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by Claire Hopley
Every spring asparagus, arugula and fiddleheads kick off the delicious seasonal harvests of the Pioneer Valley, and leeks, parsnips and brilliant pumpkins and winter squash end it in the fall. In between there are peas and beans, tomatoes and corn, zucchini, eggplant, peppers and a myriad summer vegetables.
There’s enticing recipes for every meal in every season. For upcoming winter suppers there’s Parsnip and Mushroom Gratin and Golden Roast Cauliflower. For holiday parties there’s Roasted Peppers with Honey and Almonds Spicy and Beet and Pomegranate Salad with Pistachios. They are dessert and breakfast recipes, too, and lots of soups, salads, side dishes.
Claire Hopley has lived in the Pioneer Valley for over thirty years and for most of them she has been writing about food. Her writes regularly for the Daily Hampshire Gazette and the Amherst Bulletin, and her food and travel articles appear also British Heritage Travel, and many newspapers, including the Boston Globe. She has published five previous books on cooking or culinary history, and has taught English both in Pioneer Valley colleges and in Greece, Russia, Poland and Switzerland. Apart from cooking and writing, she enjoys reading novels and history, traveling, and trying to learn Spanish.