17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Crib Notes: Simply in Season

Purpose: This cookbook , commissioned by Mennonite Central Committee "promotes the understanding of how the food choices we make affect our lives and the lives of those who produce the food", provides "recipes and reasons to eat seasonal foods grown locally".

Summary/Highlights: The cookbook provides hundreds of recipes first organized by season then into sub categories like soups, salads, main dishes, desserts, etc. It also includes a fruit and vegetable guide laying out how to select, store, prepare and serve different fruits and veggies and a glossary of protein alternatives and a guide to whole grains. Finally, each recipe page ends with a small excerpt/story/reason for eating seasonally and locally.

I like these things about the book:
-The recipes are not complicated and, aside from the fresh fruits and veggies, use much of what I already have in my pantry.
-Because the recipes are organized into seasons, the fresh ingredients are readily available at my local farmers market in my garden.
-From strawberry bread to Sesame Chicken couscous to Summer Poached halibut to 5 ways to prepare green beans, every recipe I have tried so far has been delicious. And I have been giddy at how much produce from my garden I have been able to use.
-I have really enjoyed reading all the little excerpts after the recipes. It makes it not just a recipe book. My favorite little quote was about India's organic agriculture who name can be translated ito "nonviolent agriculture" - based on the fact that it is based on compassion for all species. Now, I am no bug lover (even though I do try to have a pesticide free garden) but I found it an interesting little fact.

I don't like these things about the book:
-I kind of wish it had photos and a spiral binding so it would lay flat while cooking.
-Because I liked this book so much I ordered the Simply in Season Kids Cookbook but wasn't as impressed. I still am going to check out their Eating More with Less Cookbook. I'll let you know.

Recommend or not?
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a garden, loves to shop at the farmers market, or belongs to a CSA. It has quickly become my little cooking bible.

A garden update photo for your viewing pleasure


  • thanks for the review. you had me at COUSCOUS! it seems like something i'd be interested in. i felt like my entire food world changed once i started shpping local and in season. food tastes so much richer now and i really do feel good about not buying strawberries in december.
    posted by Blogger makakona at 6/20/2008 06:04:00 PM  

  • I love mine too! Mine does have a spiral binding though.
    posted by Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve at 6/20/2008 06:06:00 PM  

  • oh, that sesame couscous salad was so delicious. I packed the leftovers to the beach the next day and it tasted even better!

    pdoe - I wish I had known it was an option (or did you have it done yourself?)
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 6/20/2008 06:14:00 PM  

  • I will have to check this out. We love our Saturday excursions to the farmer's market.
    posted by Blogger beth at 6/20/2008 10:13:00 PM  

  • The garden looks great. It looks like you can buy the book spiral bound for about $3 more.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6/21/2008 09:55:00 AM  

  • I think I may have to order this book...I really need some new produce-heavy recipes. This book by Barbara Kingsolver (she wrote The Bean Tree, etc.) I really enjoyed and really got me thinking about buying locally and growing a garden...more than anything else I've read. It's not exactly a cookbook, more of a year-in-the-life...and I would never go to her extreme (producing ALL of her food for an entire year), but it was interesting to see how she did it.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 6/21/2008 03:35:00 PM  

  • Carrie, thanks for this recommendation. I've recently been thinking about how great it would be to have a cookbook that is organized by season, so this is perfect. I'm excited to check it out. Every time I see produce at the supermarket from CA, I lament our short growing season and wish we could grow avocados. CA farmer's markets must be awesome.

    Jen, I loved that book too. If you want to go into some more depth about food, The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan is amazing. I recently read it and feel like the ground is shifting under me in how I think about food. It's a dense book, but so worthwhile. In attempting to move away from meat a little bit, I have been trying recipes from the Moosewood cookbooks--all vegetarian. We had the most delicious vegetable dish today from their Simple Suppers volume.
    posted by Anonymous Michelle at 6/22/2008 01:16:00 PM  

  • Thanks, Michelle. I will check it out. I am really excited about eating a healthier, locally produced diet...unfortunately the kids are not on-board as of yet. Any suggestions?
    posted by Blogger Jen at 6/22/2008 09:20:00 PM  

  • I am adding the cookbook to my wish list!
    posted by Blogger Sandy at 6/24/2008 03:29:00 PM  

  • Jen,

    I have been wanting to read that book (and the Omnivores Dilemma, Michelle), but I haven't made reading the top of the priority list during my spare time. I miss my subway rides! Maybe I should pick it up for my summer vacation & camping reading.

    And Michelle, this cookbook has many vegetarian recipes. I just made a spinach and leek quiche from the book that was really good.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 6/25/2008 05:29:00 AM  

  • Jen, is it the veggies that they don't like to eat?

    I have heard about a couple of recent cookbooks that disguise vegetables so that kids can't tell they are eating them. One is by Jerry Seinfeld's wife. I haven't tried them out, but they might be useful.

    I don't really have any novel ideas. I try to pair vegetables with pasta and a sauce they like. Or put them in a tortilla which they like a lot. I also resort to force--set aside a certain amount of vegetables for them that they must eat. Or sometimes, if one doesn't like a certain vegetable, we let them substitute carrot sticks.
    posted by Anonymous Michelle at 6/25/2008 12:55:00 PM  

  • Loved reading Animal Vegetable Miracle and you can find all the recipes online http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com/Recipes.html
    posted by Blogger cj at 6/30/2008 04:15:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home