Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few are to be chewed and digested. – Francis Bacon
In my world, food, health and my garden are enchantingly interwoven. I have been pouring over my seed catalogs for weeks now, in anticipation of spring plantings. My shelves are groaning under the weight and heft of more catalogs and gardening books than one person could ever need. My two favorites are well-thumbed, their pages are marked with sticky notes and stained with coffee.
I tend to overdo many things, even veggies. I have so many favorites I turn to again and again. My faves breathe simplicity, but still scream texture, color and taste. I am partial to the heirloom varieties that have been passed down from one generation of gardener to another. Heirlooms are the varieties that have NOT had their true flavor “hybridized out” in place of a firmer skin or a longer shelf-life so it can be transported from across the country to be sold as “fresh” in our local grocery’s produce aisle.
Gardening not only provides me with healthy foods, it is exercise, and cleanses my soul. When I dig in the dirt, I whisper my secrets to mother earth. She tells no one. I also believe that no matter how bad a day I might have, it is somehow magically remedied with a little time in my garden. I long for the warmth of summer when I can walk through the rows and pick a handful of flowers or a few newly ripened veggies. All I need is a hot cup of coffee or a glass of wine in tow to feel the stress lift.
Cooking what I grow is therapeutic. I believe that no matter how contemporary, ethnic or exotic one’s taste may be, most people want food both delicious and recognizable. Me? I want to savor every delectable morsel. First visually as it grows in my garden. Then, once in my mouth, I want flavors that sing to me with mouthwatering flavors, textures and colors.
If you dare, make a late resolution for 2020. Resolve to do MORE of something. Weave more crucifers, greens and heirlooms into your day. Be adventurous, extraordinary, inspirational! Your body will thank you.
In Good Health, Barb
One of my favorite cookbooks by my veggie hero - Mollie Katzen
The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without
One uncomplicated, delicious recipe after another, from the most traditional to more contemporary twists allows you to bring it to your own table with ease and simplicity. Mollie’s books allow me to prepare one fabulously healthy vegetable dish after the next, bringing all the sights and sounds, odors and flavors of my beautiful garden straight to my table with simple cooking that turns basic, fresh, seasonal ingredients into something delectable, homey yet luxurious all at once. And NO, deep frying is not even mentioned!