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Plum Gorgeous: Recipes and Memories from the Orchard Hardcover – July 19, 2011
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"A love letter to California's delicious fruit, with artful type, charming photographs, whimsical drawings and lots of fun recipes." --Santa Rosa Press-Democrat
"A beautiful love letter to stone fruit at the prime of ripeness, complete with stories from the orchard, little poems and proverbs singing their praises, and of course, lavishly illustrated and elegant seasonal fruit recipes for both sweet and savory dishes." --Serious Eats
"As romantic...as it is practical and inspiring.... Plum Gorgeous will make you want to find the best fruits of the season and include them with every meal of the day." --Seattle Weekly blog Cooking the Books
"If a cookbook can be romantic, this one surely is. 'Plum Gorgeous' is the essence of simplicity and yet one of the most sophisticated books to cross our desks this year." --The Oregonian
"Charming memories are interspersed with mouthwatering photographs of an artsy, old-fashioned nature and inspiring sweet and savory recipes covering all the seasons...lovely." --The Post and Courier, Charleston, SC
"The recipes are wonderfully imaginative, appealing, easy to follow, and utilize fruit for all parts of a meal." --Kitchen GadgetGals
While Plum Gorgeous is first and foremost a cookbook, filled with 60 super-seasonal recipes, with such beautiful photographs and food styling, as well as extensive headnotes to the recipes, it feels like much more than the average cookbook. Steele captures a time and place in her own life - and fills the book with such a clear aesthetic sense - that a mere cookbook jumps into the world of the truly aspirational. We, too, would like to sit around her table, lathering raspberry rhubarb rose petal jam on everything in sight. --localfoods.about.com
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Top Customer Reviews
I must warn, do not read this book while hungry. You will want to run out and get all the ingredients to several or maybe all the recipes she shares with us. I am making the "Marmalade Chicken" for dinner this evening. I love that she also offers alternative items to substitute based on the weather or time of the growing season. The photography in this book provided by Sara Remington is eye candy for all food lovers, and created "artist envy" in me.
This is a book that I will gift to those I know who love to cook, those I know who love to eat good food that stimulate all their senses, and to all the artists I know. I urge everyone who reads this book to not keep it to themselves, pass or gift this bounty just as you would a wonderful sumptuous meal for 10.
Thank you, Romney Steele, for keeping the spirit of the orchard in California alive. You are what my husband fondly calls a "true California sunshine girl" because you appreciate, and have created works of art out of nature's bounty so abundant here in California.
The title "Plum Gorgeous" perfectly describes the photography and recipes and writing. The author makes cooking and food presentation a sensual, visual art. On page 6 Romney writes: "Lemons make me happy, seeing them on my table in a Moroccan bowl with turquoise edging. The shiny ovals remind me of living at Henry Miller's house, the jumbled oasis down the hill from the orchard, the redwood table at the center of the room where I would always place that bowl and fill it with lemons from the tree. My ode to joy." I also enjoy the perfect beauty of fresh lemons and frequently keep a pile of them in a cobalt blue bowl in my kitchen.
All of the recipes feature fresh fruit and produce from the garden, but with the ubiquity of farmer's markets these days, I should be able to find the seasonal ingredients. Some of the recipes that look appealing to me include "Moroccan orange salad", "strawberry, nasturtium and cucumber salad", "olallieberry pie", "blueberry lemon thyme risotto", "lavender-brined pork chops with grilled spiced plums"' "honey-glazed duck breasts with cherry salsa" and so many others. I have tried a couple of recipes and they are well written, easy to follow and completely reproducible by a cook with even modest skills.
The spring sections starts with citrus fruits. I loved the sound the recipes like honey lavender lemonade. I guess I should clarify that, I like the sound of something besides straight lemonade but I could forgo the lavender. There are even basic recipes with a twist like orange pistachio sables (butter cookies). There was also a Moroccan orange salad that looked awesome in the picture.
The is another section that sort of falls between both spring and summer and is all about recipes with berries. Recipes such as strawberry, nasturtium and cucumber salad had my mouth watering. A little more complex than some of the earlier recipes in this book, they didn't sound too difficult. Other unique recipes in this section include the raspberry rhubarb rose petal jam and the blueberry lemon thyme risotto. I am going to have to try the risotto since it seems I'm on a risotto kick recently.
The third section is summer fruits and contains mostly recipes dealing with plums. Things like plum soup, plum pork chops and plum and lavender jam can all be found in this section. There were also other fruit recipes including duck with cherry salsa and a few recipes for peaches, apricots and mangoes. While some of the recipes are just variations (apricot mango chutney) on others I've seen, I don't think there is anything wrong with that.
The last section is all about fall fruits. There were recipes with figs, apples and pears.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
unique,delicious recipes;beautiful photography;imbued w/ the mystic of Big Sur history and charmPublished 17 months ago by dennishostetter
A gorgeous book and I would highly recommend it as a coffee table book, a relaxing read for inspiration and a delicous recipe book. Read morePublished on November 25, 2013 by IG
Loved the first book and now the second is wonderful also---waiting for another! Thanks for sharing this with all of us!Published on October 29, 2013 by A. C.
For anyone who has had the luxury of picking and eating ripe fruit off the tree, this is a fabulous book in the "how to" use the abundance of fruit in season.Published on May 28, 2013 by janet abbott
Would make a wonderful gift, canning is almost a lost art and fresh fruit recipes. Is a beautiful addition to a kitchen book shelfPublished on February 23, 2013 by SMEGHEAD