I’ve read a number of books, such as Plenty or Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, that extol the virtues of eating local foods and supporting small family farms, but it wasn’t until I picked up Robin Mather’s The Feast Nearby that I felt I was truly reading about local food; that is, food from West Michigan. Mather, former food editor for Detroit News and writer for Cooking Light magazine, moved to her retirement cottage on Stewart Lake (Barry County, MI) shortly after the break-up of her marriage and the loss of her job. Financially strapped but determined to eat well and support her local economy, she afforded good, local food by buying seasonally and preserving food to stock her pantry year-round. Mather shares tips for shifting to a local diet and includes numerous recipes for creating a tasty, seasonal menu. It was a quick, pleasurable read, and I was delighted every time she mentioned the Kalamazoo Farmer’s Market or the name of a local business or farm I recognized.
The Feast Nearby