The other day, I was lucky enough to pick up a recent cookbook from my local library. Titled "Heartland: The Cookbook", author Judith Fertig brings us a delightful collection of down-home favorites perfect for savoring the bountiful harvests of summer and fall.
As a lifelong resident of the Midwest (Wisconsin born and raised!), this book is beautifully done. It fully portrays the experience of living in the Midwest through vivid color photographs and recipes which utilize goods are easily obtained from local farms or farmers markets.
Inside the book, you will find recipes for such classics as Farmhouse Butter, Bakeshop Butter Cookies (a Spritz cookie recipe that could have come from my grandmother's own recipe box), Dried Cherry Scones, Haymaker's Hash, and Wisconsin Cranberry Jam.
The slow food movement (currently all the rage here in Milwaukee, as around the nation) is not forgotten either, thanks to recipes such as Hunter's Pie with Buttery Mashed Potatoes.
"Heartland" also touches on breakfast (Sweet Potato Waffles with Whipped Orange Butter), basics (Spoon-able Strawberry Preserves), salads, soups, and dessert.
The book also contains an entire chapter of appetizers and drinks, which would bring any mid-summer gathering back to its farmland roots. Imagine having a cookout where you could serve Homemade Chips and Grilled Vegetable Bundles all washed down with some Porch Swing Lemonade or a Bacon Bloody Mary! If that doesn't scream heartland to you, I'm not sure what does.
"Heartland" provides the reader with a great way to increase use of fresh and local food items. I'd encourage you to pick up this book if you're looking to use your local farmer's market or community supported agriculture share to its fullest.