This is a wonderful book. It’s a cookbook, yes, but in fact we read it cover to cover, as it’s also something of a memoir, full of stories and anecdotes. Lucy Boyd is the daughter of River Café founder Rose Gray, who died in 2010, and not only has she inherited her mother’s recipes, but clearly many of her gifts both in the kitchen and the garden (Boyd works at Petersham Nurseries and created the kitchen garden there), as well as on the page. Boyd writes wonderfully well – about food, yes – but also about family life, and the work of cooking and gardening, as well as the pleasures both deliver. She can also be very funny. Her passage on breakfast rituals made us laugh out loud. But as well as all this, Kitchen Memories works fantastically well as a book to cook from. Boyd is not out to impress, but is a home cook who juggles children and work with wanting to eat simply and well, day in, day out. Her mini essays, peppered with careful and useful advice, and her recipes, which are mainly Italian in inspiration, are about achieving just that. And boy do they work. We made her spaghetti in the bag with prawns last week. We had all the ingredients, save the prawns, in our store cupboard, it didn’t take long, cost very little, and tasted sensational. The flattened chicken with herbs and lemon was equally quick, easy and transformative. Her raspberry and hazelnut meringue cake is a showstopper. But honestly we want to cook every single recipe in this book, and have just ordered two more copies to give away, we love it so much.