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The Heartland, referring to the Midwestern states is well named as those states are in the center of our country. Of course, we're currently speaking of 12 states - Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, south Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. For those of us who were born in anyone of these states, although we have moved far away, that home state is still held in our hearts. We would agree with geographer James Shortridge who is quoted in the Introduction, "The Midwest is America's pastoral face, etched into our consciousness as a permanent physical location, despite the presence of industrial cities.' True for this reviewer.
What is also true for me and perhaps for you thoughts of home in the Midwest bring to mind good, hearty, healthful food. Not the kind we now find at drive-ins but the delicious homemade dishes we remember, and here they are again in this comprehensive, beautifully illustrated cookbook HEARTLAND. However, the author has put a definite twist on these recipes as all are made with very modern cooking methods ensuring not only easier preparation but a much shorter preparation time than our mothers knew.
You'll find recipes for breakfasts and brunches, appetizers, salads and soups, main dishes and desserts. There is 272 pages of pure enjoyment as in addition to recipes Fertig has included anecdotes, historical data, and quotations - all with a Midwestern flavor. In addition, for this reviewer much of the pleasure of opening a new cookbook is being introduced to valuable resources through the author's noted references. I discovered La Quercia in Norwalk, Iowa. This is a gem of a shop offering artisan crafted dry cured meats and other mouth watering difficult to find items. We've particularly enjoyed their prosciutto (wonderful on a crostino) and pancetta. Our order was carefully packed and swiftly delivered. You'll find them at www.laquercia.us.
Midwesterners are a diverse group so you'll find many ethnically inspired dishes in HEARTLAND.Plus, those wonderful quotations, such as "Moonlight butters the whole Iowa night. Clover and corn smells are thick as syrup." from one of my favorite authors W. P. Kinsella.
- Gail CookeHeartland: The Cookbook OverviewAlthough much of the nation is only beginning to embrace the farm-to-table movement, residents of the Midwest have been living off the bounty of the land since the pioneer days. Judith Fertig's Heartland melds contemporary cooking with an authentic and appreciative approach to the land, presenting 150 recipes for farm-bounty fare with a modern twist. With a focus on ethnic food traditions as well as seasonal and local flavors of artisan producers, heirloom ingredients, and heritage meats, Heartland embraces the spirit and flavors of the modern farmhouse. Inside, offerings such as Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blackberry Syrup, No-Knead Caraway Rye Bread, and Brew Pub Planked Cheeses comingle with recipes such as Wild Rice Soup with Flyover Duck Confit, Heartland Daube with White Cheddar Polenta, and Italian Fig Cookies.In addition to the mouthwatering recipes and time-proven wisdom, Heartland includes an ample mix of humorous storytelling, literary and cooking references, and lush full-color landscape and food photography that showcases the heart of American cooking from the nation's heartland.
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