Monday, February 16, 2009
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Hesitant to pick up this book for all the hype around it, I heard a clip of an NPR interview with Barbara Kingsolver about a year ago and was charmed. I found a used hardcover copy in my local communist bookstore and snatched it up! I can't imagine why anyone would get rid of it! Communists.
This book turned out to be great - and I was able to make it last a full eight months! Since Barbara Kingsolver and her family set their local eating experiment to last one year, she divided the book up by growing season - one chapter a month. It was so nice to read about what was in season as it occurred and to find recipes for cooking what I was getting in my weekly produce box.
The family's experiences with farming, written humorously by Barbara Kingsolver, the helpful research providing links to local food sources and the benefits personally, economically and socially of sustainable living written by her husband, Steven Hopp, and the seasonal recipes included by their daughter, Camille, made the book a really interesting read. They were not self-righteous about their experiment, nor were they out of touch with the situations of us more urban dwellers without a family farm at hand.
I was particulary fond of Barbara's accounts of trying to have a second generation of turkeys when the ability to mate had virtually been bred out of these animals. Not that it matters, as they rarely live long enough to mate.
I have decided to keep this book for the helpful links, the seasonal recipes, which I have already tried, and the growing tips in case I ever decide to go searching for mushrooms in a forest presere or grow asparagus in my apartment's little front yard.