I’ve joined up with Unbound, a crowd-funding model of publishing, to create my new book ‘Cooking with Trees’. It’s an unusual subject, using parts of the tree, from root to branch, to create recipes, and probably one that most mainstream publishers would regard as too niche.
You’d be surprised how many edible ingredients come from trees. As well as 60 recipes, created, styled and photographed by myself, there will be stories of me visiting Grenada to strip cinnamon bark, travelling to the Greek island of Chios to collect the gem-like mastic tears from the pistachio tree, exploring Canada maple forests to tap for maple and birch syrup.
Over recent years I’ve undertaken long walks, from Hadrian’s Wall to the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, along the way admiring trees. The tree is an integral part of magic, fantasy and fairy tales, from Tolkien’s Ents, the Whomping Willow in Harry Potter to the Heart Tree in Game of Thrones. Trees talk to each other via underground networks. Trees help us breathe. They provide warmth, fuel and building materials. You can cook on trees; on the wood and the bark. The smell of wood is soothing; it clears your mind. Wooden chopping boards self-heal. The Japanese celebrate forest bathing. Trees fight pollution, provide shade. The UK was once covered in forest.
And you can eat them. Trees provided some of Mankind’s first foods.
Pledge here if you want to support my new project. You can get a signed copy once it’s published, or attend the launch, or attend a forest themed supperclub, and various other options to suit all budgets.