Home Made by Yvette Van Boven

A traditional cookbook with a twist

By Laura McKinnon
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Home Made by Yvette Van Boven

Home Made by Yvette Van Boven [©Murdoch Books]


When my parents were engaged my mother was given a guide to good housekeeping that covered everything from making bread, fashionable meals of the day, cocktails and menu plans.

To this day we still use this book, but with age comes ripped pages, recipes covered in sauce so that you can’t read them and quite a lot of outdated dishes you wouldn’t serve anymore. Despite this we hold on to it, waiting for a day when another book comes along that ticks all the same boxes. Yvette Van Boven’s Home Made is such a book.

Home Made draws your attention immediately. Whether it is the simple tomato-rich background of the cover, the ‘Home Made’ heading, or the ‘from-scratch’ subheading that appeals – it has certainly achieved a homely cookbook-that-will-get-used-over-and-over-again feel.

Home Made boasts over two-hundred recipes and has an extensive list of different categories, including breakfast and lunch, soups, pastas and gnocchi. However what is exciting and special about this cookbook are the more specialised sections like making teas, putting together cocktails and liqueurs, preserving fruit, vegetables, smoking foods, making cheese, making ice-cream, and more.

The book is broad in scope and is great if you are a person who likes a cookbook that has significant variety – there really is something for every season and taste. Home Made will also suit beginners through to more seasoned cooking veterans.

Home Made is put together intelligently and artfully. It's also fun. Recipes are sometimes accompanied by messages from the author giving the book an intimate – and frequently humorous – feel, and it has simple-to-follow instructions that are usually accompanied by a full page picture of the dish on the opposite page.

Home Made starts off simply with jam making and bread making, but extends on the basics by giving different jams and breads to make once you have refined your skills. Red cherry and thyme bread is a bit of a highlight. Did I mention how extensive this book is? It also covers making stocks, cheese and tea, preserving and putting together a barbeque.

There are a great many recipes; some that you will want to try straight away. Sweet potato soup with buttered cashews, salmon tartare, risotto with beetroot and taleggio, raspberry sorbet, vanilla fritters with zabaglione and gingerbread muffins were ones that had me racing for the kitchen. But keep looking and you will find more. This cookbook is addictive.

Overall Home Made is excellent value. It truly has something for every skill level and palate. There's even a section devoted to man’s best friend. That’s right, home-made biscuits for your furry friend! If that doesn’t make this cookbook extensive I don’t know what will.


Home Made written by Yvette Van Boven is published in Australia by Murdoch Books (Sydney 2011; hc, 430 pp) and retails in Australia for RRP A$49.95. There is also an international edition.

Home Made is available via Booko here »



  • France - all (FR)

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October 22nd, 2011
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