Front Yard Veggies

You can’t grow everything you eat, but you can eat everything you grow…

on my bedside table…

and bathroom floor, and living room tables, and kitchen table.  I think you get the point.  At least of how my wife feels about the books that I take a shine to.  The follow me around the house in no discernible order or timing, leaving the “impression” of messiness…

Anyway, I wanted to review four books that I received as Christmas presents.  Thanks Mom!  They are all good, but two of these stand out as somewhat essential for the home gardener/cook, those of us that fashion ourselves as cooking from a potager and like food with fresh taste.

On Food and Cooking

Chez Panisse Cooking – This was/is my favorite of the bunch.  Kitchen gardeners will immediately be taken with this one, I think.  It is a romantic yet (mostly) practical guide to cooking with ingredients that are as fresh as the ones we have to work with out of our garden.  This book could have been written today and been well-regarded.  That it was written 20 years ago is simply incredible and is a testament to how forward-looking Chez Panisse is.  Paul Bertolli has a very accessible appreciation for simple, rustic flavors and a sophisticated understanding of the origins of ingredients.  While many recipes would require too much work for most of us, there are many that are simple, but with the right ingredients are fantastic.  I will be spending a lot of time this summer working my way through this one.

I want to write much more about this one, but suffice it to say, I will have more to say as I try out a number of recipes.  I may be able to start soon with spinach soup as I have some spinach in the garden that tastes great, but does not look so presentable.  Or possibly a double soup, spinach soup and carrot soup, paired in a bowl.

double soup

Chez Panisse Vegetables

Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook

UPDATE:  ARRRRGGH!!! just lost a lot of edits here.  will update tomorrow.  this is way undone!!!  OOHHHH, I am MADDDDDDD!!!!  I was Brilliant!!

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