Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Simply in Season" - a Cookbook Review

A lifesaving cookbook in a season of abundance!

In the journey to becoming locavores, we know that seasons of overwhelming fruitfulness will arrive (think ripe tomato season - Chris counted last night, we have 38 tomato plans in our back yard!). In the midst of those times, what do we do with all the lovely foods? Canning, drying, and freezing are great preservation methods we will use this year.  We hope to utilize much of the fresh produce when we have it, without getting sick of it. A task that requires variety in preparation. Thanks to an experience on an organic farm near Great Bend, I found "Simply in Season," a cookbook that keeps variety alive in a time of abundance.

The cover of the cookbook reads, "Recipes that celebrate fresh, local foods..." - exactly the focus of this blog.  The author focuses on buying locally, eating seasonally, and enjoying the abundance of each season.  Arrangement of "Simply in Season" falls into five sections: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and All Seasons.  Each section includes the entire spectrum of a meal, from breads and breakfasts to desserts and extras.  The colorful margins highlight the types of produced used in the recipe.  This allows flipping through the cookbook to find an appropriate recipe easy, without taking time to examine each list of ingredients for the specific plentiful produce you have at the time.  The last page of each season's section includes complete menu ideas from the recipes included in that section.  All this, and beautiful, colorful pictures and layout too!

During my visit to the organic farm we ate "Sweet Potato Quesadillas", found on p. 258.  I'd never considered that the possibility of sweet potatoes used in this way.  Pleasantly surprised and very satisfied after dinner, my hosts described a visit they took to another country.  In that country, vegetables were scarce and only provided to guests and adults.  While there, they witnessed children fighting over the leftover vegetables.   Can you imagine children fighting over vegetables?  Definitely not in America, unless it's a French fry!

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