Another cookbook. Even with careful (and constant) pruning, they threaten to overtake my office.
Because of that and the availability of almost everything online, I’m getting very picky about whether a cookbook get a seat at the table, shelves, floor, or donation pile.
When Mi Ae Lipe, the author of Bounty from the Box, the CSA Farm Cookbook, contacted me about the book, honestly, I was pretty lukewarm about it. The fact that it was months before I was going to see anything from my CSA may have played a part in it too.
Then the book arrived. It’s huge.
Think Manhattan phone book huge.
OMG what am I going to do with this thing?
But it’s amazing!
Forget about figuring out what to do with the fifth week of zucchini from your CSA, this book is indispensable for anyone who buys produce.
Besides what you’d expect–cooking ideas and recipes, all the fruit, vegetables and herbs she writes about have guides to selection, storage, seasonality, nutrition and even whether they can be frozen.
There are side-bars with book and cookbook recommendations, quotes and even the pros and cons of joining a CSA.
One of my criteria for judging a cookbook, and the reason I prefer a real book to my e-reader, is the index. I don’t think I’ve ever raved about an index, but Mi Ae has one that’s just recipes by ingredients. So, if you have a mess of arugula and want to do something with it, there are a bunch of recipes that use arugula giving you lots to choose from.
The only downside to this index? You’ll see at least another four things you’d like to try.
The upside is that if you have a choice at your CSA (like we do) or farmers’ market, you’ll get brave and pick up a bunch of something you’re not familiar with because you’ve got help at home.
Who knows, your new favorite vegetable may be lurking there!