Books to Help You Celebrate the Harvest!

Book reviews by Kristina Sepetys

Harvest marks the end of the growing season for many crops. It’s a time to gather the bounty, preserve it, and store it for the colder, leaner months ahead when you can truly enjoy the products of your labor. These three new books will help you to make the most of your harvest!


The Backyard Homestead Book of Kitchen Know-How
by Andrea Chesman
(Storey Publishing, August 2015)

Author Andrea Chesman has written more than 20 cookbooks, including several about preserving and storing. Her latest is the fourth in a series of Backyard Homestead books from Storey Publishing for creating productive backyards. Chesman shows how to do everything to get your food from garden to table: curing meats and making sausage; canning fruits and vegetables; milling flour; working with sourdough; baking no-knead breads; making braises and stews that can be adapted to different cuts of meat; rendering lard and tallow; pickling; making butter and cheese; making yogurt; blanching vegetables for the freezer; making jams and jellies; drying produce; and more. Comprehensive, informative, and well-illustrated, the book discusses all the techniques you need to get the most from your home- or farm-grown foods, along with dozens of simple and delicious recipes, most of which can be adapted to use whatever items you have available.



A Modern Way to Eat: 200+ Satisfying Vegetarian Recipes
(That Will Make You Feel Amazing)
by Anna Jones
(Ten Speed Press, 2015)

London-based food stylist and writer Anna Jones worked closely with Jamie Oliver as well as other chefs, including Yotam Ottolenghi, for many years. Along the way she’s honed her own style of cooking healthy, satisfying, and very flavorful vegetarian dishes. Her cookbook is handsomely designed and photographed, as you might expect from a food stylist. Recipes are seasonal, light on the cheese and sugar, easy to follow, and fairly quick to put together. Try the Blueberry and Amaranth Porridge, Saffron Cauliflower, Celeriac Soup with Hazelnuts and Crispy Sage, Autumn Root Panzanella, or Pistachio and Squash Galette. Jones also includes vegan and gluten-free indices.



The Art of Eating Well: Hemsley and Hemsley
by Jasmine Hemsley and Melissa Hemsley
(powerHouse Books, 2014)

Self-taught cooks and food activist siblings Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley probably aren’t as well known in the U.S. as they are in their native U.K. Their mission is to help people understand how eating well can make them feel better and how to make whole, organic, nutrient-filled, delicious homemade foods free of grain, gluten, excessive starch, and refined sugar. The 150 recipes in their brightly colored cookbook are prepared from ingredients from backyard gardens or found at local farmers’ markets, and are easy enough for midweek meals. The two advocate simple, family-style food and share recipes for dishes like Cranberry Quinoa Breakfast Bars; Puy Lentil, Beet, and Apple Salad; Apple Cheddar Buckwheat Muffins; Baked Broccoli Fritters and Spicy Avocado Dip; Lamb Meatballs and Cauliflower Tabouli; Carmelized Garlic Tart with Almond Crust; a show-stopping Beet and Goat Cheese Terrine; and a Pistachio, Fig, and Goats’ Cheese Trifle. The authors include helpful tips for eating in a similarly clean, nourishing style away from home.