The Feast Nearby

The Feast Nearby

How I Lost My Job, Buried A Marriage, and Found My Way by Keeping Chickens, Foraging, Preserving, Bartering, and Eating Locally (all on $40 A Week)

Book - 2011
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Within a single week in 2009, food journalist Robin Mather found herself on the threshold of a divorce and laid off from her job at the Chicago Tribune . Forced into a radical life change, she returned to her native rural Michigan.
 
There she learned to live on a limited budget while remaining true to her culinary principles of eating well and as locally as possible. In The Feast Nearby, Mather chronicles her year-long project: preparing and consuming three home-cooked, totally seasonal, and local meals a day--all on forty dollars a week.
 
With insight and humor, Mather explores the confusion and needful compromises in eating locally. She examines why local often trumps organic, and wonders why the USDA recommends white bread, powdered milk, and instant orange drinks as part of its "low-cost" food budget program.
 
Through local eating, Mather forges connections with the farmers, vendors, and growers who provide her with sustenance. She becomes more closely attuned to the nuances of each season, inhabiting her little corner of the world more fully, and building a life richer than she imagined it could be.
 
The Feast Nearby celebrates small pleasures: home-roasted coffee, a pantry stocked with home-canned green beans and homemade preserves, and the contented clucking of laying hens in the backyard. Mather also draws on her rich culinary knowledge to present nearly one hundred seasonal recipes that are inspiring, enticing, and economical--cooking goals that don't always overlap--such as Pickled Asparagus with Lemon, Tarragon, and Garlic; Cider-Braised Pork Loin with Apples and Onions; and Cardamom-Coffee Toffee Bars.
 
Mather's poignant, reflective narrative shares encouraging advice for aspiring locavores everywhere, and combines the virtues of kitchen thrift with the pleasures of cooking--and eating--well.

Publisher: Berkeley, CA : Ten Speed Press, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781580085588
Branch Call Number: 641.552 MAT 2011 22
Characteristics: 266 p. ; 24 cm

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Flamestream
Jan 30, 2012

This is the first book I've read on the "localite" movement that thrilled me. I agree with the author that it's become a very political issue for some, and I become uncomfortable with some of the militency I hear and read surrounding this movement. All that said, Robin Mather is a humorous and warm writer. She gently instructs without preaching about something she is so very passionate about, which is to buy locally. That she has found ways to be frugal at the same time thrills me.

This is a woman who is well educated in the subject of food and home econimics, yet manages to send her message in a wonderful and amusing way. I also loved that she included recipes in with her essays and her way of breaking up the subject into seasons.

Even for those who are unsure of this movement, this is simply a wonderful read about food.

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pattyskypants
Sep 24, 2011

This book is like going to lunch with a dear friend you haven't seen in a long while and maybe having a glass of wine and comfortably chatting and sharing recipes. Afterward, you feel you have found the rewards of a life well-lived. Yes, it's like that.

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