As I may have mentioned, I see a lot of cookbooks in my job. So when I find one that makes me laugh out loud, discover previously unheard-of tricks for classics and reach for my pinny all at once, it’s a keeper. I swear I have never heard of putting a sponge cake in a cold oven then dropping it on the floor when it comes out, but after Lucy says it I discover a whole internet of dropped cakes so it must work a treat. The mental image of Lucy slam-balling pumpkins onto a concrete floor will stay with me. But humour aside, there’s a lot here that I want to cook: and I mean a lot. Some just sound outright delicious (those roasted mushrooms in mascarpone risotto and the salted fennel cookies, just to get started) and others intriguing (raspberry and courgette jam and coffee vinaigrette for a potato salad). It’s no surprise Lucy has a slew of writing credits and awards, as her charming prose leads us gently through the seasons, championing our local ingredients and giving us a collection of eminently cookable recipes. If, as Lucy suspects, the world is going to hell in a handcart at an alarmingl rate, then she has faith that frozen peas will save us, cooked into brownies at the very least. TRACY WHITMEY