Notes from the Farmers’ Market Chef

by Barbara Cornell

We had a lot of fun at The Farmers’ Market Chef on July 9!  There was a great exchange of ideas, everyone got some recipes to take home, and I demonstrated one of my favorite pie tricks – the lattice crust.  On August 6 our topic will be the perennial oversupply of tomatoes and zucchini.  You can count on a lot of clever new recipes – I’m poring over the cookbooks now!

I have several new(ish) books to recommend.  You can read them in your hammock if you like, but they will inspire you to get out to the market (or the garden) and thence to the kitchen.

The Homesteader’s Kitchen: recipes from farm to table by Robin Burnside.
Burnside has been chef and co-owner and manager of several eating establishments.  For 20 years, her family has been homesteading on the coast of Big Sur, and she is passionate about sharing her lifestyle of fresh, wholesome foods.  Her advice on stocking your kitchen may be as useful as her recipes, which range from beverages to salad dressings and from vegetarian entrees to meat entrees.

Harvest Eating Cookbook: more than 200 recipes for cooking with seasonal local ingredients
by Keith Snow.
Chef Snow is host of the PBS series Harvest Eating with Chef Snow.  He is also a founding board member of his local Slow Food chapter in South Carolina and devotes the first section of his book to sustainability and  the sourcing of local seasonal foods.  The close-up photos of the prepared recipes are sure to pique your appetite.  His final section is “Cookonomics,” which means “using principles of home economics to make healthy, cost-effective replacements for store-bought pantry items and goods.” More can be found at his website .

The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders.
I thought fruit was a summer thing, but this cookbook will keep you making jams and jellies all year long.  We may not be buying local to make our lemon and pink grapefruit marmalade, but we can buy them in abundance in season and preserve their taste and texture for the seasons to come.  This 372-page book is first organized by season in Part 2, then alphabetically by fruit in Part 3.

How to Pick a Peach: the search for flavor from farm to table
by Russ Parsons.
Learn from Los Angeles Times food & wine columnist Parsons all kinds of essential food tips like which fruits you can buy unripe and which will never have flavor if picked too early, why you should never refrigerate a potato, and why the taste of a tomato is so complex.  One does not miss photographs when the writing is so engaging.

I do hope you’ll consider joining us at 10 am, Saturday,  August 6 for The Farmers’ Market Chef at the Glenwood Branch of the Howard County Library System.

Barbara Cornell joined the Howard County Library System in 1993 as Assistant Branch Manager at the new Elkridge Branch.

Since 2000 she has enjoyed a shorter commute to the Glenwood Branch.


  1. Great post.. I can’t wait to try some of these books! (and some of the recipes! Grapefruit Marmelade? yum!)

    • Barbara Cornell

      I wish I had time to try them all! The great thing about the grapefruit recipe is that we can try that when our own fruits are a long wait away. Thanks for reading–Barbara

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