Last week (Wednesday 1st July, at about 3.30pm, to be exact) Jean Fryer, (wonderful) publicist from Penguin Random House handed me my very first copy of Home. It feels fitting that I was standing holding hands with our sweet little Sophie at the time (she came with me to collect the book) because in that there is so much of what this book is about. Warm hearts, full tables, empty plates. Family, friends and feasting.
I should add that this kind of blog post is always so hard to write, how does one go about ‘announcing’ something like this? It’s always tricky to put into words. There are so many hundreds of hours that go into publishing a book; from its sunny inception; submitting a proposal; writing; testing; tasting (Rob!); writing; re-testing (SO many amazing friends); editing (Joy Clack, you pernickety perfect legend); food styling (the force of life that is Lisa Clark); photography (Warren Heath, master of light and colour, composition and loveliness); design (Bev Dodd, she breathes life into everything and makes it beautiful) and then, all of a sudden, there it is. Pages in full colour, pages in the flesh. It’s totally surreal, and always special.
So with a very full and grateful heart I very sincerely thank every one of you. Especially Rob, and my whole extended family, who are always so unbelievably supportive.
I thought I’d share with you a few thoughts that make up part of the introduction to Home, and what it means to me and our family.
In Swahili, that beautiful lilting language that is native to parts of East Africa, safari means ‘journey’. And I love that. I love that I have had the privilege of seeing so much of our continent, and the picture it has given me of our food heritage in Africa being such a melting pot of colour and character, food that has been cooked and shared against a beautiful backdrop of lives lived in all its magnificent corners, of stories told, of meals shared around campfires, wood stoves, bbqs (braais) or full and happy tables. And I also love coming home. I love sharing the ideas and inspirations that are gathered along the way.
What I think I’m trying to say is that this book is about more than just recipes, it’s an account of sorts, with heartfelt anecdotes that I hope will keep you company in your own kitchens as you prepare food for feeding the people you love. It’s about our sense of home, with all the splashes of colour that we add to it as we journey through life.
There are, of course, more ‘ordinary’ dishes that give us a generous helping of simple, uncomplicated everyday food – anyone who knows me knows that I’m all for delicious kitchen quick-fixes and I have never claimed that my food is revolutionary. You will also see my own twists on so many old South African favourites, just their names conjure up an exquisite kaleidoscope of food memories and moments for so many of us – bobotie; snoek; milk tart (melktert); vetkoekies; chakalaka… And then there are the dishes that take a little longer to coax to glory, but it’s so worth making their acquaintance. Those quiet moments at the stove are moments well spent.
I hope that you will enjoy this little kitchen companion that is packed full of an abundance of all of the beautiful, simple, honest and sincere recipes that I love to cook; the meals that keep us company as we all meander through our colourful lives.
Oh, and just to whet your appetites, here are a few of my favourite things
Pain perdu (French Toast) with sticky spiced quinces | Beautiful Quinoa Breakfast Bowls | Lamb and lentil bobotie pots | Spanish roast chicken | Prawn bunny chows | Sweetcorn pot bread with blistered tomato jam | Honey spiced roast figs with amaretti crumble | Mocha pistachio affogato | Rose Water Panna Cotta with Smashed Raspberries and Sticky Honeyed Pistachios
Also, you can read more on the behind-the-scenes kitchen craziness over here. And, just so you know, a lot of the recipes in this book are tied to the upcoming Season 2 of my TV series that we’ll be filming in a few weeks time. Sarah Graham’s Food Safari will air later this year, I’ll write a blog post with all the details soon!
Hey, you can WIN a copy
Just head over to my Instagram, Sarah Graham Food, and under the cover photo for Home let me know which was your favourite recipe form Bitten or Smitten, and why. I’ll announce the winners on Friday xx