and puddings, that has me pining for the Auntie Myrna I never had.

Best bit: As with the first book, all profits go to charity; more reason to get fressing.  

<i>Nonna to Nana: Stories of Food and Family</i>.
Nonna to Nana: Stories of Food and Family


Click here for three recipes from The Monday Morning Cooking Club.

<i>Healthy Every Day</i>.
Healthy Every Day

Nonna to Nana: Stories of Food and Family
Jessie and Jacqueline DiBlasi, self-published, $59.95, (April 2014)

Will it be yiayia Maria's lemon chicken, naanii Ritu's palak paneer, nonna Giovanna's ragu or granny Clarke's Monte Carlos? From Malaysia and the Middle East to the Mornington Peninsula, 15 grandmothers have opened their homes and hearts to share cherished recipes, treasured memories and the joy of cooking for family around the kitchen table.

This documentary-style cookbook is a patchwork quilt of colour, texture and flavour, photographed, designed, written and self-published by the DiBlasi sisters in memory of their nonna Giovanna.


Best bit: Nourishing nostalgia - the legacy of these much-loved matriarchs.


Healthy Every Day
Pete Evans, Plum Pan Macmillan, $39.95 (April 2014)

At a time of year when Dick Smith has sold out of Fitbits and the Bupa ads are looking like motivational videos, celeb chef and My Kitchen Rules host Pete Evans has a new healthy recipe cookbook to add to the mix. And it’s very good. I may not have been entirely convinced by raw okra in a salad, or the day in the oven it took to make activated almonds appetising but there is a bounty of weeknight winners among these recipes, many good enough to entertain with. Lebanese chicken (paired with radish salad), smothered in spices and sweetened with honey, is fabulous off the barbecue, and super summer salad is herby and wholesome, with a dressing made from a whole smooshed avocado. This book will persuade you that eating well can be a pleasure.

Best bit: Good as well as good for you.