Smoke, Roots, Mountain, Harvest

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Just a few books into this project and I have been exposed to a wide variety of traditions throughout our country. By coincidence, and timing, I shared two books on foraging earlier this year. I have been picking books that expose me to a diverse set of traditions, mixed with books for review.

The cookbook I’m sharing today is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A book filled with recipes and stories throughout. I felt transported to a place I have never visited, yet the similarities to Nordic food is there. It’s how we cook food that makes all the difference, sometimes. For example, pan fried potatoes taste completely different when cooked with butter versus bacon fat.

Structured by season, this book includes a wine pairing guide, and stories about living in the Appalachia. Each seasonal highlights what is in season during that time, and is divided by celebration, gathering type, holiday, or general theme. 

I have never heard of a spice mix called ‘The Holy Trinity’ but it sounds amazing. Salt, Pepper, and Sugar. I can imagine how each ingredient enhances a dish. Other items noted in the book are the use of Ginseng, Sassafras, and a few wild items like berries and ginger.

Like family and traditional culture in Appalachia, while things can end abruptly and often do, a loving goodbye and thanks for coming is always a thing. 

When I think of southern cooking I think about cornbread, grits, BBQ, sweet deserts, and sweet tea. In reality, I know very little about the southern cooking, even less about what makes up an Appalachian meal.

From Lauren McDuffie’s website:

I am not a chef. But I am a passionate and curious food lover – a lovestruck home cook – and I think it’s safe to say that my interest is tremendous.  Food and cooking have always been my greatest passions, and they stand as the primary ingredients behind the storytelling and connecting that I love so much. Harvest and Honey is like a savings account for my favorite things. It is my open-ended love letter to the world of food – its people, its flavors, and its stories – and like a good story, food is best when shared. So, thank you for letting me share my favorite things with you.

I adore how she refers to herself as a lovestruck home cook.


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About the Book

70 recipes and 80 photographs organized by seasons. Each chapter opens with storytelling that echoes the folklore and tall tales of the region, centered on rediscovering the unique food culture of the region. Menu suggestions and wine pairings encompass a variety of meal occasions, from small plates to soups, salads, mains, sides, drinks, dessert, along with tips and techniques on canning, pickling, and preserving.

Appalachia is a treasure trove of fresh produce and time-honored recipes. You can learn a lot about the culture of a place if you pay attention to what its people eat, and the food traditions that are rooted deep in local American cultures are a large part of what makes America the melting pot that it is.

Publish Date: May 14, 2019

Authors website: Harvest and Honey


Recipes I have tried (and loved):

  • Blue Cheese and Walnut Shortbread - the perfect addition to a meal with Brisket as the protein. It was a good as it sounds (and easy to make).

  • This cookbook also references foraging. I used mushrooms my brother gave me last summer to make Cream of Mushroom and Buttermilk Soup.

  • For Easter brunch we made the Buttermilk Dutch Baby with Strawberries and Rose Water.

  • Pasta with Creamy Beet and Walnut Sauce - it was divine!

The author included the perfect balance of recipes with the personal connection of a story at the beginning of each chapter.

It’s so easy for us to remain in our comfort zone - this is a beautiful cookbook that I hope you will try.