Am I a bad Canadian if I admit I'd never heard of Lucy Waverman before I got this book? Because, honestly, I didn't have a clue who she was and had to do some research in order to figure out that she's actually pretty well-known in certain Canadian circles. Lucy is a prominent Canadian food columnist and food writer, and she's famous for her articles in both The Globe and Mail (one of Canada's national newspapers) and the LCBO's Food & Drink Magazine.
OK, I'm in BC. I neither read The Globe and Mail nor have access to the Liquor Control Board of ONTARIO's periodical. Sue me!
It doesn't matter because Lucy's new cookbook, A Year in Lucy's Kitchen, has made me fan!
We are all surely familiar now with seasonal eating, but Lucy actually takes the concept further and provides recipes & menus on a monthly basis, using local, seasonal ingredients appropriate to each particular month. I really enjoyed this approach, not only because the recipes were broken down even further from seasonal to monthly, but this made for a much more interesting structure for a cookbook. While I do love cookbooks, don't get me wrong, as a writer (with a degree in creative writing), I often get bored with the structure of your average cookbook: appetizers, soups, salads, main courses, veggies & side dishes, desserts. Etc. Sometimes I feel like I'm reading a mystery novel I already know the resolution for. In the case of A Year in Lucy's Kitchen, I was delighted with her approach to the structure of the book and it made it a much more interesting read for me.
The chapters, one for each month, do indeed focus on seasonal fresh ingredients, and with the added bonus of simple, easy-to-use menus for great meals that are quick and delicious. What I also loved about this cookbook was the variety in cuisines: Thai, Indian, Chinese, Jewish - to name a few. I love cookbooks with varied themes!
As for the recipes, they are great! They are not fussy, not complicated, and don't involve huge lists of ingredients. I made two recipes: Spinach, Apple, and Avocado Salad on page 273 (substituting romaine lettuce for the spinach, and cashews for almonds, as that's what I had on hand) and the Plum Pizza on page 208 (substituting apples for plums as I don't like plums). In the case of the salad, it had nice, refreshing dressing I'll definitely use again. As for the Plum Pizza, which was more along the lines of an apple tart in my case (I'll do an upcoming post on this soon), it was spectacularly simple and delicious, and something I'll definitely do again.
I have bookmarked over a dozen recipes to try from this book, and I can't wait! A total recommend!