2011-07-07 / Opinions

Book Review

Southern Farmers Market Cookbook By HOLLY HERR
Reviewed by PEGGY BARNETT

Washington-Wilkes has its own Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, and certainly it is southern. Now cooks can find recipes for some of those market products in this new book. The desire to be “locavores” has been spurred by books like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and Accidental Farmers, about Elbert County’s Nature’s Harmony Farm. Holly Herrick says, “the name of the farmers-market game remains the same: buy local, buy right. No matter where you live, it is my sincere hope that this book will help you to shop locally and seasonally.” Buying food grown locally means fresher, more nutritious, and significantly less chemically treated food. It may also encourage increased use of heirloom varieties that may not ship well, not to mention reducing that carbon footprint.

A cookbook, though, needs to supply recipes, not just argument. The Farmers Market Cookbook is arranged normally, from “Super Starters” to “Sweet Endings.” It includes seasonal produce charts and Farmers Market listings. Ours is not listed by name, but a reference is given to a Georgia agricultural website.

Cookbooks are fun to read, even if the reader does not plan to cook anything. However, any self-respecting cook will immediately pick out ones he wants to try. How about Zucchini Toasts or Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms? A gardener doesn’t always need a market, but he may need something to do with all that zucchini.

Like any good modern cookbook, this one has tantalizing photographs. Even if the description is not tempting, it will be a brave vegetarian who can resist the picture of “Happy Pigs Hot Pepper Jelly-Glazed Pork Chops.” Probably most interesting to farmers-market shoppers would be the soups and stew section, or the salads and sides.

For the sweet-tooth crowd, “baked peaches with red wine sorbet” sounds seasonal and delicious. Berry cobblers and ice creams may add calories but should not be dismissed for such a weak reason.

The Southern Farmers Market Cookbook is available at the Mary Willis Library.

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