The Feast Nearby by Robin Mather

I thought this book was a great idea — it’s a collection of essays mixed in with recipes.

The story is, Mather moved to her cabin in Michigan and tried to live off food sourced as locally as possible for a year (or longer – perhaps she is still doing this). As a former food writer, Mather knows a great deal about cooking and what tastes good. She also knows a tonne about food preservation – canning, etc. – and thus how to eat seasonally and make locally produced food last into the winter. The book is divided into four sections; one for each season.

I’m not always crazy about this kind of non-fiction but I found this a great read for when I only had small snatches of time. Since I got it out of the library I am not going to have it around to look up recipes, and I couldn’t muster up the effort to copy out the ones that interested me. I felt satisfied with the little tidbits of knowledge I gleaned while reading that will make a difference in how I do a few things in the kitchen — for one thing, Mather suggests that when you buy fresh ginger, grate up the whole dang thing and freeze whatever you don’t use. That way you always have fresh ginger on hand for recipes but you aren’t constantly buying it and watching it go bad in your fridge between ginger-licious recipes. Good one, Mather.