Saturday, February 26, 2011

Weekend Cooking with Slow Food

Come To The Table; The Slow Food Way of Living edited by Katrina Heron with a foreward by Alice Waters presented by Slow Food Nation easily caught my eye as I browsed the new nonfiction at the public library.  This book, filled with 12 California farm stories and a section of delicious sounding recipes,  is packed full  of information-all that and sage bits of wisdom from Alice to open the book.  Heaven. 

I've enjoyed paging through this book, looking at the earthy photographs of farming people, animals, and the  fruits/vegetables of their labor.  In each section I've found pearls of wisdom that I'm taking to heart.  Sometimes it seems when our heart is into something we feel we know all about it.  Reading this book made me realize I have so much more to learn about "organic" and sustainable-living.  In "How-to: Store it/Saving from Scratch"  I read this bit  " It seems obvious, but people forget: You can save a lot of money if you buy food you can store and use over time.  For example, beans.  Dried beans are far cheaper than the canned ones."(11)

Reading about the 12 farms was enriching and made me ready to sow some seeds of my own.  I can't have chickens where I live but we do garden and these stories inspired me to try some new plants, to reach farther in my gardening quest.  I read about Jennifer Greene, a grain specialist, who decided to see how many people one woman could feed...she says about 100.  She grows grains the old-fashioned way in northern California in an idyllic setting.  Now I like King Arthur Flour myself but I can only imagine what it would be like to buy flour from a woman farmer just down the road.  That would truly be cool.  Each farm family has an story worth telling and many have taken over family farms and turned them back to what they were years, and years ago.  Funny that a big handful of people knew that what was once  tradition  would now be new.

At the tail end of the book live many slow food recipes I plan to try over time but not this weekend as Groovy Girl are on our own and we had take- out Chinese last night that did not muster up to what we can make ourselves.  I was just trying not to have to cook after a very long day.  Hmmmph. 

Here is a short list of recipes titles that I'm interested in making:

Paul's Best Biscuit Recipe (Sweet Home Ranch)
Spearmint-Stuffed Artichokes (Full Belly Farm)
Jennifer's Chickpea Puree (Windborne Farm)
Battered Fried Zucchini (J & P Organics)
Pastaless Vegetable Lasagna (Tierra Miguel Farm)
Bean and Barley Stew (Redwood Roots Farm)
Eggplant Curry Soup (Vang Family Farm)
Okay, that recipe looks just so easy to type I'm going to share just this one:

Eggplant Curry Stew
2 or 3 Chinese eggplants, thinly sliced
1 T yellow curry paste
1 can coconut milk
3/4 cup sliced bamboo shoots
3/4 pound chicken breast and thigh, cubed in 1/2 pieces
3 or 4 lemon tree leaves or 1 stalk lemongrass can be substituted
Salt to taste
Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring the mixture to a low boil, then simmer until chicken is cooked to your preference. Add salt to taste. This thick stew can be served over rice.
Makes 4 servings(130)
[unless i' ve recently cooked one of the few organic/local chickens from my freezer i would substitute tofu for chicken]

I've never read a recipe for Suckling Pig (Clark Summit Farm) but there is one listed and for dessert, let's all have California Cloverleaf Farms Organic Cheesecake (Burroughs Family Farm).

Thank you to the library for such a feast of cookbookery!!
This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking meme.  Click to her to find a whole slew of other foodie folks blogging about what they're cooking up.

Look for it at in IndieBound bookstore near you by clicking on the title/link:

Come To The Table; The Slow Food Way of Living
This book counts toward my Foodie's Reading Challenge.


Beth F said...

I'm definitely going to look for this one at the library. Quite a bit of the food we eat is locally grown or produced and is organic -- but not all. In the winter months we rely on store-bought for fresh fruit and veggies.

I use KA flour too -- I wonder if we have any local flour mills. Something to explore.

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) said...

I'm going to look for this book too. I have a garden and I'd like to expand it to even more types of food.

Last year I grew enough roma tomatoes to puree and freeze them to make several batches of sauce. The difference in taste is amazing, and worth the effort of pureeing my tomatoes (although at the time I was grumbling about all the work).

caite said...

I love to use fresh local produce in the summer...but I live in NJ and that is a bit of an issue when we get 2 feet of snow. Now if one is in Florida or California...

Nan said...

This sounds truly wonderful. Thank you. I want to spend some time within its pages.

Lisa said...

Local food is very short lived here, our summer is very short.

I just came from the thrift store where I bought 3 more blue ball jars to store things like beans in. I'm very excited about this for some reason. I'd have bought more, but they only had three with lids.

Joy Weese Moll said...

This sounds like my kind of cookbook! I'm with Lisa and caite that I'm always jealous of the growing season in California when I see books like these. Although I can't complain too much. There is such a good local market these days that some of our farmers have greenhouses and I bought local lettuce, spinach, and kale this morning!

Chinoiseries said...

This book sounds fantastic! Just the type of cookbook I'd enjoy. Thanks for posting about it! And wow, that recipe, it's going into the mealplan for this week, yay :D

Marie said...

I love curry. Just had some for lunch. This one looks really simple; I'll keep it in mind.