Author: Andrea Chesman
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (2007)
Chesman even manages to address the most basic of cooking methods in Harvest, along with “Master Recipes” for gratinée, roasted, sautéed, grilled, stir-fried, tempura and various noodle applications for the vegetables to follow. For the tail end of the growing year, when gardeners are most often beset by too much of a bounty, a handy guide to “Preserving the Harvest” (p. 473) includes pointers on drying, canning, freezing and cold-storing. All the recipes are enclosed at the end of the book in a vast index, along with a resource guide and supplier list. I only wish that an index of the types of recipes was also included in Harvest’s pages, as it would make it that much easier to embrace the seasonal wealth.
Harvest is also a compilation of personal stories from Chesman and those she admires. Far from being a textbook, her non-recipe articles include a piece on “Plant a Row for the Hungry” (also called “Grow a Row, Give a Row”) (p. 280), the use of a home garden as a dating tool (p. 390) and a Massachusetts’s CSA as a produce source for both paying consumers and the local Food Bank (p. 74). For those who never gave gardens a second thought, these tales are inspiring, and for seasoned green thumbs will re-ignite the passion that started their hobby.
It shows in Serving Up the Harvest: Celebrating the Goodness of Fresh Vegetables that Andrea Chesman is undoubtedly a mistress of both garden and writing. Her thorough, creative and engaging exposure to the delights of gardening is more than welcome in a world with a struggling economy. Her equally varied and useful approach to choosing and enjoying the fruits of your land and labour is the gateway to a way of eating that any and everyone should embrace: more produce, more often, in any way possible.
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