Things are a bit topsy-turvy this week at Not Starving Yet which is why I'm running a little behind with today's review. I've been gearing up to photograph my little brother's wedding and it has kept me much busier than I had originally anticipated. I'll be working with a fabulous photographer out of the St. Louis area and we've been hashing out our strategy since neither of us has worked together before. Can I take a minute and gush a bit? My baby brother is getting married!
Ok, now that that is out of my system.
This week I'm extremely excited to have a chance to review The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther. I've been following her blog, Nourished Kitchen, for a number of years now and have been counting down the days until her cookbook was released. Not only has her blog been a great source of recipes, but it has also changed the way I cook. I can't say that about many blogs. In our household we don't live a dedicated traditional foods lifestyle, I am after all prone to eating a Lean Cuisine when I'm pressed for time, but I do make the majority of our food from scratch and many of my recipes are similar to the ones found in this cookbook.
I've mentioned this before, but just after my wedding nearly six years ago I begged my mother to turn loose of her mother and grandmother's recipes. I was met with a resounding no. You know the one I'm talking about, the one that all mothers have. In this case it means you'll have to pry them out of my cold dead fingers, in fact, she told me almost exactly that. We tend to have a dark sense of humor in my family. Instead of turning loose of the original copies of these treasured family recipes my mother spent days scanning everything for me. I've got the best mother ever!
Why did I bring this up again you ask?
Well, while these may not be the types of dishes your mother made, they're certainly the types your grandmother or great grandmother made. These dishes are from a time when everyone grew a garden and put up the reserves to eat over the long cold winter. If your crops failed that year then you learned to barter for what you needed or do without and stretch what you did have. There were no supermarkets to rush to, no imported fruit from Mexico or Chile, and most importantly, no worries of what was really in your food. A large part of me wishes we still lived in those much simpler times. While I don't grow a garden myself, I am fortunate enough to have the Dane County Farmer's Market where I can buy fresh produce. There I can talk with local farmers about their growing practices and understand exactly where my food comes from.
Having access to fresh, locally grown food means I'm one step closer to being able to completely eliminate processed foods from my family's diet, ensuring we receive the necessary nutrition from our foods and not a bunch of added chemicals. The Nourished Kitchen is a great resource for the traditional recipes you expect, but the author provides her own 21st century twist with combinations of ingredients you grandmother never thought about. There are so many recipes in this book I want to try that I don't even know where to begin. Do I start with some of the basics such as sour cream or slow-cultured yogurt that I've been meaning to try making myself, or do I jump right in and make the sourdough blueberry pancakes with buttered orange syrup that make my mouth water? It's a tough decision, but I do know that I will thoroughly enjoy working my way through every recipe in this book.
Where to Purchase
This book was sent to me for review by Ten Speed Press through NetGalley. As always, all opinions are my own.
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