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rotuts

Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard

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I watched the latest available episode of the show a few days ago, and there was a scene with Vivian and her mother in mom's kitchen.  At that moment I realized one of the reasons I enjoy the show so much:  it reminds me of Madeleine Kamman's book When French Women Cook, one of my all-time favorite cook books, which is just as much a memoire as it is a book of recipes and techniques.

 

What I liked about the book, which is in so many ways mirrored in the television show, is that Kamman visits, either through memory or actually visiting the kitchens and cooking with various French women, often cooking local and regional recipes.  Kamman frequently talks just as much about the people, the regions, and history of the area as she does writing the recipes for our enjoyment.

 

I do believe that Vivian's book could just as easily be called When Southern Women Cook.

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Marinated turnips with orange and pumpkin seeds:

IMG_4157.jpg

In this recipe, both the thinly sliced roots and blanched turnip greens get marinated together in the dressing (fresh ginger, scallion, garlic, orange zest & juice, honey, rice vinegar, soy sauce, hot sauce and olive oil) with orange segments and pumpkin seeds added at serving.  I liked the combination of sweet, peppery and crisp turnips and their slightly chewy and bitter greens.   Next time, I would dial back on the scallions and/or garlic, maybe substituting shallot for one or both.  I used the Hakurei turnips that Vivian recommended in the header notes.

 

The review of Deep Run Roots in the Washington Post says:

Quote

...According to the publisher, Howard tested the recipes by watching as a home cook made them. Apparently, that led to some oversights. For example, for a surprisingly lovely sliced-turnip and orange salad, Howard assumes you are getting big bunches of greens atop the roots, which is not the case at most farmers markets and certainly not true at the grocery store...

 

Now, having read the turnip chapter, it seemed pretty clear to me that for many in Vivian's area, the greens are the star attraction of the turnip plant and they grow some varieties that don't form roots at all.  This recipe calls for "turnips with their roots attached," which sounds a little funny if you've only seen the roots but I thought it was pretty clear.  All the farmers markets I've been to always have the greens attached to the roots, as was the case with the bunch of white Japanese turnips I bought.  

 

Anyway, this is a great make-ahead salad or side dish if you happen to find yourself in possession of young turnips with their roots attached :D

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It seems to be the convention around here that cookbook discussion goes here in the Cookbooks and References forum but actual cooking discussion tends to be in a separate thread in the Cooking forum.

I went ahead and started a "Cooking from Deep Run Roots" thread over in the cooking forum.  

In part to comply with eG convention and in part to possibly generate some more interest in the book from folks who might not look over here.  

Cook and post away :D!

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There was a nice interview with Vivian Howard, about the book on Heritage Radio's The Food Seen podcast earlier this week.  You can listen here.

I laughed out loud when she described one of the farmers she works with as a "former tobacco farmer, turned medicinal herb farmer" because that's exactly the way he came across to me on the show :D.

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1 hour ago, blue_dolphin said:

There was a nice interview with Vivian Howard, about the book on Heritage Radio's The Food Seen podcast earlier this week.  You can listen here.

 

 

Thanks for posting the link.  I'm listening to the show as I type.

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2 minutes ago, Shel_B said:

 

Thanks for posting the link.  I'm listening to the show as I type.

I hope you enjoy it. I thought it was a good piece.  It's longer than the average book flogging circuit interview and touched on some topics I hadn't heard her talk about before.   The interviewer had clearly read the book and was familiar with "A Chef's Life" and Vivian's background.  

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On ‎01‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 10:55 AM, blue_dolphin said:

There was a nice interview with Vivian Howard, about the book on Heritage Radio's The Food Seen podcast earlier this week.  You can listen here.

I laughed out loud when she described one of the farmers she works with as a "former tobacco farmer, turned medicinal herb farmer" because that's exactly the way he came across to me on the show :D.

 

Nice interview.

What really stood out for me was her descriptions of tobacco farming as, when I was a teenager, I worked three seasons in southwestern Ontario during the tobacco harvest. Did priming (picking), topping and suckering. An absolutely filthy job as the tobacco 'tar' would combine with the sandy soil into a coating that would take a good half hour to scrub off using mechanic's cleanser. It paid well. At a time when minimum wage was around a dollar an hour (and even less for underage teenagers) they paid $25 per day, provided meals and accommodation, and since you worked 7 days a week for the entire harvest you took all your earnings home.

Currently the area has shifted from tobacco farming to other pursuits of which 'medicinal herb farming', especially with the Canadian legalization of medicinal cannabis and the possible legalization of 'recreational use' cannabis, is a viable alternative.

 

 

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Instead of cookies I decided to give the curried peach, jalapeno peach and blueberry BBQ glazes/preserves as gifts.  Hot packed into 4 oz. jars.  The blueberry and curried peach are phenomenal.   

rP1050397.jpg

 

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As a big fan of this book, I was delighted to read that Deep Run Roots was nominated for 4 IACP awards - nice!  

