After a thought inspiring forward by Stuart Elliot comes the author’s introduction sharing how she celebrates family and farm traditions year-round in Seasons at the Farm.
The book is then divided into four main sections, one for each season. Section 1 is Unveiling Spring, including sections on The Spring Garden, Spring Recipes, Spring In The Home, Spring Celebrations, and Spring Chaos.
In The Spring Garden, you will find tips on creating an indoor garden, including how to tend and mark it. Information on edible perennials and perennial flowers are also included with details on how to press flowers.
The first set of recipes, Spring Recipes, uses the spring vegetables and fruits which are in season at that time.
The recipes themselves all begin with an introduction, yield, and simple instructions. Most also include a large or full-page photograph of the finished article, which is very helpful when visualizing what it is you want to make.
This section is completed with A Spring In The Home, offering various decorating ideas for spring. It’s followed by Spring Celebrations, offering advice on setting a spring table, and Spring Chaos, a peek at the insanity of the season.
Each of the other seasons is covered in a similar manner. All with appropriate seasonal recipes.
Interesting Selection Of Information And Recipes
This book is less of a recipe/cookbook then it is a lifestyle guide. But it is extremely fun and interesting with a lot of good information included.
There are tons of ideas throughout the book. Everything from creating the look you want, to growing the plants you’ll need, and how to cook them. It really is a one-stop shop.
This is the kind of book you will keep on your coffee table or your go-to shelf for easy reference. The level of detail on ingredients and ideas for creating the ambience you want to in any season is exceptional.
For the included recipe I’ve chosen The Perfect Buttered Mashed Potatoes. They are easy and delicious, you can even make them ahead of time! Enjoy!
The Perfect Buttered Mashed Potatoes
- 5 pounds potatoes, organic, russet
- 2 sticks butter, room temperature, (1 cup)
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup cream, room temperature
- Sea salt, to taste
- black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into quarters. Slip them into a pot and cover them with water. Add a few generous pinches of salt to the water and bring it to a simmer (not a boil, which can waterlog the potatoes). Cover the pot and allow the potatoes to cook until they’re extremely tender and fall apart a bit when you poke them.
- Pour the potatoes into a colander to drain off the cooking liquid. Pour the potatoes back into the pot and place them back on the stove over low heat. This will serve to evaporate any residual water left in the potatoes.
- Remove the potatoes from the stove and add the butter. Use a hand-held potato masher to mash the potatoes together with the butter. The more you mash, the smoother your potatoes will be. Alternatively, you could put your potatoes through a ricer to ensure zero chunks make it through to the end.
- Once the butter has incorporated and the potatoes are mashed, add the cream cheese and once again mash the potatoes and cream cheese together until they’re completely incorporated.
- Add the cream to achieve the perfect, silky texture we’re striving for. Mash, mash, mash until the potatoes are perfectly smooth.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Remember, these are potatoes! They need salt, and lots of it. Taste test to make sure they’re not falling flat on flavor.
- Tada! Perfectly mashed potatoes that can be served straight away. If you’re not ready to serve them quite yet, spoon the potatoes onto a baking dish and set aside. To reheat the potatoes, dollop them with 4 tablespoons of additional butter and pop them into a 350F oven for 30 - 40 minutes until warm.