Thursday, November 27, 2008

MATAKANA – A special place, and now a special book.

MATAKANA is a small village with a twice-weekly farmers’ market an hour’s drive north of Auckland. It is one of my favourite places. We are fortunate enough to own a cottage about 10 minutes beyond Matakana and most Saturdays will find us prowling around the market buying organic eggs, capsicums, blueberries, and all sorts of other fresh seasonal produce.
The market is surrounded by a new, small, architecturally-pleasing retail centre including a number of real gems, The Village Bookshop, The Village Butcher and Piece Gallery among my favourites.Then of course there is the boutique cinema and of course the area around Matakana includes a number of excellent wineries, fine beaches and reserves.

That is Matakana the place, now we have MATAKANA, the book, and it is a real gem, a must for the car glove box for everyone who lives in and around Matakana and for all those visiting the area as thousands do every weekend through the summer.
Lauraine Jacobs – Random House - $36.99

The farmers’ market is held on Wednesday evenings, mainly for the benefit of people who live in the district and then again on Saturday mornings when weekenders and folk from Auckland and further afield arrive in great numbers.
It seemed very appropriate then that last evening at the market this new title was launched by Penny Webster, the Mayor of Rodney, with further comments from the author, and the publisher, Nicola Legat of Random House. Pic shows left to right, author, publisher and Mayor.

In her compact book, with appealing colour pictures by Ken Downie throughout, Lauraine Jacobs provides a brief, jolly interesting history of the Matakana district, followed by a close look at the farmers’ market, introduces us to the growers and artisan producers, and then provides the reader with a real treat - easy-to-make recipes for five starters, five main courses, five salad and vegetable dishes, and five desserts using fresh market produce and all made originally at her Omaha Beach kitchen upon her return from the market on a Saturday morning. The first one I am going to try, (this weekend), is Harvest Baked Chicken.

The book then visits the wineries and vineyards of the area, makes suggestions for exploring the district with information about the numerous and diverse attractions, where to eat, where to stay, and winds up its 224 glorious pages with maps and a list of names and addresses of the growers and producers.
I’m off to buy another copy so that we will have one at home in the city and one at the cottage up north. I will have to wait though until next Friday, 5 December, the book’s official publication date.
Last night’s event was held in advance of publication because two star guests are going overseas today and will not be back until well after publication date.
About the author
Lauraine Jacobs is one of New Zealand’s most highly respected food writers; she is a longstanding food editor at the superb Cuisine magazine, has established international connections with leading culinary professionals and acts as an important food and wine ambassador for New Zealand. Her most recent book prior to MATAKANA is the very successful THE CONFIDENT COOK, also published by Random House.
Three assorted pics from book appear below.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful to read your constant BOOK support - long may literature reign and writers write and arts councils fund!

Anonymous said...

our lorraine is a great NZ icon.