As you may have noticed from all of my DIY baking projects lately, I've got a bagel in my bonnet. Part was inspiration from a new friend who leads a mysterious double life as a baker, churning out beautiful and tasty treats. Part was the season. With school winding down, volunteer projects are also, thankfully, on the wan and leave me with of breathing, I mean, baking space. But the biggest part, perhaps, was a trip down library lane.
Instead of forking over a hundred dollars on a dozen new cookbooks, I reserved a number of copies from the local library. As they've rolled in, I've perused. I've sighed over photos. I've squinted over ingredients. I've dabbled.
And now I'm back with a round up on my recent cookbook adventures.
Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes by Jeanne Kelley first caught my eye. It is the quintessential locavore/seasonal cookbook. It is for the kitchen gardener and the urban hen-farmer. It's pages are sleek and riddled with extra large glossy photos. I really wanted to love this cookbook. I really did. But, I just don't.
Maybe it is personal taste but none of the recipes (with the exception of a few baked goods in the back), appeal to me. I will photocopy the pizza dough recipe - which rocked - and sigh over the lemon scone recipe one more time but back to the library this book will go. Grade: C.
I thought that popular Fresh From the Farmers' Market by Janet Fletcher would be as wonderful as Recipes from America's Small Farms - but better because its photogenic food. It is extremely well organized and contains a thoughtful section on each ingredient available from the farmers' market. The photos are artistic and beautiful. Unfortunately, though, Fresh From the Farmers' Market is light on recipes. Very light. I marked a couple pages - persimmon ice cream for one because I never know what to do with all the fruit from my parents' and in-laws' trees - but this book is definitely going back to the 'brary. Grade: C.
Food to Live By by Myra Goodman is quite a tome. I'm not sure when I last saw so many tantalizing recipes, accompanied by small and relatively uninteresting photos, packed into one book. The author is affiliated with organic packaged lettuce giant, Earthbound Farm, of The Omnivore's Dilemma (e.g., big industrial organic) fame. Indeed, the book is even subtitled: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook. That does give me a bit of pause. Not that it's bad. Not that I won't sample dozens of these recipes. Not that I won't renew the book as many times as I'm allowed. But it does give me pause. Grade: B.