Simply in Season

News and reflections on all that's good about local food
from the co-author of Simply in Season,
a World Community Cookbook in the spirit of More-with-Less

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Radio interviews coming up

I'm looking forward to talking about Simply in Season on a number of upcoming radio programs. If you're in the listening area, I hope you'll tune in!

Sunday, October 4, at 1:00 PM Pacific Time (live interview)
Travel & Dining with Pierre Wolfe

Tuesday, October 6 (taped interview)
WREL “The Happy Cook” / Virginia
Host: Dolores Kostelni

Thursday, October 15, at 9:00 AM PST (10:00 RMT/Colorado Springs)
KCMN-AM “Morning Show with Tron Simpson” (live interview)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread

My friends Zanne and Gerry have an enormous pear tree and end up giving away bags of pears almost every year. The moist, sweetly-spicy Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread from Simply in Season has become my very favorite autumn dessert (although do try the Pear Custard Bars, too).

I must admit that my gingerbread doesn't always turn out as beautifully as this picture from another friend in town, also made (I believe) with Zanne and Gerry's pears.
To make a double recipe in a 9x13 pan as shown here, allow a little more baking time.

Here's what others have said about Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread (most include links to the recipe):

From the Musings of a Wine Country Catholic: "Made the cake last night, and the pears were transformed into wonderful caramelized gooiness. As with other recipes in the book, the pear cake one was simple and good -- whole wheat flour combined with regular flour, all elements coming together in about 3-4 steps, no special bakeware required."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Expanded edition released

Hoorah -- the expanded edition of Simply in Season is out! Here's a press release about the new edition, which features 17 additional recipes. If you're in the market for a copy, ask for the expanded edition and look for the purple cabbage on the cover.

Expanded Edition of Simply in Season Released

SCOTTDALE, Pa. & WATERLOO, Ont. -- Cooking and eating local is in.

At least, that’s how it appears now that First Lady Michelle Obama has planted a garden at the White House and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture tore up the pavement outside his office to plant food.

In Canada, the province of Ontario has invested in projects that promote eating and buying locally, while people on the East Coast are participating in the second annual Eat Atlantic Challenge.

Like millions of other Americans and Canadians, they are discovering what readers of Simply in Season: Recipes that Celebrate Fresh, Local Foods in the Spirit of More-with-Less already know: Eating and cooking locally grown food is not only good for you, but a great way to show care for the planet.

The book, which has sold over 86,000 copies since 2005, has been re-released with 17 new recipes by Herald Press. In addition to hundreds of ideas for buying and cooking wholesome, fresh produce raised in or near their communities, the book also contains reflections and anecdotes on the meaning and place of food in our lives.

But it’s the practical and easy-to-use recipes that make the book a must-have for every kitchen where local foods are used. Home cooks can find recipes such as:

Autumn Tagine. A Moroccan stew named after the traditional heavy clay pot in which it is cooked. This colorful vegetarian version will have people asking for it time and time again.

Persimmon Pudding is a favorite in southern Indiana where persimmon trees are plentiful, and a delicious—and different—dessert using the plentiful persimmons that abound in produce stores everywhere in the fall.

Root Vegetable Crumble. The unique nutty sauce and crunch topping add flavor and texture to this comfort food. A perfect winter recipe as the days grow colder.

Fish Tacos. Quick and easy to make this is a truly versatile winter recipe. Garnish the tacos with the topping of your choice: cilantro, grated carrots, thinly sliced radishes, onions, tomatoes, avocadoes. Or complement with a cilantro cream.

Strawberry Spinach Salad. This springtime salad has endless variations. The only givens are spinach and strawberries—and even these can be varied by using peaches, blueberries, kiwis, or a combination of any of them. Serve with your choice of pineapple, peanut or rhubarb dressing.

Seasonal chapters are color-coded with recipe listings and menu ideas. A convenient glossary explains any terms with which the reader might be unfamiliar.

“Today the average food item travels more than a thousand miles before it arrives on our tables,” says co-author Cathleen Hockman-Wert. “We have become distant from our food, and not just in terms of geography . . . each food purchase we make is like a vote for the way we want food to be produced—and the world in which we want to live.”

And not only is Simply in Season good for the planet and consumers; it’s good for poor people in the developing world, too. A portion of proceeds from the sale of the book go to Mennonite Central Committee, the relief and development arm of the North American Mennonite churches.

Simply in Season is available from Herald Press ( by calling 1-800-245-7894. Cost: $24.99 hardcover, $19.99 paper.

"A great introduction to seasonal eating." (

"An essential kitchen companion for all of us who love to get our food from our own backyard, local CSA or farmers market" Catherine Walthers, author of Raising the Salad Bar and Greens, Glorious Greens

"[Simply in Season] is more than recipes. It’s part mystic, part activist and part gourmand." Rebecca Sodergren, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"I’ve tried a few cookbooks that were advertised as ‘seasonal,’ but the only one to live up to its cover blurb has been Simply in Season." Green Living Ottawa

For more information, go to