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Hattie Klotz wrote the bulk From The Garden: Fresh Seasonal Cooking in 10 fever-pitched days in England last September. She and her collaborator, the photographer Leigh Clapp, had a small window to “harvest, cook, plate, photograph and eat” the greatest array of vegetables from her family’s gardens at Pashley Manor, the estate in East-Sussex she grew up on. Pashley Manor is famous for its gardens, which are open to the public and feature a restaurant that serves what the gardens grow. I spoke to Klotz on the phone recently from her home in Ottawa, where she, her husband and three young children live, and where she has established herself as a food focused journalist, writing for outlets like The Citizen and Edible Ottawa. She explained that From The Garden was a long planned labour of love: a cookbook that combined her passion for growing with the way she was brought up: eating freshly dug up vegetables in season.
Klotz told me the cookbook, which is printed on heavy matt stock and features a colour photograph by Clapp on very page, accompanying every recipe, came baout when she and the photographer were commissioned to another book on gardening. She managed to convinced her publisher to do a double deal and bring out her cookbook, which is full of gardening tips, for good measure.
While the gardens at Pashley Manor provided the raw material for the recipes in the book, Klotz insists they apply to Canada. She and her husband have a country place outside of Ottawa, where she keeps a large market garden. Having grown her food in both countries, she told me the main difference between English and Canadian gardening is timing, explaining “things grow at a longer, slower pace there, where as things move more quickly here.
From The Garden is organized by ingredients, and so correspondingly by season. One of it’s traits that appealed to me as a home cook was the its preponderance of soup recipes. I asked Hattie Klotz why that was. She replied that it was a mix of sentimental and practical reasons. Her father loves soup, so she grew up with soup as a regular part of supper and also married a man who loves it too. It’s an appropriate dish for a cold climate country, and most to the point, she explained that “soup is the best way to use up vegetables that are on their way out, making soup is just a way to be economical.”
Photo credits: Leigh Clapp.