Thursday, March 15, 2018

First We Eat #AbramsDinnerParty

I love ethnic and regional cookbooks, mostly because I like seeing how other people eat. Because everyone isn't from Chicago with a midwestern accent.

First We Eat by Eva Kosmas Flores is all about Pacific Northwest cooking, which happens to be a part of the country I'm not all that familiar with. I spent a few hours in the northwest corner of the country on my way elsewhere, but that's about it.

I imagined a lot of fish, considering there's that nearby coast. But other than that ... uh ... not really sure.

The book is arranged by seasons, which is very handy for those of us who live where seasons actually exist. (Side-eye at you, California and Florida.) On the other hand, a lot of what used to be very seasonal foods are now readily available for much more of the year. Still, there are some foods that are simply better in season. (Glaring at you, strawberries and tomatoes.)

As usual, my first step was thumbing through the book, looking for recipes I might want to make. I thumbed right past the way-too-popular kale and arugula recipes (not too many of them, to be honest) and bookmarked Summer Squash Fritters with Cucumber Tsatziki (yes, it's not summer, but zucchini are forever), Hazelnut and Maple Crusted Pork Loin Chops with Apples and Sage, and Caramel Apple Tarte Tatin.

Oh heck yum. Sign me up for those. They could even be a whole meal with perhaps a salad on the side, or perhaps the refreshing sounding Green Bean and Lemon soup.

The great thing about this book is that for the most part, the ingredients will be easy to find. Fresh morels will be expensive, but I'd probably substitute with another mushroom and call it a day. Fresh lilac blossoms could be hunted down in neighbor's yards, but the season is short. I might sub dried lavender (this is for a tea, so it would work) when lilacs are not around. But otherwise, pretty much everything can be had in a normal grocery store.

Besides recipes, there's information about ingredients, a whole list of pantry basics that you can make for yourself, and seasonal information about gardening. And lots more. If you like reading cookbooks as well as cooking from them, you'll have plenty to browse through here.

And then we have the photos. They're pretty without looking unattainable or unrealistic. So, if you're making one of these recipes, there's a good chance it will resemble on of the photos. That's always a plus, in my opinion.

I got this book for participating in the #AbramsDinnerParty, where I get cookbooks for free. Because there's always a little extra room on my shelf.

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