Eat Feed Autumn Winter by Anne Bramley is the first cookbook I purchased in 2010 is and if this is any indication of the year ahead, it’s going to be a good one.
It was late when I got around to opening Anne's book so I took it to bed that night and stayed up too late thumbing through the recipes, with my post-it notes in hand. Though meat is included in this book, there are plenty of recipes suitable for vegetarians or vegans and I found ten recipes right away.
After studying the great food photos, I spent time with the book’s acknowledgments and introduction. Someone at my publishing company had told me last fall that not many people read introductions and I bet even fewer people spend time on acknowledgments, but it’s where I always look first. It's the best place to discover who the author is and what influences helped create this book.
I was touched by Anne's quirky confession that she'd been born during a blizzard. Ever since she can remember, Anne says she’s been crazy about autumn and winter, even to the point of getting impatient when summer doesn’t end on time. As the temperature drops, life slows down, busy schedules fade. The candle lit tables, inviting friends to the table and losing themselves in conversations and good food--it was such good story, I wanted to be included on her winter guest list.
Anne is like my mirror image because I’m so crazy about spring/summer that I load up on peaches and berries to freeze and dehydrate so I can have a summer all winter long. And by January rolls around, I’m hoping for an early spring.
Anne’s enthusiasm is contagious. I considered this winter season and realized I'm often at odds with and impatient about winter's end. As I read Anne’s recipes I recalled Mom’s long simmering stews and baked squashes and my grandmother’s apple pies with pie crusts diligently rolled while snowflakes fell.
If you want an uplifting way to begin the year, get this book. (I don’t get paid for or get any compensation for endorsements; my comments come from the heart.)
Here are my first recipe picks:
- Indian Spiced Cauliflower
- Wild Mushroom Toasts
- Watercress and Apple Salad with Honey Vinaigrette
- Honey-Ginger Carrot and Parsnip Latkes with Crème Fraîche
- Orange Almond Cake
- Beet Fries with Blue Cheese Sauce
- Cranberry Tarts
- North African Potato Salad
- Meyer Lemon Tea Bread
- Colcannon (a rustic Irish potato and cabbage dish)
Which recipe will I try first? I’m crazy for potato salad so I’ll make the North African Potato Salad this weekend after getting potatoes and onions from the market. The salad recipe lists cilantro, parsley and cured olives. I’m considering adding yams, squash or carrots for color and sweetness. After that I'll try the Meyer Lemon Tea Bread made with flour from wheat grown at Nash Huber's Organic Produce. Just a little bit of the Northwest flavor with those California Meyer lemons. What’s your winter pleasure?