Cooking, Now that It's No Longer "Cooking"

With the Palouse weather so hot lately, I’ve hardly stepped foot in my kitchen, one of my favorite places to be. So I was glad when, the other night, the heat finally broke, rain fell, and with it the temperatures. Time to start cooking!

Good timing, as my CSA produce box is here with its many pounds of summer squashes and abundance of other vegetables and herbs. And while I pride myself on culinary creativity, I do rely on cookbooks for reference and inspiration. CSA’s are so popular in this area (one of the many ways we are lucky in this community), I’m guessing I’m not alone in my quest for, say, new and different zucchini dishes, or ideas for preserves. So without further ado, a few cookbooks I find particularly good for summer menus….

A favorite for flavorful vegetable-based dishes comes Victoria BC restaurant, Rebar. Almost 15 years ago, restaurateurs Audrey Alsterberg and Wanda Urbanowicz compiled their most popular recipes into Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook. It’s been a staple in my kitchen for ten years. Rebar contains dishes for all seasons, but its comprehensive salads, sides, desserts, and beverages sections offer numerous uses for summer’s farm fresh bounty.

The Kinfolk Table is another we’ve kept on our shelves since its publication in 2013. It’s an unconventional cookbook to be sure, an unusual hybrid of art/coffee table/cookbook, but gorgeous photography and mouth-watering recipes will make you want to invite all your friends over for a backyard dinner. And the recipes are good.

Finally, I’m excited about Ivy Manning’s Better From Scratch. Though a slim volume as cookbooks go, Scratch contains an eclectic range of preserves, pickles, sauces and spreads to keep in mind as you wander the farmers markets, basket in hand.

See you in our cookbook section!