Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
With a culinary school degree and experience as a restaurant chef Rochelle Bilow hoped to make a career out of food writing, but it wasn’t happening as quickly as she wanted. Looking for a breakthrough article she set up interviews at a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm to gather information and surprised herself by falling in love with everything she saw--the small farm group lifestyle, the farm fresh cooking ingredients, and a particularly appealing farmer who caught her eye. She hung around for about a year, eventually moving in and becoming part of the crew, and this memoir recounts her farming, cooking, and romantic experiences.
CSA farms have members or subscribers from the local community who come out once a week during harvest season for shares of whatever the farm produces, and Bilow’s farm supplied everything from vegetables to meats so the farm experiences she details range from weeding to slaughter, but for me the best part of the book are her descriptions of what she cooked for the rest of the workers. She created lavish meals fit for rural gods, gods who don’t have cholesterol issues that is, with abundant amounts of uber-fresh vegetables and meats enhanced with generous portions of animal derived fats like lard and butter. The book is divided by the time of the year, and season appropriate recipes are included at the end of each section.
As a vegetarian I appreciated the humane treatment of the farm animals, but squinched my eyes and skimmed over the sections about converting them from living creatures to food. Her love experiences made me squirm a little too, both because for my sensibilities she overshares the physical side of her relationship and because her farmer’s ardor didn’t quite equal her own, but Bilow’s openness and honesty are part of her charm and add to the interest of this book, so I wouldn’t have her eliminate the passages that made me uncomfortable.
I read an advanced review ebook copy of this book supplied by the publisher through NetGalley. The review opinions are mine.