Several evenings over the last few weeks, I have sat out on my patio basking in the early evening sunshine, my high-heel worn feet resting naked over the sides of my chair, staring at, drooling over, reading The Forest Feast Cookbook.
The Forest Feast is one of my favorite blogs so when I noticed that author, cook, artist, crazy-amazing person, Erin Gleeson, had created a cookbook, I made a beeline for inklings bookshop. I like to call this the Mother’s Day gift I bought for myself. It is perfect and so beautiful I want to rip the pages out and tack them up around my house.
Not only is the book achingly lovely, it is also practical (Robin Wright + Erma Bombeck). Gleeson makes a point of explaining why her recipes are simple: she doesn’t have a lot of time, she likes to entertain, she’s not a trained chef . . . Hmm, this is right up my ally :). But here is the part I am not even close to mastering: Gleeson creates visual feasts from food. You don’t know whether you want to eat the dish or coat it with decoupage glue and place it on your mantel. Vibrant color, beautiful shapes, a variety of textures – immaculate in a perfectly imperfect kind of way.
Did I mention that all the recipes are vegetarian? And since I happen to live in the verdant Yakima Valley, there are no end of fruits and vegetables to buy fresh. Speaking of which, the Farmer’s Market is moving into its fifth week and the brand new market, Local Yokel, has made its debut next to Northtown on Front Street. It’s time to stock up and start getting creative. I already have my “must make” recipes marked with little yellow post-its. Now for the fun part.
And a fun side note: Gleeson includes equally tantalizing cocktail recipes to keep you company while you make amazing creations out of vegetables. A few on my list: Cucumber spritzer, lemon-basil mojito & rosemary gin fizz.
Happy almost summer!
Note: photo courtesy of The Forest Feast Cookbook