A couple weeks ago on TSP, Jack Spirko interviewed the marvelous Geoff Lawton on Building a Future With Permaculture which inspired me with the topic of this post. In the interview, Geoff mentions that what is not being done (well very often) with local foods and things is a localization of cook books and preserving books and that he suspects will become important in the future. This got me thinking that at least for our family’s use, that I would like to compile a cookbook/preserving book of our own focused around what is coming into season by month or seasonally. And no, I won’t be publishing or anything like that, I envision for right now I will be posting, at least monthly, topics about this subject while in the background compiling it through out the year.
I have seen similar books in my canning books I have; however these are more general US area and not specific to where we live. Also at the same time I would like to integrate recipes in there too, ones that are not just focused on utilizing the preserves you made with all of your excess fruit, for example. This will probably mean a very fat book, but thats ok with me. Maybe it could just be a Ebook or a very big binder. But a key point, I will not be militant about using foods and ingredients that are only local or ones that are only in season. For one thing, that would be pretty damn hypocritical of me right now considering I have a huge love affair for chocolate (Michael is worse, ha) and many ingredients like soy sauce, that I am probably not going to attempt, ever, at making myself. The recipes will utilize though the local foods as part of the main key ingredient(s)/themes of the dishes though.
Each section would start with the main foods that are coming into season for those month(s) with some description kinda previewing that section. Then I would include preserving recipes for those foods or at least the ways that they store best (if they can be stored). Then some recipes that really show off these foods as well. For example: December, January, and February could be a section. Local foods coming into season would be the citruses, greens (mustard, kale, chard, etc), radishes, broccoli, green onion, etc. Preserving recipes and techinques would include marmalades, dried peels, dried greens, frozen greens, and the like. Recipes would include things like kimchi greens, orange glazed duck, citrus themed desserts (gotta have my sweets…) and the such.
I really am quite excited by this project, which I am sure Michael would say is because I like to cook too much/look up recipes too much. But I think it really will have value. Organizing and taking down this sort of information will be quite useful for me in meal planning and even more so as a way to record our family recipes and pass on that sort of thing. And maybe it will turn out good enough to share with others too.