Posts Tagged ‘seasonal eating’

“The Feast Nearby” Book Review

Sadness and hope in heartfelt writing pervade Robin Mather’s writing.  She hooked me with empathy within the first sentences.  What a tragedy to lose both spouse and career within a week!  The book then continues into how she spends the next year picking up the pieces.  The essays flow, the ideas about local and sustainable food are thought-provoking, and the recipes fun and usually seasonal.  I say usually because I associate recipes such as toffee bars (butter, sugar, flour, chocolate, etc.) with long-term pantry stock irrelevant of season rather than only cold weather.  I mean, isn’t chocolate always in season?!  Instead I’d rather see more options for things like the winter storage cabbage still lurking in my February larders.  However, it’s a silly minor point for an overall lovely read.

As a reader, I felt very connected to the author and was sad to see the book finish.  Hope was temporarily restored when I read I could find out more on Mather’s blog,, but then dashed again when I saw it had not been updated since July of 2011.  I do hope she takes up her blog once more as I enjoyed reading her book.

The Feast Nearby
by Robin Mather
Ten Speed Press
Image from Barnes and Noble

Asparagus Bread Pudding

This recipe was adapted from 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 forty dollars a week) by Robin Mather.

I like the idea of local on a budget. After two years in the ground, my asparagus are finally up and ready for a light harvest. They need to be harvested daily because they grow so fast. Either snap them off by hand or cut them with a knife.


Of course, the eggs are from my flock. The bread would have been tossed to the chickens today if I hadn’t stumbled upon this recipe whilst reading last night. They don’t seem to like old bread much so it’s up to us to “waste not, want not.”

Asparagus Bread Pudding

  • a bunch of asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 loaf stale baguette, crusts removed and cut into 1/2″ slices
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup grated romano cheese

Arrange the slices of baguette in one layer in a casserole dish. Top with asparagus.


Whisk together the eggs, milk, and cheese and pour over top. Cover and refrigerate for 6-24 hours. When you are ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator allow to sit on the counter while the oven preheats to 350F. Bake for about an hour or until the middle is set and top golden brown.


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