Yes, you might say I’m a geek. I read cookbooks or gardening books before bed. I lucked out with the Cooking Light Pick Fresh cookbook as it is absolutely the best of both worlds (which means fewer books on the bedside table – I’ve read it twice now and might go back for thirds.)
As the edible gardening “trend” stops being trendy and people realize that, “hey, we all eat so maybe we should learn to grow some food, too” books on the food gardening topic are becoming simpler and smarter. Gardening education these days seems less esoteric (“death by botanical latin” as I like to call it.) And cooking books are focusing more on quality ingredients vs. fancy techniques that require a cooking school diploma or a kitchen full of specialty gadgetry. The net result is books like the Cooking Light Fresh Pick Cookbook which is an excellent example of this evolution of the best of both genres in one beautiful, practical volume.
Much like another favorite of mine that came out a few years ago, Grocery Gardening, garden/cooking books are morphing into multi-purpose handbooks in a way. And I like where this is going.
Recently I collaborated on a book for the Peterson Garden Project which takes the same path… the focus of Fearless Food Gardening in Chicagoland is, well, Chicago. We took a month-by-month approach to teach absolute gardening novices (“Grewbies” we like to call them) and, in the months when the harvests are coming on strong, we included recipes, too. It just makes sense.
So if you need a gift or a good read (or your bedside table is looking a little empty) I recommend the Cooking Light Fresh Pick Cookbook.
And, while I’m at it, here’s a list of other books I really like…
For disclaimer purposes, yes, I know the author Mary Beth Burner Shaddix. She is one of the most delightful people around and you should know her too. I can’t wait til she writes more books!