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A summer of cookbooks

The summer of 2012 has produced a number of beautiful, exciting cookbooks which The Journal has been privileged to receive in hopes of a good review. The five cookbooks are all worth reviews, their themes and recipes could keep many readers busy perusing them for the next several months. The series of reviews which follows is done with the anticipation that many of our readers will want to obtain these books and enjoy the recipes.

First on the list, of course, is the Fields to Tables cookbook produced as a fund raiser for the King George Farmers Market. If you haven’t purchased your copy, stop at the Market this Saturday and get yours. They book is only $10. It is no secret that area cooks are some of the best around and the recipes in this cookbook give you some reason to know why this is so.

To make the book reflect the local growing seasons, the book is separated into Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and All Seasons. Starting in the spring you will find recipes for greens and early fruits such as Deb Chappell’s Spinach and Strawberry Salad.

If you have more young spring peas than you know what to do with, Cindy Sexton’s Artichoke and Green Pea salad will fill the bill.

Come summer you can make fresh Blueberry Syrup for your French toast or try the Fruit Pizza, by Jessica Taylor, which looks especially good. Whoever thought a crust would be made of almond flour, chopped dates, pecans and apple juice? Certainly not this writer.

Most of the cookbooks received had recipes for baked stuffed tomatoes and Sandra Harrison’s looked like a good one in the Farmers’ Market book. Next week the book up for review will carry a Garlic, Mushroom-stuffed Tomato recipe, a different version of Sandra’s. Of course, there are many tomato recipes, just as there are many tomatoes up for sale at the King George Farmers’ Market each week.

Since more vendors at the Market are bringing forth their canned items, Mary Alice Dobbert included her Dilly Bean recipe, a green bean pickle which looks easy to make and good. Another of the cookbooks up for review had a variation on this delicacy.

Ann Shows’ The Good Shepherd’s Pie, a vegetarian version, looked particularly good.

This past weekend, several of the market vendors had fresh figs for sale. These are the kind of figs my parents grew in their yard. What a joy to find recipes in the book for Fresh Fig Custard, Caramel Fig Tartlets and Fig Bread. Fig lovers have Sandra Harrison and Joy Veazey to thank for these recipes.

For fall there are many butternut squash, cabbage, potato, and sweet potation recipes. Tara Padowan-Hickman has an interesting cauliflower-cheese pie with a crust made of raw potatoes. Lisa Bievers’ Russian Cabbage Borscht looks like a must-cook. 

Of course, there had to be a special section for meat. Although many of the recipes don’t carry that ingredient, what would the market be without Canning Farm’s beef. Lana Atwell’s Grace’s Beef Stroganoff looks like a winner. 

The All Seasons section of the cookbook has most of the meat and seafood recipes. Doug Jenkins and his crew are at the market each week with fresh fish and soft crabs to make those recipes’ ingredients available.

Under the category of This and That you will finally see a recipe for Baked Cheese Grits. It’s interesting to see how June Drake prepares hers and then look at the recipes in some of the other four books The Journal has received this year. Two of them are about Southern cooking, so look for half and half!

‘Nuff said! Read on next week!

 

Ruth Herrink

 

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