Monday, May 27, 2013

The Seasonal Baker: Easy Recipes From My Kitchen to Make Year-Round

The Seasoanl Baker: Easy Recipes From My Home Kitchen to Make Year-Round
by John Barricelli

As I sit to write this review we are finally into spring.  I feel fortunate to live here in the Hampton Roads area with its bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables.  I love the u-pick farms, the roadside farm stands, and the local farmers market.  In the past I have even participated in a CSA - Community Supported Agriculture.  I recently went on my first strawberry picking venture of the season and returned home with 5 pounds of strawberries. If you have never picked your own you are missing out on so much.  Gather up some friends or family members, a bucket for each and head out to the nearest field.  You will be surprised at how quickly you can fill your bucket with sweet, juicy, sun ripened goodness.

But what to do with all this local bounty?  What do you look for when buying locally grown, seasonal produce?  This book has it covered from apples to zucchini, it even includes herbs.  The book advises on what to look for in buying produce, when it is in season, how to store, and even suggestions for preparation.

If your favorite fruit or vegetable is not yet in season, don't despair.  There are plenty of recipes using dried or frozen foods.  I personally can't wait for blueberry season and plan to make the Coconut-Blueberry Macaroons that use fresh blueberries.  But until then I will have to be content with the Winter Blueberry Streusel Pie (p. 128). 

So back to fresh strawberries.  Now that you have gone out and filled your basket and are tired of strawberry shortcake what else can you do with them?  How about Strawberry-Pecan Coffee Cake (p.43.), or Strawberry Fool - it is much like a shortcake without the cake and makes a beautiful presentation (p. 208).  Or, if you are in the mood for something cold, there is the recipe for Strawberry Ice Cream (p. 225).

Other books to try:

The Sono Baking Company Cookbook: the Best Sweet and Savory Recipes for Every Occasion
by John Barricelli

Fine Cooking In Season: Your Guide to Choosing and Preparing the Season's Best
by Taunton Press

The Kitchen Gardner's Handbook
by Jennifer Bartley

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