This post is by Debra Kam, a member of Seacoast Eat Local, a non-profit organization that runs a Winter Farmers' Market in New Hampshire, and publishes Seacoast Harvest, an annual guide to local food. She writes about eating locally in Maine at her blog, Diary of a Tomato, and has got more cookbooks than anyone I know -- and the cooking talent to match. Here's her 2011 favorites. - Sam Fromartz
When Sam asked for my short list of this year's cookbooks, it wasn't difficult to choose. These are the ones that have made themselves at home in my kitchen, and have the food stains and handwritten notations to show for it. With local ingredients readily available from our garden or local farmers' market throughout the year, I view sourcing locally as less a limitation than a chance to cook with the best the season has to offer, and each of these titles have proven themselves able companions.
Canal House Cooking
Tart and Sweet by Kelly Geary and Jessie Knadler
It may be a specific demographic I'm hanging out with but, a quick glance at any of my friends' locavore kitchens reveals some amount of specialized equipment — Vitamixes, grain mills, hand blenders, pressure cookers, and meat grinders abound. So it's not such a great leap to include Modernist Cuisine here. It may not be a title most often associated with cooking locally, but there's plenty here to glean. The recipe format takes some getting used to — not unlike learning to drive on the other side of the road — but give your pressure cooker a spin and try out Caramelized Carrot Soup or Garlic Confit as a start. I admit acquiring MC is a commitment; their website helpfully includes a search engine for finding the nearest library with a copy of the five-volume tome.