Friday, March 31, 2017

Dishing Up the Dirt by Andrea Bemis (Review)

Although I'm a city girl, my parents rent about half an acre of land outside of Montreal and plant, grow, and harvest food that we eat all year round. So I easily gravitated toward this book.

Book Details:

Title: Dishing Up the Dirt: Simple Recipes for Cooking Through the Seasons
Author: Andrea Bemis
Publisher: Harper Wave
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 304 pages
Genre: Cookbook
Published: March 14, 2017
Content Rating: PG (for some religious profanities)

Book Description:

Andrea Bemis, the creator of the popular farm-to-table blog Dishing Up the Dirt builds on her success with this beautiful, simple, seasonally driven cookbook, featuring more than 100 inventive and delicious whole-foods recipes and dozens of color photographs.

For Andrea Bemis, who owns and runs a six-acre organic farm with her husband outside of Portland, Oregon, dinners are inspired by what is grown in the soil and picked by hand. In Dishing Up the Dirt, Andrea offers 100 authentic farm-to-table recipes, arranged by season, including:

Spring: Honey Roasted Strawberry Muffins, Lamb Lettuce Wraps with Mint Yogurt Sauce, Spring Harvest Pizza with Mint & Pea Pesto, Kohlrabi and Chickpea Salad

Summer: Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Biscuits, Roasted Ratatouille Toast, Kohlrabi Fritters with Garlic Herb Cashew Cream Sauce, Farmers Market Burgers with Mustard Greens Pesto

Fall: Farm Girl Veggie Bowls, Butternut Molasses Muffins, Early Autumn Moroccan Stew, Collard Green Slaw with Bacon Gremolata

Winter: Rutabaga Home Fries with Smokey Cashew Sauce, Hoisin Glazed Brussels Sprouts, Country Girl Old Fashioned Cocktails, Tumbleweed Farm Winter Panzanella

Andrea’s recipes focus on using whole, locally-sourced foods—incorporating the philosophy of eating as close to the land as possible. While many recipes are naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegetarian, many others include elemental ingredients like bread, cheese, eggs, meat, and sweeteners, which are incorporated in new and inventive ways.

In short essays throughout the book, Andrea also presents an honest glimpse of life on Tumbleweed Farm—the real life of a farmer, not the shabby-chic fantasy often portrayed—offering fascinating and frequently entertaining details about where the food on our dinner tables comes from. With stunning food photography as well as intimate portraits of farm life, Dishing Up the Dirt allows anyone to be a seasonal foodie and an armchair farmer.

Purchase Links:

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Although I'm a city girl, my parents rent about half an acre of land outside of Montreal and plant, grow, and harvest food that we eat all year round. So when I began reading this book and the author says that she organizes an entire calendar year between the first and last predicted frosts of the season, it made me think of the hard work my parents have taken up in their retirement years. 

Although Dishing Up the Dirt is a cookbook filled with over 100 recipes, it's also the story of Andrea and her husband Taylor's life on Tumbleweed Farm. I enjoyed reading Andrea's journey as someone who had initially never worked on a farm and wasn't even much of a cook to a woman who now owns 6 acres of farmland with her husband, and lives the joyous but arduous work of growing crops. Andrea is honest about what it means to be a farmer. She doesn't sugarcoat anything. But she also mentions the simple things that bring her happiness and the sweet moments shared with her husband. They are truly a team and a couple who love and respect one another.

Andrea is a good writer, sharing her corner of the world with intimate stories and an entertaining narrative that makes me appreciate the hard work that goes into the fresh organic produce that I buy. It also made me appreciate nature and the seasonal food I eat. I was also impressed that Andrea is the photographer (what a talented strong woman!) of the beautiful matt photographs in this book. Most of the photos are of the dishes she created but many are also of her and Taylor, snippets of them working their land.

The recipes are grouped by season, since the dishes are made with the food available during that season. Most are vegetarian and gluten-free but there are some meat, egg, dairy and wheat dishes. I scrolled through the whole book and got lots of ideas on how to cook certain veggies, like making beet butter. My parents harvest lots of beets and I'm always looking for different ways to cook them!

I decided to try the Spiced Cauliflower with Honey and Tahini Sauce. It was delicious and I taste-tested it with my hubby, daughter and a friend. The consensus was that it was very tasty but would have been better with less cinnamon. I had already put less than the recipe required but it was still strong. Regardless, it was an awesome blend of autumn spices and when I roasted the cauliflower my house smelled amazing!

Prepping: After roasting the cauliflower in the oven I waited for the almonds to cool off
while I transferred the cauliflower to the dish.

The tahini sauce was delicious too but next time I will serve it on the side. This makes a great looking dish and is easy to make. I liked the different blending of foods that made some of the dishes in this book creative. There is wholesomeness to these recipes that include nuts, spices, tons of veggies, olive oil and legumes. I also liked that the cookbook stayed open as I did the cooking, which not all cookbooks do.

I will share these recipes with my parents who are both excellent cooks. And when I'm dishing up the dirt with my parents in the fall during the harvest of their large garden, I will think of Andrea and savor the sweet moments rather than focus on the back-breaking task of picking tomotoes.

To read more reviews, please visit Andrea Bemis' page on TLC Book Tours.

Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

About the Author:

Andrea is the writer, recipe developer, and photographer behind the food blog DishingUp Her recipes and Tumbleweed Farm have been featured in publications such as the New York Times, Well and Good NYC, and Eating Well Magazine. She lives on her farm in Oregon with her husband and dog.

Connect with Andrea on Instagram and Facebook.

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  1. I think I would like this combination of memoir and cookbook.

  2. I love cauliflower, so I'm excited to try this recipe!

    Thank you for being on this tour!


Thank you for commenting! I appreciate your feedback.

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