|Aren't these local apples beautiful?|
|Zucchini in our garden|
I have a confession to make - I really like reading cookbooks, particularly small-town and regional ones. I recently picked up a couple older cookbooks from a book sale. One in particular caught my eye. It is called The Prairie Cook's Book edited by Betty Ternier Daniels, illustrated by Betty Sadoway and printwork was done byWendy Borsheim. The book itself is the size of a standard piece of typing paper - about 8.5 x 11.5. The cover looked like someone had copied lovely hand drawn the images and beautiful handwritten calligraphy. Flipping through the cookbook, I realized that the entire book, all two hundred pages of it, was all hand-written and copied to create this book- obviously before computers were popular! Upon further inspection, I noticed that it was published in Saskatchewan. Unfortunately, there is no date as to when it was published but I did a bit research and as far as I can determine, it was published probably about twenty-eight years ago.
This cookbook was way ahead of it's time when it was published. Betty Daniels says in her introduction that
"this cookbook is designed to help make you independent of the international food system, its recipes contain very few processed foods. You won't need to buy canned soup or packaged biscuit mix to follow these recipes. If you can't raise the ingredients yourself, you will be able to buy them from local farmers. Not only will you reduce your dependence on the international market place; you will also save money and get better-tasting food that is free from additives and you'll reduce the a mount of packaging that you throw in the garbage as well...As these recipes will demonstrate, a diet composed entirely of prairie foods is not a spartan one. We can grow a lot of good food!"
|Apple juice from a friend's apples|
I am truly impressed with this cookbook - the recipes are easy, nutritious and have a huge amount of variety within them. There is everything from paneer, yogurt, enchiladas, to graham wafers and fruit juices. As well, there are recipes for sauerkraut, chutney, dill pickles as well as rose-hip catsup. You know a cookbook is truly from the Canadian prairies when it also includes detailed instructions on how to make a prairie favourite - Saskatoon wine!