farmers, cooks, eaters

Winner for the Cookbook Giveaway on Cookus Interruptus

Written by Josh C on Feb 8, 2012

When Cynthia Lair of Cookus Interruptus invited her readers to add a comment to share the name of a farmer or local food product that they felt tender about, there were a bounty of responses demonstrating how precious our farmers are to our well-being and enjoyment of our food. Although there was the added incentive of one lucky winner to be randomly selected to receive a copy of TENDER: farmers, cooks, eaters, much love and appreciation was felt in all the comments shared. Jake from Arlington, MA was the lucky winner, who posted the following about some special people in his life:

 “I am torn. I love our grain farmers at Pioneer Valley Heritage Grain CSA! They deliver some of the most nutritious grains anyone could hope for. Just the other day we had an Arikara bean chowder (beans from them) with a spelt salad (spelt from them). I am also in love with our meat farmers at Chestnut Farms Meat CSA. They care for their animals as if they were children (except they end up on the plate in the end). We eat only this meat and take advantage of their holiday turkey and fresh eggs, too. Best people and best meat, bottom line. Good farmers are a rare breed and they deserve our love and respect (even though they might tell you otherwise). Go hug a farmer.”  Jake B., Arlington, MA

Congratulations, Jake, on being the lucky recipient of TENDER: farmers, cooks, eaters through your participation in the Cookus Interruptus community-building contest. We were honored to be chosen by Cynthia to be featured, and share a common purpose of encouraging and inspiring simple ways to enjoy the seasonal bounties of our farmers’ efforts.

We hope you enjoy TENDER and invite you to share your experience of it with us here so others can enjoy learning from your perspective.

Thank you for fully participating, and for hugging your farmers, too!

2 responses to Winner for the Cookbook Giveaway on Cookus Interruptus

  1. On February 15th, 2012 at 5:43 am , Jake said...

    I just wanted to stop by and share my initial thoughts on the great book, TENDER, I received in the mail from you the other day after winning the contest at Cookus Interruptus! Immediately I sat down to browse the whole book. Wow. The first thing you notice when you open this book: there is no Table of Contents (seriously, I looked for it a few times). That’s an invitation to browse at will! Of course, there’s an index if you want to go back to that recipe you remembered seeing a week ago. The second thing you notice is the exquisite photography of food, landscapes and people. It’s nice when a home cook can take inspiration from more than just the recipes in a book and make us feel like we’re involved in a much bigger movement, all the way from farm to table. The beautiful photos, associated with many quotes from Tamara Murphy, serve this purpose indeed.

    As for the recipes I really appreciate their simplicity and the fact that they are not pretentious, focusing on one or a few ingredients without being overly complicated. This is a book I can use. I believe good food is made using ingredients sourced in the best way possible when they are in season, and that they taste best when simply prepared. This is a book I can use. I try hard to cook daily, but it isn’t easy with work and family commitments and therefore I need help. Sometimes you have a few pounds of parsnips and you’re brain dead at 6 PM, you know? This is when I go to the cookbook stack (or websites, like Cookus Interruptus) looking for some kind of inspiration. To me, with years of cooking experience at this point, cookbooks are much less rote guide than they are a source of inspiration. Normally I scan the index with a main ingredient in mind, say those parsnips. In TENDER I found the simple beginnings of a very tasty parsnip soup–just right for a cold Valentine’s Day dinner. Sure, I spiced it up a bit adding my own canned curried eggplant, thereby making it a curried eggplant and parsnip soup, but it was the INSPIRATION to use an ingredient we had in abundance that I needed. It was a fantastic soup. I’ve also used the book as inspiration to create a quick galette with a bunch of fruit we had lying around (“Why didn’t I think of that?!”). Again, not the specific blueberry recipe, but I just needed some help at the end of a long day. I am so happy that I can now add TENDER to my stable of inspiration!

    Beyond recipes, there are storage and selection tips for all kinds of produce that you might find at the market–perfect advice from an expert when certain foods are abundant. Lastly, I would like to point out that this book is not simply a cookbook–it’s nice enough for your coffee table, and there are additional vignettes inside, most of which I haven’t read yet but intend to do so in the coming weeks. Many of these focus on the relationships the author has with food, farmers and ingredients. I hope others interested in using food sourced from nearby farmers will take the cue and investigate TENDER. Tamara and crew clearly have exhaustive experience cooking seasonally with local ingredients and serve as a model for forging relationships with food sources.

    As non-chef home cooks, I think we all have opportunities to do the same, whether it’s buying direct from a farmer, joining a CSA or shopping at the farmers’ market. Get out there and know your farmers–you’ll be happier and healthier for it! And a big Thank You to the publishers for sharing this great resource with me!

  2. On February 20th, 2012 at 3:12 pm , Marlen said...

    Jake,
    It’s a delight to hear how TENDER: farmers, cooks, eaters has impacted your day-to-day life in such a simple yet expansive way!
    Your describing how you used the recipes as an inspiration and platform to create something that fit your day and had on hand captures the spirit we intended for TENDER to be. We look forward to hearing more of your journeys as seasons pass.
    The TENDER team

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