Many cookbooks have great recipes, some have such beautiful photographs that you're drooling at every page, others give fantastic tips and insights and there are those extraordinary few whose words transport you to a magical place. It's not often however that one book does it all. Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes does exactly that and then some.
You might know Jeanne Kelley from her great contributions to Bon Appetit and Cooking Light over the years. So you'll expect fantastic recipes and you certainly won't be disappointed...there are 150 and each one is better than the one before. And don't even get me started on the beautiful photography. They say "Don't judge a book by its cover", but this cover says "welcome" and it is just the tip of the stunning iceberg. This is one of those rare cookbooks that will look just as wonderful on your coffee table as it does on your kitchen counter. Trust me, you won't be hiding it on any shelf.
But there's even more to this book...actually the subtitle - Recipes from a Modern Kitchen Garden says it best. Jeanne generously opens her kitchen and her kitchen garden to all of us. She lives in Los Angeles and still manages to have a garden, a goat and Araucana chickens (the blue eggs) and, for those of you eager to try it...she even gives a step by step on how to raise chickens so you can have fresh eggs every day. I'll just live vicariously through that part, myself.
The book opens with her personal tour of her well stocked pantry (so well written, I honestly felt like she was beside me, sharing her joy of all things kitchen). From the pantry, we move out to the garden with her "simple kitchen garden guide". Now, like many of you, I live in an apartment that doesn't even have a window box, let alone a balcony...so forget an actual piece of earth on the property I could use. There are other city options...local community gardens where you can rent a plot, or, as I do, head out to your local markets to buy fresh produce as often as you can (or beg from some co-worker/friend who does have a garden). If you are interested in starting a kitchen garden, her chapter is very detailed and the photos really add to the read. You can tell just how much Jeanne and her family enjoy gardening...it almost makes me want to head out and dig in someone's garden.
I thought I'd share a few of her delicious and easy to prepare recipes. I have little bits of paper marking almost every page - they're all so delicious - just open the book at any page and start cooking. Here are some I tried and we all loved....
Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes (don't forget the maple syrup)
(great hot or cold and a perfect picnic meal)
(so tasty and those "kids" that turn their noses up at cauliflower won't even have a clue)