Every day – yes, every day – at The High Street Delicatessen, we reference ‘The Modern Preserver‘ by Kylee Newton.
Our delicatessen shelves are replete with offerings from this Hackney-based pickler, preserver and chutney maker extraordinaire, whose recipes are generously shared between the covers of this sumptuous book.
Every day, we serve Kylee’s chutneys with cheese fillings in sourdough toasties.
Often, cheese and charcuterie platters head into the secret garden with the tasty accompaniment of a gloriously simple but flavour-packed offering from Newton & Pott on the side.
Each time a customer is poised to taste test one of Kylee’s pickled creations, the stories are recounted.
Tales of Mr and Mrs Deli guided to the Newton & Pott production facility by the heady aromas of ‘posh piccalilli‘ bubbling on the stove (p84).
A shout out too for Philippa Langley’s photography, her keen eye capturing colours, details and deliciousness to perfection.
Mrs Deli’s foray into the intoxicating aromatic bouquet of red wine vinegar as she conjured up her own version of Kylee’s Beetroot and Orange Chutney (p43).
First and foremost, ‘The Modern Preserver‘ is, of course, a practical guide, a cookbook in every sense of the description. It is a book that describes what you do, what order you do it in and what the finished result should look like. The recipes work. They just do, as a well-thumbed kitchen roadmap should … you have to be able to pick a cookbook up, chop some stuff, follow the instructions and end up with something to be proud of.
This book is most assuredly one to keep by the cooker, to spatter with pickling juices, to pop post-its in to shortcut the aspirant pickler to favourite offerings.
But much more than that, this is a book that speaks to a journey Kylee Newton has taken. Cash-strapped, she made pickles as gifts. Friends loved them. Why wouldn’t they? Newton & Pott was born. Pickles, chutneys and preserves shared with a growing fan base. This book is most certainly a testimony to the success of that growing enterprise.
What Mr and Mrs Deli love most, though, is that ‘The Modern Preserver‘ is the contemporary guide to a traditional craft. This is a manual for ‘no waste‘. This is a seasonal guide that captures the harvest and flavours of a moment and stockpiles them in cool, dark cupboards for lean times. This is a practical roadmap to paths which have been trodden for centuries.
Everyone can – and should – preserve the seasonal harvest.
This book is a generous guide which steps assuredly out on the road, which champions exploration and adventure. It is an encouragement to do it yourself.
Or you could just browse the pages whilst snaffling a cheese platter and accompanying Newton & Pott pickle.