Not Martha

Cookbook Club Report: Falling Cloudberries

[Falling Cloudberries cover]

Our last Cookbook Club selection was Tessa Kiros’s Falling Cloudberries. It’s a beautiful book full of vivid and emotive photographs. It’s also huge and packed full of recipes, more than one would expect. The full title is Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes and the recipes are divided by region, Tessa Kiros grew up with a Finnish mother, a Greek-Cypriot father and she grew up in South Africa before traveling the world and settling in Tuscany. The recipes are interspersed with memories of family members and the food they would make, and we are told which family member each recipe comes from.

The club’s consensus? Gorgeous and inspiring book but we would have liked a bit more detail with the recipes. The desire for numbered steps was voiced, and I myself needed a whole lot more explanation as to why I was doing certain things, as well as a bit more detail. At one point the instruction to “add the remaining sugar” stalled me while I read back to the ingredients list, then down through the recipe to find out how much sugar I had already used. Most people admitted to making some changes to recipes, especially if it was the second time they’d made it. That said, all the food was amazingly good.

[food from Falling Cloudberries]

The Youvetsi was warm and delicious. Maggi gives us the recipe with some changes she made over at her site, Whatever Lola Cooks, Lola Eats.

[food from Falling Cloudberries]

The chickpea salad was delicious, with a good amount of feta.

[food from Falling Cloudberries]

The carrot salad was refreshing with mint and some ginger added warmth.

[food from Falling Cloudberries]

This cous cous was also yummy, I’m not normally a fan.

[food from Falling Cloudberries]

The dolmades were good but I think the consensus was that they could have used more salt.

[food from Falling Cloudberries]

The ribs were outright amazing. I was wearing a white dress and I’m shocked I didn’t get any sauce on it.

[food from Falling Cloudberries]

This semolina cake was a good texture and had a delicate flavor going on. Maggi reports the flavor was better the next day.

[food from Falling Cloudberries]

I had no more room to try one of these kourapiedes, but I overheard that they melted in your mouth in a delightful way.

[food from Falling Cloudberries]

The milk tart was thin but tasty. The cook reported that she used a pate sucre crust as the curst the book called for bubbled up beyond control despite using pie weights.

[food from Falling Cloudberries]

I really liked the carrot cake, it was delicately spiced and not too sweet. It was drier and more dense than carrot cake I’m used to but it was balanced well by the fluffy, buttery icing. The baker reported she didn’t use all the frosting as it seemed like an awful lot, but after seeing how it worked she would have added the rest.

[food from Falling Cloudberries]

And the creme caramel was mine. I added a vanilla bean which dotted the top. It wasn’t as pretty as the non-vanilla bean one (recipe here) but I liked the additional flavor.

For more eloquent tasting notes than my own, please visit Maggi’s Cookbook Club set over at Flickr. She also shares the recipe for Cardamom Buns.

· comments [10] · 05-19-2010 · categories:food ·

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jessica // May 19, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Everything looks divine – and the idea of a cookbook club is brilliant. I want to see if there’s one in my town!

  • 2 tracy // May 19, 2010 at 8:10 am

    oh man! i wish i was apart of your cookbook club! perhaps we can have a virtual one some day…for now I will sit here drooling and drooling! Especially over that milk tart! swoon!

  • 3 Seanna Lea // May 19, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I’m with Tracy. I want to be part of your cookbook club. I enjoy cooking, but it would be so much more fun with a group of fellow eaters (most recipes make way too much for 2 people).

  • 4 nazila // May 19, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I posted the chickpea recipe on my blog.

    http://www.banamak.org

    I am still drooling over the creme caramel.

  • 5 SAWII // May 19, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Wow! I’m glad you were amazed by the ribs. They were definitely not the best thing we’ve made on the BGE. The sauce was a good start, but I would have totally messed up the grilling if I didn’t have prior knowledge and a grill master to help me (i.e. instructions in the book were useless).

  • 6 Christy // May 19, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    lol… I’m with Tracy and Seanna, this is such a great idea, and the food looks amazing!

  • 7 deena // May 19, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I checked out Kiros’ “Apples for Jam,” and found it similarly inspirational and evocative and all that good stuff, but a bit slight on the actual instruction. I suppose that’s par for the course from someone who organizes her cookbooks by colors instead of courses…

    Also: Cookbook Club? Genius!

  • 8 Susan Gibbs // May 19, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    What a great idea! I want to start a cookbook club.
    I love this book and her other two (three?) as well. I didn’t notice the lack of instructions but I am a culinary school grad so I tend to read cookbooks for inspiration and new flavor combo ideas.

  • 9 marnie // May 20, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Your creme caramel reminds me of one of my first very expensive, very fine dining experiences. The service had been impeccable, the ambiance was perfect, the food diving. And then as I was eating the creme caramel I’d ordered for dessert, I was shocked to see there were flecks of dirt in it. I was *just* about to say something when I figured out it was vanilla. Humiliation averted!

  • 10 Claire // Jun 23, 2010 at 10:45 am

    wow! all of these look fantastic! I especially like the Youvetsi and the carrot cake (since I’m not usually a fan of carrot cake….).

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