The categories in which the book was nominated are American, First Book, General and Chefs & Restaurants.  

The full announcement with all categories and nominees can be accessed here.

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Deep Run Roots won three of the four IACP awards it was a finalist for: General, Chefs & Restaurants, and Julia Child First Book.  In addition, it was named Cookbook of the Year.

From watching "A Chef's Life" on TV, it was clear that Vivian poured her heart and soul into that book so I'm glad her efforts are being acknowledged in this way.

 

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sometimes , rarely it seems these days , things turn out well.

 

when I first saw this show several years ago , It was obvious to me that this was something different.


Edited by rotuts (log)
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I was also surprised that the Book was different and excellent at the same time.

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OK. As noted on the "Cooking with..." thread, I caved and bought this. Based on the comments from some posters whose opinions I've come to respect over the years, I sprang for the hard copy, as I will do with books I expect to go back to over and over. I have a response for all of you:

 

Thank you.

 

I sat down with this tonight, after filling my brain with way too much work stuff all day, and just fell into it. I'm presently on Page 55 and so far have marked five recipes I want to try. I don't have enough Post-It notes.

 

Plus, sistah can WRITE! Of eggs baked in tomato sauce, she notes, "...it's like one of my guilty pleasures grew up and got a job."

 

See all of you over on the "Cooking With...." thread. I have a feeling I may hang out there for a while.

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Back to Roasted grapes Brussels sprouts and sausage (pg 541). Upthread I posted my attempt using red grapes instead of muscadines. It was tasty but not unified on the fork. you cannot get a grape, a sprout and a sausage on anything less than a trowel.

 

I've been fooling with it off and on and have reached the following compromise...

 

-Halved grapes and  little bits of sausage are roasted at 350 until the grapes are about shrunk by half and have lots of caramelized sugar in the pan. 15-20 min

 

-Remove the grapes and sausage and deglaze the pan with a few tbsp water to which 1/4 tsp dijon has been added.

 

-Put shredded sprouts in a saute pan and add the dijon deglazage.... cook covered for a few min. ...uncover and add in the grapes/sausage mixture.

 

-sear/blacken the bottom layer of sprouts and serve.

 

It was nice tonight under fennel pollen/garlic roasted pork tenderloin.

 

But more refinement is needed

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I've been gifted a hardcover copy of Deep Run Roots. :)

As others have said—it is HUGE!!! shock2.gif

I've thumbed through it a bit—looks like there are many, many recipes compatible with my 'diet.'

I will be studying it slowly and closely in the coming months—especially when the weather turns cold—picking out several recipes to try.

 

:)

 

 

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On 10/6/2016 at 1:15 PM, blue_dolphin said:

...scallions, "are either harvested very young from the regular bulb-forming onions we are familiar with, or they can come from other varieties that actually never form bulbs,"

 

There are also cultivars—used as scallions—that are sort of in between. They form an enlarged base, but not as much as a common globe onion.


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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35 minutes ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

I've been gifted a hardcover copy of Deep Run Roots. :)

 

Lucky, lucky ducky! I covet one of these, but can't afford.

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7 hours ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

I've been gifted a hardcover copy of Deep Run Roots. :)

As others have said—it is HUGE!!! shock2.gif

I've thumbed through it a bit—looks like there are many, many recipes compatible with my 'diet.'

I will be studying it slowly and closely in the coming months—especially when the weather turns cold—picking out several recipes to try.

 

:)

 

What a great gift!  Vivian says it's as much a storybook as a cookbook so I hope you'll enjoy both aspects.  

When I first got the book last fall, I was drawn to the summer chapters and used late season produce to make a bunch of corn, tomato and peach recipes.  I was delighted with them but thought I'd put the book aside until summer came around again. Then, in March, I delved into the cool weather ingredients when the book was chosen for a cookbook club I'm in.  Once again,  I was delighted, this time with her use of things like rutabaga, sweet potatoes, turnips and collards.  

I look forward to your reports!

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6 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

I was delighted, this time with her use of things like rutabaga

 

Yes! I'm thrilled with the focus on rutabaga as it's relatively low-carbohydrate compared to most other below ground 'veg.'

 

:)

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That does it!  I have to order a book for school so I will justify the purchase as getting me to the free shipping point if I add it to my order. Eager to play along and I love the storybook aspect. 

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This weekend, due to an over abundance of squash I made the squash and pistachio crumble.  I had pecans but my goodness it was amazing.  Was confused by the amounts of 1 cup chopped pistachios and 2 cups roughly chopped pistachios  when the recipe said to add them all at once like I believe @Shelby noted somewhere.  But it tasted great.  Also made the squash and fontina casserole pudding.  Only had Jarlsburg but again it was great.  Need to explore more in this book.  

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