AT MESA'S EDGE: Cooking and Ranching in Colorado's North Fork Valley

Eugenia Bone, Author, Arthur Meehan, Photographer . Houghton Mifflin $24 (330p) ISBN 978-0-618-22126-4

In this engaging tale of modern-day homesteading, New York food writer Bone follows her husband's dream to Crawford, Colo., where they purchase and fix up a 45-acre ranch complete with 1880s cabin. There, she makes his Western dream her own. Bone chronicles her summer of culinary pioneering in a warm, chatty voice, always with a sense of humor about herself. With graceful prose, she details her gourmet adventures. She braves bee stings to pick zucchini flowers, then fries her harvest in beer batter, with a cilantro mayonnaise for dipping. She acquires a 20-gauge shotgun, hunts pheasants and bakes them with cream, horseradish and brandy. With elk she buys from a local rancher, she makes elk tenderloin with wild porcinis. Bone goes mushrooming, grows too many zucchinis and peppers and buys illegal unpasteurized goat cheese. By summer's end, she no longer yearns for multiplexes and lunch dates, has mastered the "cool wave" from the steering wheel and has learned to live in the moment. A wild food advocate and critic of industrialized agriculture, Bone exhorts readers to eat seasonally, suggesting 103 summer Italian- and Mexican-inspired recipes. From Zucchini Flowers Stuffed with Smoked Trout to Chukar (a wild partridge) with Figs, the recipes rely on local ingredients Bone has in abundance. Though she does suggest alternative ingredients, some recipes feel too aspirational for even ambitious city or suburban dwellers. Others, like the Vegetable and Ricotta Terrine and the "sweet and piquant" Lamb Stew should tempt any cook with a good butcher or greengrocer. Agent, Elise Goodman. (June 10)

Reviewed on: 05/10/2004
Release date: 06/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 330 pages - 978-0-8032-7149-4
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