My new book arrived yesterday. I bought a book, a real book. I don’t buy many books anymore.
If you are a regular visitor to this space, you know I love my Kindle. I read voraciously and a Kindle is ideal for my needs. I download new books, free samples of books and books to borrow.
In fact, I first read this new book on my Kindle. Written by Robin Mather, the book is called The Feast Nearby. The subtitle, “How I lost my job, buried a marriage and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering, and eating locally (all on forty dollars a week)” pretty much describes the book. It is a book of essays, arranged by season. Together they tell the story of Mather’s first year living in a Michigan lakeside cabin after leaving her marriage, her job, and city life in Chicago.
I enjoyed the story, but I love the recipes. I need ready access to them. Not on my Kindle. I want to leaf through this book, making notes in the margin as I go. I know I can highlight and add notes on my Kindle, but in this case, it just wouldn’t be the same for me.
One of my current goals is to move a little closer to the life Mather describes. I want to eat locally and simply, reveling in the glory of fresh food, well-made. I’ve always eaten plenty of vegetables and this year I joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program which will deliver an assortment of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables each week. I’m looking forward to the challenge of incorporating new tastes into my diet (although my husband swears he won’t eat turnips. This book includes plenty of ideas for preparing, preserving and serving fresh fruits and vegetables.
Her recipes reflect her experience as a successful food writer, along with her lifelong experience in the kitchen. There are recipes for simple treats and stick to your rib feasts. I’m not a particularly advanced cook, but none of her recipes seems intimidating to me. I can’t say the same about her instructions for knitting a very warm hat, but then I haven’t knitted in many, many years.
And, I probably won’t be keeping chickens.