The Field to Table Cookbook is a beautiful hardcover edition with 288 pages containing more than 150 field-to-table recipes and over 100 mouth watering color photographs. I was out of town when this book arrived for me to review so I asked my son Tony to open it up and tell me how it looked. His exact words were "Mom, you are gonna love this book!" When I got home he kept taking it from me so he could read it. Then one day I had it sitting on the corner of my desk and my daughter picked it up and started thumbing through it. She looked at me and said "Hmmmm, I may want to keep this book when you're done reviewing it." For the next week, every time I wanted to read the book I had to see which one of my kids had it. I've never had them both fighting over the same book like this before!
So, what makes this book so intriguing? Author Susan Ebert has been hunting and fishing for her entire life and she shares wonderful stories from her time spent afield in between the pages of recipes, tips and photos.
The book has a unique perspective because it's really like multiple books in one.
- It combines the basics of which animals or fish to hunt for in which seasons along with the prime times of year to forage for nuts, berries and roots.
- Tips on year round organic gardening.
- More than 150 recipes targeted to what you harvest each month of the year.
- Dozens of tips on dressing, de-boning, preparing and preserving your finds.
Let's take a look at the Table of Contents:
- September - Beginnings
- October - Transitions
- November - Game On!
- December - Celebrations
- January - The Big Chill
- February - Budding Out
- March - Emergence
- April - Blooms and Blooms
- May - Berries, Bunnies and Bugs
- June - Pigs, Perch and Peaches
- July - The Sear's Here
- August - The Longest Month
Each chapter features a different meat, fish, and fruit or vegetable that is in season and best harvested and prepared during that month. Mouth watering photo's accompany the easy to follow recipes that can be prepared either in the comfort of your home or at a campsite. Susan also peppers every chapter with charming stories about her experiences in the wild, such as float tube fishing in Texas, how to forage for prickly pear and mesquite, hunting for hog or white tailed deer, and digging for root crops. Helpful tips also abound - how to handle and freeze fish, creative ways to garden, how to pluck a duck, and the benefits of canning.
Gorgeous full page photos accompany the recipes and once you see them, you'll want to give them a try. Check out the Chicken-Fried Quail with cilantro dipping sauce. Quail is one of my husbands favorite birds to hunt and eat, so I guarantee we will be trying this recipe next fall....
Did you know that Redbud is a member of the pea family and is rich in vitamin C? The flowers are edible, can be added to cupcake batter, and even pickled. The pods and seeds can be boiled, roasted, or added to stir fry,
This Venison Rib Roast looks amazing. The recipe sounds unbelievably easy to make too. I would definitely try making this.
And here is my personal favorite recipe and I cannot wait to try it - Icy Spicy Pickled Shrimp. This recipe calls for boiling fresh shrimp in a steaming spice mixture and then combining the cooled shrimp with other ingredients and refrigerating it in olive oil. Can you say "Yum?"
There are so many facets to this book. If you hunt you will enjoy reading about duck, deer, turkey, hog, rabbit and pheasant. Is fishing more your style? Well then, you'll enjoy the pages dedicated to sunfish, catfish, bass, shrimp, trout, oysters and crabs. If foraging is more your thing you will learn how to look for and identify sassafras, elderberries, muscadine grapes, chickweed and kale. The recipes will please anyone who hunts or enjoys fishing and even if you don't participate in those activities, imagine how pleased your family will be if you can create wonderful meals with the bounty they provide? The Field to Table Cookbook will be a welcome addition to your cookbook collection and one that you will refer to over and over. Just be prepared to fight with your family over who gets to keep the book!
Looks like Mom won!
(I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Images are the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without consent.)