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Cass in the Kitchen: Outstanding in the Field by Jim Denevan

:kitchen: Have you heard of the Eat Local Challenge? Well, Outstanding in the Field is the cook’s guide to how to do just that, plus. Jim Denevan drives across the country each summer, setting up outdoor dinners right in the fields where food is grown. He prepares and serves it with the help of his staff, and most of it comes from wherever they are. How cool is that?

The cookbook has got you covered from appetizers to dessert, and there are several menus listed in the back. Interspersed with the recipes are stories from places he’s been and meals he’s served. The recipes range from fairly standard fare such as cider braised pork shoulder to more exotic stuff—did you know you can eat stinging nettles?

9780307381996The pictures alone are enough to make my mouth water, and are also the source of my one complaint. There are several that appear without a recipe beside them, and I can’t figure out what they are. I’m a very visual cook, usually deciding from the picture rather than the ingredients if I want to cook something, and of course, those are the recipes I want to try. Guess I’ll be reading the recipes this time, since it’s mentioned in the info if the picture is elsewhere in the book.

Of particular interest to me is the recipe for Green Tomato Marmalade. I have long loved fried green tomatoes, and one year my mom and I made green tomato jelly (you flavor it with jell-o of all things). The children wouldn’t eat it because I made the mistake of telling them what it was, but this recipe is loud and proud with green tomato pride, and it looks mighty tasty, too. I may have to make some to serve with salmon or pork roast.

There is a website that you can check to see if Jim and his team are headed to your area. They’ll be near me this fall, but the event is already sold out. And also, a blog, where you can read about dinners and see pictures.

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