I had the great pleasure of reviewing new Pacific Northwest cookbooks for the Eugene Weekly‘s annual Procrastinators’ Gift Guide, out on the stands today. Check out the latest in home cookin’ ’round these here parts:
- The Paley’s Place Cookbook by Vitaly and Kimberly Paley;
- Artisan Cheese of the Pacific Northwest by Tami Parr;
- The Grand Central Baking Book by Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson;
- Rustic Fruit Desserts by Corey Schreiber and Julie Richardson; and
- The Adaptable Feast: Satisfying Meals for the Vegetarians, Vegans, and Omnivores at Your Table and The Farm to Table Cookbook: The Art of Eating Locally by Ivy Manning.
Vitaly Paley commented that he found Oregon similar to France, respecting and sustaining local products and traditional methods. I couldn’t agree more, especially after reading these beautiful books. I’ll admit that I’m a cookbook junkie, and will read them cover to cover like novels. In fact, I probably read cookbooks more than any other book. But it’s been many years since I’ve seriously considered American cookery. I’m drawn more to ethnic cookbooks, just because I need more help with the ingredients and methods. These cookbooks made me change my mind. Ouch, I was seriously bitten by the cookbook bug. I’d love to do more reviewing in the future — publishers, authors, readers, got anything in mind that MUST be reviewed for 2010? I can’t make any promises, of course, but I’m interested in hearing from you.
Check out Tami Parr’s cheese blog or Ivy Manning’s cooking blog if you like the style and theme of their books. I’m new to Ivy’s blog, but have been reading Tami’s for quite some time for PNW cheese events and reviews. Right now, she’s featuring a compelling selection of cheeses for holiday giving.
I’m sad that my copies of the fabulous The Joy of Pickling (rev. ed.) and The Joy of Jams, Jellies and Preserves arrived too late to be included in the EW review, but I plan to make amends. :) In the meantime, check out author Linda Ziedrich’s preservation blog and browse these lovely cookbooks at your nearest bookstore. They’re a wonderful addition to the Ball Blue Book preservation repertoire, which is great but rather old-fashioned. Ziedrich stresses food safety (with some exceptions) much more than the French preservation cookbooks with unusual recipes, and she also includes many international recipes from the Middle East and Asia, so you’ll find many unique recipes. And her PNW cred is impeccable — it was so nice to see a recipe for home-grown medlar jam, for example, and a meditation on particular fruit varieties that are cultivated in Oregon.
Technically, The Paley’s Place Cookbook came out in late 2008, and The Farm to Table Cookbook came out a bit earlier, but who’s counting? Each of these cookbooks had its inspirations, and testing recipes even provided me with a chance to play with my new KitchenAid mixer.
Speaking of which, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got my own procrastinating to address…cookies, cards and presents, oh my!