The Curious Peasant

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Lost skills in cookery, craft, and culture.

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Welcome to the website of The Curious Peasant, Peasant Publishing and Victoria Osborne.

The Curious Peasant is a series of digital publications, e books, which look at some of the cookery, craft and cultural skills that we are in danger of losing. The series is published by Peasant Publishing and written by Victoria Osborne.

The first titles in the series are Simple Sourdoughs and Tagines. Simple sourdoughs was published on 9th May, 2014 and Tagines was published on 30th May, 2014. They are available on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback. Simple Sourdoughs is available on Smashwords in a variety of formats and Tagines will be published on Smashwords at the end of August, 2014.
Sourdough crumb
Why 'The Curious Peasant'? Is the peasant the curiosity or are we referring to the enquiring mind of the peasant? I like the anachronism of the first - there are too few of us peasants left in the first world - a world driven by materialism and technology; there is little room left for those of us who like to take life at a slower pace and who might want to leave a smaller footprint on our planet. Those of us who like to make our own bread and grow our own vegetables are definitely a curiosity.
Tagines in the market
The second definition might seem a contradiction in terms - peasants by their nature are generally considered incurious, that is why they are peasants and not Captains of Industry. And yet, have you ever found yourself considering who first might have discovered which foods were good to eat, how to make a basket out of plant material, how to convert milk into butter or cheese? These things were all discovered by our ancestors, admittedly many of them in pre-history. Archaeologists and Anthropologists are generally agreed that the hunter-gatherers of old probably had a fairly easy life. All they had to do was wander about finding a bit of food and some shelter (a gross simplification I know). It wasn’t until well after people took up agriculture, some 12,000 years ago, that a recognisable peasant class can be said to have emerged.
A basket of eggs
Rest assured that I am not using the word peasant in a derogatory way here but in a way that describes a way of life; someone enterprising, hardworking and skilled. Someone who knows, or wants to learn, how to feed and clothe themselves and to make the everyday goods that make life easier; candles, baskets, even simple boats for instance. You could just go out to a shop and buy these things but then of course you have to earn the money with which to pay for them. A peasant would rather make them themselves and make do with less.

It is my ambition in life to be able to truthfully call myself a peasant, preferably a curious one.

Victoria Osborne
Peasant Publishing

The Curious Peasant digital editions will be available through Amazon for Kindle and in paperback. They will also be available on Smashwords in a variety of formats. The first title, Simple Sourdoughs was published to coincide with Real Bread Maker week, from 10th to 16th May, 2014 promoted by The Real Bread Campaign

The second title, Tagines, was published at the end of May 2014

The Curious Peasant at Peasant Publishing,
Court Close House, North Wraxall, SN14 7AD
+44 (0)7971 961870

photo credit: mystuart via photopin cc
photo credit: Martin and Kathy Dady via photopin cc
photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc