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Earth to Table: Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm [Hardcover]

Jeff Crump , Bettina Schormann
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 15 2009
Cook your “greenest” meal: Earth to Table inspires local and sustainable eating in every mouth-watering recipe.

There is nothing more delicious than a tomato still warm from the sun. Though that is easy to forget when we are surrounded by food shipped to our supermarkets from around the world, the healthiest and most delicious food often comes from farmers and artisans just down the road. In Earth to Table, renowned chefs Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann remind us of the relationship between local eating and taste, and demonstrate how you can reduce your carbon footprint without diminishing your enjoyment of food. Bringing together stories of the passage of seasons on the farm; how-to sections; stunning photographs; and, of course, creative and delectable recipes that will leave anyone wondering why they ever considered eating a tomato in February.

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Quill & Quire

Two recent trends in cooking receive the seasonal treatment in splendid new cookbooks this fall. Since the publication of the 100 Mile Diet in 2007, “locavore” cooking – using only ingredients from local producers – has become a growing phenomenon. Jeff Crump, who is executive chef at the Ancaster Old Mill in southern Ontario, has been ahead of that curve for a while now. As explained in Earth to Table, when Crump met farmer Chris Krucker in 2005, he so admired the quality of organic produce Krucker was growing on his nearby ManoRun Farm that his restaurant committed to buying an annual share of Krucker’s crop under a program called Community Shared Agriculture (CSA). “[CSA programs] bring the farmer crucial capital early in the year,” writes Crump. Such investors are not looking for financial return, but rather a stable supply of naturally produced food. The commitment meant that whatever Krucker harvested was what Crump had to cook with, and this new cookbook is the result of that relationship. Crump and co-author Bettina Schormann, Ancaster’s pastry chef, take us through a year of cooking using primarily ingredients from Krucker’s farm. (They bring in ingredients such as citrus fruit and meats from other sustainable producers.) Divided by season into four chapters, and filled with Edward Pond’s vibrant on-site and studio photography, the book offers the sort of recipes one may not always think to cook at home, but which should be nonetheless easy for anyone with a little kitchen smarts. Spring, for example, brings a simple salad of peas, feta, and mint, and also slow-roasted pork shoulder. Summer offers zucchini and eggplant carpaccio and Korean-style beef ribs. Fall has spot prawns with chanterelles and mile-high pumpkin pie, while winter delivers heartier fare such as rabbit stew and oatmeal molasses bread. Crump also visits other renowned chefs, such as New York’s Dan Barber and England’s Heston Blumenthal, to compare notes on sourcing and using sustainable ingredients. With its anecdotes about working on ManoRun Farm (something Crump insists all his cooks do), tips on everything from foraging to preserving to composting, and Schormann’s story about working to bring rare Canadian Red Fife wheat back from near extinction, Earth to Table forms a welcome addition to the Canadian cookbook canon that should long outlast any current trends. The return to nature may be driven by ecological awareness, but another major cooking trend is being driven by financial awareness. Call it culinary retrenchment. The recession has driven many people out of restaurants altogether and back into their home kitchens, where the cost of feeding the family is almost always substantially lower. Following her 2007 title, Lucy’s Kitchen, Globe and  Mail food columnist Lucy Waverman’s latest volume, A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen, offers enough homestyle recipes to meet the needs of just about any home cook. This is not the book you turn to when you want to make that soufflé to impress the boss. Rather, Waverman shows us how to cook simply but well, using ingredients dictated by seasonal availability. To that end, each calendar month gets its own chapter. The winter months offer comfort foods like Sicilian-style pasta with herbs and cauliflower, spinach gratin, and black cod cassoulet. Spring and summer moves to lighter fare, such as creamy cucumber and arugla soup, mango chicken salad, and cherry pie. The fall turns to shellfish, root veggies, and roasts. Throughout, sidebars on special celebrations – from Burns Night to Victoria Day to Hanukkah – provide lively holiday menu ideas. Waverman’s husband – a lawyer by day and oenophile by night – offers tips on matching wine to food. And Rob Fiocca and Jim Norton’s photos round out the volume in mouth-watering style – in fact, a spectacular shot of a mustard-glazed standing rib roast is not to be viewed on an empty stomach. All in all, A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen is the sort of book worth staying home for.


