Food Lit
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‘In Winter’s Kitchen’

In Winter’s Kitchen, by cookbook author Beth Dooley, had me at the title. There’ve been a few cookbooks that have caught my attention recently that work to resolve the issue of cooking and eating locally sourced foods during winter’s harsh growing season. Those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest are fortunate to have access to a variety of fresh local foods pretty much year round. We have a relatively long growing season, and rarely harsh winters — when coaxing good food from the earth seems pretty much impossible.

I’ve just started digging into Dooley’s book, but I am already enjoying its candid pace. Her writing is a fluent read, one with a cadence that pulls you into her story of relocation from New Jersey to Minnesota and the northern heartland of the United States, home to some of our harshest winters.

Dooley is a James Beard award nominee and author of six cookbooks. Her story of embracing the sparse beauty of winter’s food is engaging, and I’ll be sure to let you know what I think as I complete my read. Centered around one locally-sourced Thanksgiving meal, Dooley separates her chapters into the meal’s various components — apples, wheat, potatoes, beans and carrots, giving each their due attention, and showing how local eating can be delicious eating, even during a harsh heartland winter.

I look forward to sampling the recipes shared at the book’s end. Dooley’s made me hungry to read more … and for this year’s Thanksgiving meal full of the Northwest’s winter bounty.

In Winter’s Kitchen is available for pre-order on I’m uncertain as to the exact release date. The publisher, Milkweed Editions, says the book will be available in November 2015, while has the book slotted to release December 8th. Either way, definitely worth catching a copy of this one or getting that early hold on it at your local library. UPDATE: Publisher told me the book will be out November 17th.


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