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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes » User review

Get cooking with "Cooking In The Moment" by Andrea Reusing

  • May 14, 2011
Rating:
+3
As noted in the sub title, this book is focused on cooking what is in season. Furthermore, the idea is that one focuses on one dish or drink for a particular season or time. Simplicity is the key which allows you to focus on what is in season as well as what you are working with according to the author. These recipes also lean towards being different than ones in a lot of cookbooks and therefore variety is accentuated here.

After a multi- page introduction that explains the above as well as her own personal history, author Andrea Reusing starts readers off with "Spring." The "Spring" section features thematic recipes surrounding certain ingredients such as "Broccoli and Cauliflower" (two recipes), "Asparagus Feast" (two recipes), "Log-Grown Mushrooms" (two recipes) and "Seafood Market" (four recipes) among others. Each theme has an introduction before moving on to a recipe such as the "Wild Shrimp" introduction (page 30) that covers the "Shrimp, Pea And Rice Stew" recipe ( page 31) or the previously mentioned "Seafood Market" that starts on page 54 and has a recipe for "Grilled Spanish Mackerel With Green Sauce" ( page 56-57) among others. Newly every recipe has a picture of the completed dish along with references to other dishes that go along well with it, serving portion numbers and tips for cooking. Some items, such as her recipe for "Potato Salad" on page 59 easily work at other times of the year and are not just for "Spring." If, like me, you have never heard of "Hot Slaw" take a look at page 61 where the idea of "Hot" has a double meaning.

"Summer" begins on page 64 and uses the same format. This section features more ingredient themes as well as more recipes for each ingredient theme. Of course, tomatoes, cherries, peppers, crabs, pickles are covered well here as are many others. Variety is considerable among the themes with recipes covering dishes such as "Spicy Crab and Shrimp Boil with Corn and Potatoes" (page 83), "Mexican Corn" (page 93) and "Watermelon Jell-O with Gin" (page 126) among others.

Page 144 begins the "Fall section" that opens with a short introduction titled "First Bite: Sweet Potato." A recipe for "Whole Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Butter, Molasses and Salt" on page 149 is followed by others such as "Junk Fish" (page 154), "Cook a Batch" (page 175) and "Meat as a Condiment" (page 196). "Pot Roast with Gravy" page (202-204) is just one of the many delectable treats in this section geared toward the cooler weather of the fall.


Considering the winter many of us have had here in Texas, winter may be the last thing anyone wants to think about. It stars here on page 206 and covers nuts, vegetables, salsa, and more. Along with "Roasted Chestnuts in the Fireplace" (page 210) there are recipes for "Crispy Chicken with Rye Bread, Mustard, And Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage" (pages 228-229) and "Onion-Braised Overnight Brisket" (page 252) among others.

A list of sources, an acknowledgments page and a multi- page index bring this very helpful and colorful 272 page cook book to a close. Written by Chef Andrea Reusing, who is the owner of the acclaimed "Lantern" in Chapel Hill, North Carolina this book should appeal to almost any one who likes to cook.

A major drawback to this book is the complete lack of nutritional information beyond serving size. There is absolutely no information regarding salt, fat, etc. as well as a lack of suggestions regarding modifications that could be made to the ingredients for those of us needing such information.

For those who want to know how they turned out, I have to admit I have not tried any of them. Cooking, something I always enjoyed like many other activities has become nearly impossible for me these days due to my ongoing and worsening health problems.

Other than the complete lack of nutritional information, this book is a very good and well done cookbook featuring lots of background on the recipes and seasons from the author's perspective, a variety of recipes, tips and lots of good food. These are not recipes you would typically find in most cookbooks as they lean more towards exotic though some more mainstream ones are included. Those with finicky appetites or those of us who cook for those people, should find several things here that will work.



ARC provided by the Amazon Vine program at my request.


Kevin R. Tipple © 2011

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May 20, 2011
I'm sorry to hear of your health problems, Kevin. I'm constantly clueless about what's in season and what's not, so thanks so much for sharing this cookbook review with us! I hope that a friend will read this review and come by to cook you one of its delicious recipes!
May 20, 2011
Thank you on all aspects.
May 23, 2011
Anytime...
 
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About the reviewer
Kevin R. Tipple ()
Ranked #98
My stories have appeared in such magazines such as “Lynx Eye,” “Starblade,” “Show and Tell,” and "The Writer's Post Journal" among others and online at … more
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For Andrea Reusing—an award-winning chef, a leader in the sustainable agriculture movement, and a working mother—“cooking in the moment” simply means focusing on one meal at a time. Tender spring broccoli given a smoky char on the grill, a summer berry pudding with cold cream, or a cider-braised pork shoulder served with pan-fried apples on a frosty night—cooking and eating this way allows food in season to become the foundation of a full life.Cooking in the Momentis a rich, absorbing journey through a year in Reusing’s home kitchen as she cooks for family and friends using ingredients grown nearby.

When seasonality is reimagined as a grocery list rather than a limitation, everyday meals become cause for celebration—a whole week of fresh sweet corn; a blue moon autumn asparagus harvest; a rich, spicy soup made with the last few sweet potatoes of winter. Reusing seamlessly blends down-to-earth kitchen advice with delicious, doable recipes, including childhood favorites (chicken and dumplings), simple one-pot dinners (shrimp, pea, and rice stew), as well as feasts to satisfy a crowd (roast fresh ham with cracklings). And while the action takes place in North Carolina, the kinds of producers and places that animate these pages—farmers, ranchers, cheesemakers, butchers, bakers, orchards, backyard henhouses, and fishing holes—can be found all over, producing the flavors that we crave.

With gorgeous photography throughout and more...
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Details

ISBN-10: 0307463893
ISBN-13: 978-0307463890
Author: Andrea Reusing
Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
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