Whole Larder Love: Grow Gather Hunt Cook by Rohan Anderson. powerHouse Books (October 9, 2012).
I was very excited when I received a copy of Rohan’s book Whole Larder Love, I am a big been a fan of his blog and his food and his life philosophy. His book is lovingly put together, Rohan’s rustic cross processed style of photography is beautiful, he manages to capture the essence of the food and the love that went into growing, catching and preparing it. Rohan lives his ideals, he hunts, fishes, forages has a prolific vegie garden, he is passionate about where food comes from, and about how it is prepared for consuming. He is a pretty down-to-earth guy, he is a dad and he loves life! Here a video of a day in the life of this guy.
I took the opportunity to ask him a few questions.
Hi Rohan I love your new book and have been a blog fan and follower for ages. I am very interested in your philosophy of food. Can you explain this to our readers?
It’s a very simple approach really. My aim is to rely less on other people and corporations for my food, in doing so I reckon I’m reducing my carbon footprint significantly. In all reality I’m living a peasant life, the good life, a lifestyle that I believe is what’s needed as an alternative to the crazy busy current ‘normal’ lifestyle of desk job, long hours, extensive work travel, money stress etc. I’ve rid myself of those things, I have less money, less stuff but a happier life. It’s amazing how better life is with less.
Another major aspect of your blog, which has attracted me and countless others — the lack of perceived political correctness is very refreshing — and real. Many people appreciate this because of your love and respect of food and where it comes from. Can you talk about this?
I’m a free man, I guess I’ve always thought I was free but now I truly am. I can think for myself, I take real action in my life and I stand by my beliefs. If that’s politically incorrect then so be it. That’s the beauty of our freedom of choice! No one is force feeding us our food for example, we the individual make that choice. We also make the choice to either play on entertainment systems on a large plasma screen or we can choose to get out bush and explore nature. I used to watch a lot of television and I never seemed to have time to do things. Then I stopped and now I remind myself that I have no excuse not to do the things I can do, I have that extra few hours up my sleeve now. And there’s also an upside to not watching so much telly. I’m no longer a marketers dream viewer. Instead I’m even more syndical and untrusting of brands. I put my faith in real things, not marketed ideas.
Your photography is beautiful, it has a earthy rich quality to it that is lacking in a lot of food photography. Can you give readers some tips about photographing food and produce?
I’m massively colour blind. I denied it for years. When I was married, my wife used to joke with me about it then I had a medical and failed the eye test dismally. We had a great laugh and now I accept it. So when I process my photos I use the colours that I like. My photos usually tend towards cooler tones. And I’m not a professionally trained photographer, nor do I really consider myself to be an actual photographer. I just use the camera to capture visuals that I then use as a communication medium for the blog. The camera is a tool as important as my guns, my fly rod or a garden spade. I don’t really like talking about photography, there seems to be a lot of ‘photographers’ out there in internet land, a good deal of them appear to be wankers too. I can’t stand people comparing what brand of camera, or lens and how much they paid for it. Just take the damn photo!
The food and recipes in your book are full of flavour, colour and texture. You love to hunt, fish and forage, but one aspect that I really enjoyed was the chapter on stocking the pantry. Can you tell us a few of your favourite ways of putting food by?
At the end of summer I start to do a lot of preserving. It’s an approach that’s been used for centuries to harvest summers produce and store for the winter months when things slow down. That’s all I do really, is spend my time acquiring food for the family. I have no ‘normal’ job, my job IS food. Most people have space to grow the easiest veg of all to grow, zucchini. And if you plant a few too many plants you’ll find yourself in a glut some time in the middle of summer. That’s when I start making jars of Zuc relish. There’s a recipe in my book, which I suggest using as a base and then add to it — add chilli, add peppers, add more onion, more sugar. Do what you want to suit your tastes. In the end however, you’ll have a ripper relish to go on burgers and in winter toasties that you made from stuff you grew. Nothing beats that!