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Animal fats are being welcomed back into the kitchen! Chefs and home cooks alike are rediscovering how fats create amazing texture (from the flakiest lard piecrust to the crispiest fried chicken) and define the flavor of a dish (like authentic clam chowder with salt pork or duck fat French fries).
Within a single week in 2009, food journalist Robin Mather found herself on the threshold of a divorce and laid off from her job at the Chicago Tribune. Forced into a radical life change, she returned to her native rural Michigan.
There she learned to live on a limited budget while remaining true to her culinary principles of eating well and as locally as possible. In The Feast Nearby, Mather chronicles her year-long project: preparing and consuming three home-cooked, totally seasonal, and local meals a day -- all on $40 a week.
With insight and humor, Mather explores the confusion and needful compromises in eating locally. She examines why local often trumps organic, and wonders why the USDA recommends white bread, powdered milk and instant orange drinks as part of its “low-cost” food budget program.
Through local eating, Mather forges connections with the farmers, vendors and growers who provide her with sustenance. She becomes more closely attuned to the nuances of each season, inhabiting her little corner of the world more fully, and building a life richer than she imagined it could be.
The Feast Nearby celebrates small pleasures: home-roasted coffee, a pantry stocked with home-canned green beans and homemade preserves, and the contented clucking of laying hens in the backyard. Mather also draws on her rich culinary knowledge to present nearly 100 seasonal recipes that are inspiring, enticing and economical -- cooking goals that don’t always overlap -- such as Pickled Asparagus with Lemon, Tarragon, and Garlic; Cider-Braised Pork Loin with Apples and Onions; and Cardamom-Coffee Toffee Bars.
Mather’s poignant, reflective narrative shares encouraging advice for aspiring locavores everywhere, and combines the virtues of kitchen thrift with the pleasures of cooking -- and eating -- well.
Robin is the senior associate editor of Mother Earth News.
Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, Mother Earth News is recommending books and products to readers. For more than 40 years, Mother Earth News has been North America's "Original Guide to Living Wisely," creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.
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East Texas wasn't much of a home for Cullen Baker. Few liked him, and some even tried to kill him. Yet after three hard years of wandering, he's come back to farm the land that's rightfully his. Only Cullen is in for an unwelcome homecoming: his neighbors have long memories, the Reconstructionists have greedy hearts, and his worst enemy has teamed up with a vicious outlaw. But Cullen isn't about to back down. Instead, he's intent on perfecting a new way of gunfighting — the fast draw. And now, with enemies closing in on three sides and threatening the woman he loves, he'll have to be faster than lightning — and twice as deadly — just to survive.
Small steps can create big changes in your community’s food quality and food security, helping to get more healthy food to more people and support a better food system. Ali Berlow shows you dozens of things that anyone can do, from creating a neighborhood kitchen for preserving fresh food to mapping farmland, connecting food pantries with food producers, starting a school garden, and organizing a community composting initiative. Every action you take can help keep farmers on the land and family farms intact, keep money in the local economy, reduce the carbon footprint associated with food transportation, and preserve local landscapes. If you’ve had enough of E. coli scares, disappearing farmland, pesticide problems and hunger in your community, this inspiring book will show you exactly how one person can make a difference.
A food forest is a productive landscape developed around a mix of trees and perennials. Rooted in permaculture principles, this integrated approach to gardening incorporates a variety of plants such as fruit and nut trees, shrubs, vines, and perennial herbs and vegetables. Food forests can help increase biodiversity, protect valuable habitat for beneficial insects, and promote food security and resilience, all while providing an abundant harvest. The Food Forest Handbook is a practical manual for the design and management of a home-scale perennial polyculture garden. Simple, straightforward instructions guide the reader through: •Getting started — site assessment and planning •Tending the forest garden — maintaining soil health, succession planning, mulching, pruning and more •The fruits of your labor — crop profiles, harvest, storage, nutrition and recipes. This timely book makes the concept of food forests accessible to everyone. Focusing on the potential of perennial polyculture to enhance local food systems, The Food Forest Handbook shows the reader how to mix and match plants in unique combinations to establish bountiful landscapes and create genuine self-reliance in years to come.
