Onwards is about letting go and staying tethered.
When Karen Dudley closed her iconic restaurant, The Kitchen, in Woodstock, Cape Town, there were tears all over for the beloved establishment. Since then, Karen has found that connection does not necessarily reside only in bricks and mortar. She has found that she can carry that deliciousness onwards. This book is about how she has done just that.In Onwards, Karen Dudley weaves a compelling narrative of how her life changed after the Covid-19 pandemic forced her to close, The Kitchen. From these bleak circumstances arose something beautiful, offering the time and space for inspiration to take root, to rediscover her connection with food, and to shift her perception of what it means to cook, for oneself and for others. Onwards is a book about the way forward, filled with wholesome, nourishing and indulgent recipes, with a story of hope and happiness threaded throughout.
Chapters are divided into:
- Recipes to help with letting go
- Salads I would have made at The Kitchen
- The solace of vegetables
- My brassica affair
- Actual lunch and supper
- I make lunch for my Sweetheart now
- Curiosity and hunger
- The peace of toast
- Earrings and lipstick for Instagram
- The crispy topping and ASMR
- The truth of butter and sugar
- The new imagination
Recipes that caught my eye:
- Caesar Wholegrain Mayonnaise (p12)
- Deeply Roasted Sesame Sauce (p13)
- Sumac Dressing (p14)
- Beetroot Salad with Cardamom-Ginger-Mint Yoghurt (p35)
- Smashed Roasted Potatoes with a Few Suggestions (p53)
- Brussels Sprouts with Nuoc Cham Dressing (p65)
- Red Cabbage with Capers, Basil & Pine Nuts (p72)
- Five-Spice Chicken & Pork Meatballs (p78)
- Melting Eggplant Pasta (p100)
- Roast Leeks with Anchovy & Soft-Boiled Eggs (p102)
- The Giant Sausage Roll (p118)
- Walnut Chilli ‘Crisp’ (p129)
- New Lemon Squares (p180)
- Aniseed Shortbread (p182)
- Ukrainian Yoghurt Pancakes (p198)
What I made:
For my chosen recipe I needed to make the deeply roasted sesame sauce. YUM is the one word I would use to sum it up. The sauce was perfect for the meatballs that I made, together with the walnut chilli crisp. I will rename this when I share the recipe as walnuts are not the main ingredient. And it comes with a HOT warning as it is very spicy. The pancakes were perfect for an afternoon treat and I would easily make them again.
Not all of the recipes have photographs which I know is a make or break for some of my readers. The backgrounds are very busy, and I felt that distracted from highlighting the food. I feel the story would have had more impact had the book been published in 2021. There is because there is such a sense of grief echoed in the book. I hope Karen has healed and moved on!
Penguin Random House South Africa sent me Onwards to review.
View the previous posts on October 31: