Cooking in the Moment: A Look @ the Book

I always wished more people could get to know the great food crafters behind the small town of Chapel Hill, NC. Every summer I spend there is like a trip to Oz (at least for me). Except instead of an emerald city its a green city full of kale, Swiss chard, green tomatoes, herbs and so much more. Their yellow brick road is paved with summer squash and the streets are lined with farmers markets.  The characters are pulled strait out of a book. Their kind qualities and appreciation for the lore of food shines through their warm smiles.

    Cooking in the Moment by Chef Andrea Reusing is a remarkably colorful book
that takes the reader on a season-to season stroll through the small town of Chapel Hill. Andrea is the owner and Chef at one of Chapel Hills most talked about restaurants'. The Lantern serves food that has it's roots in the southern fields with some Asian crops thrown in. Unlike other fusion restaurants Andrea does it exceptionally well, with comfort food spiced with familiar and unfamiliar Asian ingredients. In addition to her incredible restaurant stands her 2011 James Beard award for the best Southeast chef in the country!
    The book starts in Spring with an entry that begins on a Saturday morning at the end of March. Andrea expresses her feelings for the moments best, broccoli and cauliflower. A bundle gently wrapped in leaves is only $10 dollars but will be the base for many meals that week. Cathy Jones of Perry-Winkle Farms has the spotlight in this entry (as many farmers throughout the book do). She offers Andrea some of the best broccoli, in which she uses to make a Sunday lunch. The following page holds a recipe for cauliflower gratin with aged raw milk cheese. This recipe showcases the minimal ingredients used throughout the book with more attention put on the quality of the seasons produce. Spring continues to offer vegetables that are at their peak such as carrots, asparagus and shitake mushrooms. Spring recipes include roast fresh ham with cracklings, Cast-iron-skillet fresh trout with cornmeal, hen and dumplings and rhubarb ginger sorbet.
    Summer opens the next chapter with a large photo of soft-shell crabs (so you know your in for a treat). Another photo has Andrea and her guests sitting at a long table with crabs, bowls of butter, beer, potatoes and corn. Summer offers cherries, corn, tomatoes and peppers (just to name a few). Andrea is kind enough to share lessons in salt-marinating, pickling, and roasting chestnuts. The book provides full page photos on various heirloom tomatoes and apples! 
    Local farmers are featured throughout the book and so are their specialties. This is one of the reasons the book is close to my heart. Andrea writes about my friends Ben and Noah from Fickle Creek Farm and their incredible property. I still dream about their creamy colored eggs. Flo and Portia make some of the best cheese around at Chapel Hill Creamery (I recommend their Hickory Grove). Even the local markets I go to with Dorette and Rich on weekends are featured. Carrboro Farmers market is a favorite of mine and if your looking for great beef head over to Cliff's Meat Market which Andrea enjoys often.
    There's a tornado that comes to whisk me away every summer. I'm always greeted by the sweet smells of honeysuckle and sounds of goats grazing in the fields near by. There may not be munchkins or ruby red slippers, but that just ensures me that Chapel Hill is very real and no dream to wake up from.  Cooking in the Moment is a delicious wholesome book that foodies alike should all indulge their senses into.

Keep on Cooking!!!

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