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Anne K Moore
Photograph Anne K Moore

If you are searching for a great book gift for the gardener/cook on your list, consider HEIRLOOM FLAVOR, Yesterday’s Best-Tasting Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs for Today’s Cook. Its homegrown pages will appeal to in the dirt gardeners as well as in the kitchen cooks.

Any book by prominent writer Doreen Howard is notable. Her newest is just in time for gift giving: Heirloom Flavor, Yesterday’s Best-Tasting Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs for Today’s Cook. Doreen, a gifted writer and remarkable gardener, shares the knowledge she has gleaned from more than twenty years of gardening.

Not only does HEIRLOOM FLAVOR contain Doreen’s favorite old-time vegetables and fruits, she also includes growing instructions. Her section on Cooking with Doreen holds many recipes. You or your lucky recipient can delight in whiling away the winter days reading about the pleasures and benefits of growing and cooking heirloomegetables, fruits, and herbs until it is time to get outdoors again. There is even a section on how to make the freshest selections if you are more the “market picking” than the “garden growing” type.

Whether you want a gift for an “in the dirt” gardener or an “armchair gardener” (or for yourself), Heirloom Flavor is a tasty addition to your winter reading list. Full color photos enhance the experience while you learn about some of the history of vegetables. For instance, did you know that there are two tomatoes called ‘Mortgage Lifter’? The first, a pink tomato, a natural hybrid found in a 1920’s garden has its name registered. The second, a crossbred tomato developed by an amateur, actually did pay off the grower’s mortgage during the depression.   

Find unusual information tucked away in these pages. Learn how to build a modern day root cellar in less than an hour. (Although, in my hard clay soil, it will take considerably longer than an hour since I need many rest periods during the dig!)

In my own experience, when I am in the vegetable patch, a warm and fuzzy feeling comes over me. It is not just the heat and insects buzzing, it is a sense of total accomplishment. I have raised food. Even the mundane repetitious chore of picking green beans and watching the bowl fill up is a pleasure. 

There is nothing better than the flavor, texture, and aroma from a fresh-picked vegetable. What’s more, if you grow your own heirlooms, you not only know what went on the plants as they grew, you then also know what is in them. You can find Doreen Howard’s Heirloom Flavor, Yesterday’s Best-Tasting Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs for Today’s Cook in most bookstores throughout the country and online.

About the Author: Doreen G. Howard is a nationally acclaimed magazine editor, author, and photographer who specializes in heirlooms in the garden and kitchen. In over two decades of gardening, Howard has grown more than 300 varieties of vegetables and dozens of fruit cultivars. Her one-acre garden on a glacier moraine in Roscoe, IL, is packed with heirloom apples, berries, luscious heirloom vegetables, and unusual edibles.

NOTE: From time to time, I am asked if I would like a free copy of a book to review. This is one of those times. I am not asked to give a favorable review but am left to my own conclusions on how valuable the book is to our readers.
Paperback available from booksellers everywhere. Published by Cool Springs Press, September 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1591864899

Posted December 13, 2013

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By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photos courtesy of Suntory Flowers

As summer heats up, the garden party is just beginning for gorgeous, tropical mandevillas. To learn more click here for an interesting article.

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