“You will not find a clearer or more compelling expression of the values of slow food than Earth to Table’s four-season testament to the importance — not to mention delight — of food that has been grown with care and cooked with conviction.”
— Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma

“Here are chefs who seem to understand the farm as well as the kitchen. You can tell by the recipes that Earth to Table reflects the best possible world of garden and kitchen.”
— Deborah Madison, author of Local Flavors

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Not an enjoyable cookbook Aug. 29 2013
By Brad
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book came highly recommended to me, so I was very disappointed when I received it in the mail. There were very few actual recipes, and pages and pages of stories and articles on the author's, the chefs they learned from, and methods for gardening. I would have appreciated it more if I was actually looking for a guide on organic farming. The information on the book was misleading, I thought it had more to do with fresh, seasonal cooking. I like just about every cookbook I come across and love cooking in my kitchen. I had someone ship it back for me and it cost a small fortune, I wouldn't have sent it back if I knew it would cost that much.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring, canadian, and fun! Oct. 21 2009
By joe
I think this book is top notch. Almost every other page of my copy is dog-eared for looking at again later. Photos are inspiring. The seasonal recipie sections are varied and not overwhelming or run of the mill. And I really enjoyed following the storyline through the book with the discussion of other chefs and the efforts to being Red Fife wheat back to life. The book for you if you like to cook from farmer's markets. Highly recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb read Dec 16 2009
This is the kind of cookbook that you pick up and read through like a novel. You enjoy the photo's, the stories and the sense of adventure that the authors portray so well as they talk about how they interact with the seasonal food and the people who share their passion. As well as the culinary impact of the change of the seasons they talk in more fundamental ways of such events as the emotional impact of spring in a cold climate. The recipes are excellent and true to the overall theme of the book and while interesting and intriguing don't intimidate with complexity. All in all a great book and by the end of it you feel the reality of the authors vision.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique blend of food experience Feb. 7 2010
This book has a unique mix of recipes, insight into local farms, and international chef stories. It blends very well together into a beautiful book organized by the seasons. The heartfelt passion of the authors shows through in the way they share their experiences. I particularly found it fascinating how the chef and their staff participate in assisting the farmers in their farms. It shows how they truly know their food source.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Nov. 17 2009
By Katie - Published on
Oh, just another green, organic blah blah? Not so. This is the seasonal cook book for the rest of us. Refreshingly, it is not out of California with its endless supplies of the best produce, but out of Canada, where there actually is a Winter. For us in Minnesota a not unimportant detail.
It is helpful if you know your way around the kitchen a little bit. This is not a basic cookbook, but it has new recipes that are doable at home and come out delicious. Ingredients are easy to find in the store, the farmer's market or possibly in your own garden. One walks away from the table satisfied and feeling good about the food one just ate. Pizza with squash, pancetta and sage a smash hit! So are the pan roasted mushrooms, a revelation! Enjoy cooking and baking your way through the seasons.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down June 12 2010
By T. Stewart - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I admit that I'm not one to "read" a cookbook. I'll glance and thumb, and then it goes on the shelf in the cupboard until I need it. This book? Well, I read it, I talked about it, I was encouraged to try a few recipes, and then I read it again. Right now, it is on the counter, right by my organic blueberries from my CSA. (I'm making the blueberry cake again.) Chef Crump took me where I needed to go to solidify my "elitism". I demand good, fresh, whole food, and I pay for it (sometimes dearly), and among my friends, I'm a kook. But I'd rather go without some expensive coffee to pay for better food from my CSA, and I feel great helping farmers who care about the final product. It's all about choices, as Crump so succinctly points out. This cookbook is a keeper. The recipes are seasonal, easy, and delicious. It's earned its place on the counter, not in the cupboard.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be wary Jan. 22 2011
By Kelly - Published on
Beautiful photos and recipes, but be wary of all the baked recipes. The Milk and Honey bread recipe, as you will see in the discussion thread below, has some errors. The oatmeal bread could also use a few tweaks. This book is not good for beginners.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than a Cookbook Nov. 4 2011
By J. Paschal - Published on
Verified Purchase
Earth to Table is much more than a cookbook; it covers a wide range of organic, "slow food" topics, delicious and unique recipes that use all-organic ingredients and features several Chief profiles.

A sample of the recipes inside:

Scrambled Eggs with Chives and Caviar
Saffron Rice
Rhubarb Fool
Maple Shoofly Pie
New Potatoes Salad with Green Beans and Shallots
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chilies and Cheese
French Vanilla Ice Cream...

This securely bound, hardcover cookbook is just the thing for cooks who are very selective and prefer to use organic foods; it is also a very functional cookbook for those of us who are non-organic cooks and food consumers. Each of the seasonal recipe sections is prefaced with an introduction that talks about the foods available during that particular season; the flavorful and imaginative recipes are easy to understand and easy to follow with a clear layout that makes this a great cookbook for beginners, right on up to experienced cooks.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly Good July 20 2011
By Sandra - Published on
I love trying new recipes and this cookbook is fun. , well written and the food looks good. My family loved the apple muffins.Has made me an organic food addict
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