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Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes Hardcover – April 5, 2011
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For Andrea Reusing—an award-winning chef, a leader in the sustainable agriculture movement, and a working mother—“cooking in the moment” simply means focusing on one meal at a time. Tender spring broccoli given a smoky char on the grill, a summer berry pudding with cold cream, or a cider-braised pork shoulder served with pan-fried apples on a frosty night—cooking and eating this way allows food in season to become the foundation of a full life. Cooking in the Moment is a rich, absorbing journey through a year in Reusing’s home kitchen as she cooks for family and friends using ingredients grown nearby.
When seasonality is reimagined as a grocery list rather than a limitation, everyday meals become cause for celebration—a whole week of fresh sweet corn; a blue moon autumn asparagus harvest; a rich, spicy soup made with the last few sweet potatoes of winter. Reusing seamlessly blends down-to-earth kitchen advice with delicious, doable recipes, including childhood favorites (chicken and dumplings), simple one-pot dinners (shrimp, pea, and rice stew), as well as feasts to satisfy a crowd (roast fresh ham with cracklings). And while the action takes place in North Carolina, the kinds of producers and places that animate these pages—farmers, ranchers, cheesemakers, butchers, bakers, orchards, backyard henhouses, and fishing holes—can be found all over, producing the flavors that we crave.
With gorgeous photography throughout and more than 130 recipes, Cooking in the Moment will inspire cooks everywhere to embrace the flavors and bounty of each season.
“I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying many fine meals at Lantern. Andrea Reusing’s food is always fresh, seasonal, and as local as possible. Her recipes are creative and downright delicious.”
“I love Andrea Reusing’s Lantern in Chapel Hill. And her recipes in Cooking in the Moment are so approachable and her stories so insightful that they blaze a path toward great home cooking.”
Featured Recipe: Strawberry Ice Cream
1 quart ripe fresh strawberries
¾ cup sugar, or more to taste
Pinch of kosher salt
1½ cups buttermilk, preferably full-fat
1½ cups heavy cream Instructions
Hull the strawberries, place them in a large bowl, and add the sugar and salt. With a potato masher, coarsely crush the fruit, combining it with the sugar. Stir in the buttermilk and cream, and combine well. Freeze in an ice cream maker.
"I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying many fine meals at Lantern. Andrea Reusing’s food is always fresh, seasonal, and as local as possible. Her recipes are creative and downright delicious."
"I love Andrea Reusing’s Lantern in Chapel Hill. And her recipes in Cooking in the Moment are so approachable and her stories so insightful that they blaze a path towards great home cooking."
"Chef and James Beard nominee Reusing's outstanding, beautifully photographed debut is a seasonally driven collection of 130 recipes... [A] book that's just as sit-down-and-read as open-and-use... [A] must-have title for both new and experienced cooks."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"[A]n intimate, accessible take on seasonality, and the author's enthusiasm for such a way of life is infectious."
"Cooking in the Moment can change the color of your time in the kitchen from gray to rainbow....(Reusing)'s either the best-writing cook or the best-cooking writer around."
--Garden & Gun
“The carrot soup with toasted curry was a knockout… The soup itself keeps the bright taste of the carrots, adding for ballast, onion, cayenne, dry white wine, and some homemade curry powder that I cannot now be parted with… The real triumph for me, here, were the spareribs with crushed fennel and red chiles. This was outrageously simple... People are still talking about these ribs in my house, and I am still thinking of them.”
Top customer reviews
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Without sermonizing, Reusing demonstrates that a seasonal approach to cooking translates into flavorful, innovative food. Organized by season and accompanied by numerous stunning photographs inviting the reader to try each recipe, Cooking in the Moment delivers imaginative recipes sure to please. The Kale Panini is a vegetarian sandwich a carnivore can love: a meaty helping of wilted kale is dressed in oil and vinegar and loaded onto bread with pickled hot peppers and thick knobs of farmer's cheese. The result is a warm, cheesy sandwich big on flavor. The pan fried chicken livers and warm mushroom salad showcase Reusings' ability to transform humble ingredients to transcendent pleasures.
Reusings' prose accompanying each recipe is a treat in itself. The preface to a fish recipe includes the truism, "The fact that our children may never eat seafood gives all of us who eat fish responsibly a duty not to put blue cheese on it." Interspersed in the seasons are short vignettes on particular foods, often accompanied by stories from Reusings' own experiences with her family.
Reusings' is the sort of book you revisit when the weather changes. With spring approaching here in the South, I'm reminded of her ode to humble broccoli. And with each return to Cooking in the Moment, the reader is reminded why he keeps coming back: because of Reusing's unique ability to see cooking and eating for what they are--integrally connected to family and community.