Delicious wild edible plants and mushrooms are abundant throughout North America, not only in the wilderness but in urban areas, too. Learn how to identify, harvest, and eat the tastiest plants in your backyard. Dandelion flowers become wine, Japanese knotweed becomes rhubarb-like compote and tangy sorbet, red clover blossoms give quick bread a delightfully spongy texture and hint of sweetness.
In The Forest Garden Greenhouse, Jerome Osentowski presents a wholly new approach to a very old horticultural subject. Osentowski is one of North America’s most accomplished permaculture designers, and here he shows how bringing the forest garden indoors is not only possible, but doable on unlikely terrain and in cold climates, using near-net-zero technology. Different from other works on greenhouse design and management, this groundbreaking book advocates for an indoor agriculture using permaculture design concepts—integration, multifunctions, perennials and polycultures—that take season extension into new and important territory.
Clearance: $25.95 The Forgotten Pollinators explores the vital but little-appreciated relationship between plants and the animals they depend on for reproduction: bees, beetles, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, bats and countless other animals -- some widely recognized and other almost unknown.
Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman are America's foremost organic gardeners (and authorities). Damrosch wrote The Garden Primer, and Coleman is the author of the bible for organic gardening, The New Organic Grower. Today they form the face of the locavore movement, operating their extraordinary Four Season Farm in Maine. And now they've written the book on how to grow what you eat, and cook what you grow.
The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook is two books in one. It's a complete four-season cookbook with 120 recipes from Damrosch, a master cook as well as master gardener. She shows how to maximize the fruits (and vegetables) of your labors, from Stuffed Squash Blossom Fritters to Red Thai Curry with Fall Vegetables to Hazelnut Torte with Summer Berries.
And it's a step-by-step garden guide that works no matter how big or small your plot, with easy-to-follow instructions and plans for different gardens. It covers size of the garden, nourishing the soil, planning ahead, and the importance of rotating crops ... yes, even in your backyard. And, at the core, you'll find individual instructions on the crops, from the hardy and healthful cabbage family to 14 essential culinary herbs.
Eating doesn't get any more local than your own backyard.
Want to read more? Check out this book review!
These 84 recipes celebrate the luscious flavors of honey. Each of 12 chapters focuses on a month of the year and a specific honey varietal (such as tupelo, orange blossom, sourwood or sage) and offers a complete seasonal menu showcasing that varietal. In November, you might choose cranberry honey and serve a meal of Candy Roaster Squash Soup, Endive with Pomegranate Seeds and Shaved Parmesan, Turkey Roulade in Puffed Pastry with Cranberry Chutney, Baked Acorn Squash, Elsie's Cranberry Pie, and Hot Mulled Cider. Or in April, you might choose avocado honey and serve Guacamole, Borscht with Crème Fraîche, Avocado and Mango Salad, Rack of Lamb with a Coffee and Honey Crust, Glazed Baby Carrots, Rhubarb Cream, and Southern Iced Tea. The featured varietals are always optional; any kind of honey can be used.
Build your homesteading dreams with all the affordable DIY innovations, tips, and stories you need to successfully set out on a path to self-sufficiency. Raise and grow your own food, connect with nature, and consume less while producing more! The Frugal Homesteader is a fun, inspirational, and educational guide filled with a lifetime of learning that comes along with becoming a homesteader.
The Fruit Forager’s Companion is a how-to guide with nearly 100 recipes devoted to the secret, sweet bounty just outside our front doors and ripe for the taking, from familiar apples and oranges to lesser-known pawpaws and mayhaws. Seasoned chef, gardener, and forager Sara Bir primes readers on foraging basics, demonstrates gathering and preservation techniques, and presents a suite of recipes including habanero crabapple jelly, lime pickle, pawpaw lemon curd, and fermented cranberry relish.