Menus Inspired by the Seasons
Maria Helm Sinskey (Harper Collins, September 2003)
the days get shorter and the sunlight runs sparse we crave
nurturing, warm meals, foods that restore a sense of wholeness
after a spent summer. Nothing replenishes the soul like
a home cooked meal and glass of wine sitting at an evening
fire as the leaves turn out of doors. But with our hectic
schedules, the dream of spending more time in the kitchen
may just remain that, a dream.
Vineyard Kitchen: Menus Inspired by the Seasons by Maria
Helm Sinskey is at once an urgent request to turn toward
the garden, local market and find wholeness through cooking
with clean, ripe, local foods and at the same time a poem,
an ode to the seasons, an ode to the past, and an homage
to the sheer nurturing goodness of food.
Keller sets the tone in his foreword to this precious book:
"What is forgotten
is that cooking, a craft born
out of necessity, is crucial to our emotional well-being,
creativity and social interaction."
it is. Rather than going for another self-help book or blasphemous
piece of garbage on weight loss, we recommend this book.
It is a sheer delight. It will at once lift the woes that
come with the seasons' changes and align with our inner
clocks, our forgotten seasonal gauges that without our doing
drive toward Fall's bounty, move to Winter's offerings to
be reborn again with the coming of Spring. Maria offers
40 menus, ten per season and more than 180 recipes. In Fall,
you may crave a tart flambé, followed by roasted
duck breast with quince compote; or butternut squash soup
and buttermilk biscuits (this may be all you need, soup
and a heel of crusty artisan bread) and roasted guinea hen
and sautéed savoy cabbage with golden apples and
a caramelized apple galette.
the pure delights of apples, sugar, butter and flaky pastry.
This galette is a study in simplicity," she writes.
Her words are so full of joy, so bursting with delight in
her craft, we couldn't help but smile and at the same time
feel a slight sense of longing for restoration, via food,
via wine, via a celebration of the seasons.