Simply in Season

by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert

{Let's try something different today, shall we? I recently had the grand idea to review my absolute favorite cookbook, so here goes...}

From Goodreads
Not so long ago, within the memory of many of our parents and grandparents, most fruits and vegetables on North American tables came from our own gardens or from gardens close by. Eggs, milk, and meat also came from local sources. Today, the average item of food travels over a thousand miles before it lands on our tables. It is a remarkable technological accomplishment, but it has not proven to be healthy for our communities, our land or us.

Through stories and simple whole foods recipes, Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert explore how the food we put on our tables impacts our local and global neighbors. They show the importance of eating local, seasonal food--and fairly traded food--and invite readers to make choices that offer security and health for our communities, for the land, for body and spirit.

My rating

My review
If I had to choose one cookbook to use for the rest of my life, not counting family recipes (that wouldn't be fair, now, would it?), I would choose Simply in Season. This book is a wonderful kitchen resource for those of us in temperate climates interested in eating with the seasons.

All of the recipes are organized by season and then by category (i.e. salads, main dishes, desserts, etc.), and each section ends with sample menus and "invitations to action" for supporting sustainable local agriculture and healthy lifestyles. Besides the recipes, my favorite part of this book is an 18-page fruit and vegetable guide that provides tips for selecting and storing many of the types of produce highlighted in the recipes.

Unlike many healthy-eating cookbooks I've come across, this one does not require unfamiliar or hard-to-find ingredients that must be hunted down in a specialty health food store. Most recipes require only what can be found at your local farmer's market (or the garden in your backyard) and among your kitchen staples.

My favorite recipe, "Secret Chocolate Cake," does seem a little strange at first glance. You see, the first two ingredients are beets and applesauce, and somewhere in there is plain yogurt, as well. But the result? Beautifully rich, moist chocolate cake without even a hint of beets or that pesky "healthy" flavor that doesn't belong in desserts--and I can assure you that I take both chocolate and cake very seriously, so know that this is truly a delicious dessert.

Simply in Season


  1. Sounds like I need to add this cookbook to my want list, Serena. :-) My family and I always ate with the seasons -- makes me long to have a shared family garden again instead of just a small concrete back porch attached to our small apartment. The Lord will surely provide for us a place to garden someday in the future, I'm sure. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I've seen some impressive urban gardening involving a very small apartment balcony--though if you don't want to fill your small porch with pots of tomatoes, herbs do quite well in containers. :) Are there any farmers markets in your area? It's not as satisfying as growing it yourself, but tastes just as good!