Thursday, September 22, 2011
The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook
As someone who enjoys cooking, I clip, download, scan, jot, and scribble new recipes quite often. I also have this addiction for cookbooks – old and new. Today, I finished reading through the newest addition to my cookbook collection – “The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook” by Brent Ridge, Josh Kilmer-Purcell, and Sandy Gluck. Let me stop here for just a moment and tell you: GET THIS COOKBOOK! Sorry.. I didn’t mean to shout.
While reading through the book, it dawned on me that this will always be a work in progress. Each recipe has a note section for the home cook to add their own twist or variation to make the recipe their own. One recipe could become several. How fun is that? (sorry… my inner Ina Garten just emerged..)
The book is divided into seasons. Since the Beekman 1802 philosophy encourages “seasonal living,” the seasonal organization of recipes makes sense and makes it easy for the home cook to shop from their favorite farm market or from their own garden, depending on the time of year. Working with Sandy Gluck, host of Martha Stewart Living Radio’s “Everyday Food” and former editor of the magazine of the same name, every recipe is clearly written, with easily found ingredients, and designed for the beginner or the seasoned cook to be successful.
Many of the recipes include beautiful photographs taken by the incredible Paulette Tavormina. I can’t even begin to count the number of photographs that I would love to have enlarged and framed, to hang in my kitchen or dining room. Truly, works of art.
Throughout the book, readers will find helpful cooking or prep hints, and information about many of the heirloom varieties of vegetables grown at the Beekman. The home cook will not only have wonderful recipes to add to their repertoire, but they’ll learn a few things along the way.
As described in the introduction, it is the hope of Brent and Josh that the cookbook will find its way into the hands of future generations. A special section of the book holds blank recipe cards that can be stored in well designed pocket pages, to truly make the “Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook” a one stop resource for family recipes and recipes that are sure to become family favorites. I absolutely love this idea.
I may have to buy another copy. I’ll want to keep one copy clean and pristine. I can see the other copy being my one stop for all the jotted and scribbled recipes I’ll find along my way in life and those that have been passed down from the generations before me.
One thing I know for sure – Joanna Beekman would have loved this treasure chest of recipes and information. I can see her sitting in the Beekman kitchen, enjoying a quiet moment and writing her own variation to a recipe and storing it between the pages, or writing in a family recipe for safe keeping.
I’ll be doing the same thing.