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Cookbook of the Month August 2013: MEDITERRANEAN HARVEST by Martha Rose Shulman

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Morning all, and what a sultry morning it is here in London. Today will be the hottest day of the year so far - 34C - so it seems fitting that here I am announcing that this month's choice is MEDITERRANEAN HARVEST by Martha Rose Shulman.

Reporting threads will go up as usual on the 1st of the month. In the meantime, this is the general discussion thread for the book.

Can I also remind you that we are looking for a new co-ordinator for COTM. Don't all rush at once!

Edited to add links to the reporting threads:

Aperitifs and Desserts
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/911491

Breads, Pizza and Panini
Sauces, Dressings and Condiments
Little Foods: Starters, Snacks, Meze and More
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/911492

Soups
Eggs and Cheese
Pasta
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/911493

Savory Pies and Gratins
Vegetables and Beans
Rice, Couscous and Other Grains
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/911494

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  1. Link to some of Martha's recipes, courtesy of the fabulous Gio.

    Martha Rose Shulman's RECIPES LINK:

    I'm such a scatter brain these days I can't remember what I posted when but here's MRS's Recipe for Health column in the NYTimes for today. Many of the recipes are in the book. There's an archive too with more than 1,026 recipes in the series. It's a good one to bookmark for future reference:

    http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/he...

    2 Replies
    1. re: greedygirl

      thanx

      1. re: jpr54_1

        My copy of the book arrived this morning-
        marking some of recipes to try

    2. Well done GG. Thank you for your six months of great service! I am picking up my cousin who lives in London later tonight. She has managed to miss our heat wave and yours. Smart woman! She has requested that her first meal in the States be Chinese at a local hole-in-the-wall. Fabulous food!

      p.s. BigSal has volunteered in the voting thread to give being a coordinator a try.

      1 Reply
      1. re: smtucker

        She must have had some of it - it's been going on for two weeks now! Thunderstorms this week apparently.

      2. Annoyingly, I mistakenly ordered a copy of this book from a US Amazon seller rather than the British one I intended to use. I realised my mistake and tried to cancel the order but they never replied to my message and now it's been dispatched. Which means I probably won't get it until halfway through August. First-world problem, I know, but grrrrrrr!

        1 Reply
        1. re: greedygirl

          I usually get Amazon shipment within a couple of days once it is dispatched - maybe yours will arrive in a week. Could be a wishful thinking but let's hope :)

        2. Thank you, greedygirl, for your expert management these past six months, even as nearly every month involved a nail biter! Yours will be a hard act to follow, but I can't think of a better successor than Big Sal.

          1. Got my copy of the book, just in time. Looking forward to cooking along in August. My meat-loving husband is skeptical but I'm ever the optimist, especially with COTM to help me find the gems!

            1. Pulling up a pew. I picked my copy up from the library yesterday and am excited to start cooking along with you all. There are some tasty looking recipes.

              1. Here's the EYB list of online recipes from the book too.

                http://www.eatyourbooks.com/library/r...

                2 Replies
                1. re: Musie

                  Interesting that I was planning to do a clafoutis with my plums this weekend. I was going to use the recipe from the French Market Cookbook. I'll have to compare it with the one in MH now.

                  1. re: lilham

                    The best clafoutis I've ever had/made was from Sunday Suppers at Lucques. If you have that book you should give it a look. Totally different flavorings (cranberry-walnut with bourbon whipped cream) but she has a special way of making the batter that I thought worked especially well.

                2. Thanks GG, six months sure did fly by. Why is it that the older one gets the faster the time goes by? BTW, Big Sal has offered to take the helm with SMTucker as first mate if necessary. We'll most likely have another half year of smooth sailing with those two in control. You can just float lazily along from now on... just don't try to sail off into the sunset.

                  1. Picked up my copy of this book at the library on my way out of town. Thought it could be good 'down Cape' reading, but haven't cracked it open yet. The weather couldn't be more perfect.... and now off to a kettle pond for a quick dip.

                    1. My darned book still hasn't arrived but here are the reporting threads for this month!

                      Aperitifs and Desserts
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/911491

                      Breads, Pizza and Panini
                      Sauces, Dressings and Condiments
                      Little Foods: Starters, Snacks, Meze and More
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/911492

                      Soups
                      Eggs and Cheese
                      Pasta
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/911493

                      Savory Pies and Gratins
                      Vegetables and Beans
                      Rice, Couscous and Other Grains
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/911494

                      It's been an interesting six months, but I'm scuttling back to the ranks and handing COTM over into the capable hands of BigSal. Thanks for putting up with me!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: greedygirl

                        You did a great job. Take a bow.

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          Bows.

                        2. re: greedygirl

                          The COTM gods are smiling on me! My book arrived in today's post. Only took ten days all the way from the US of A. 'Tis truly a COTM miracle.

                        3. Good morning (Good afternoon to you), Greedygirl. Do you s'pose the links to the reporting threads for August can be inserted into your OP up-thread? Since they're now imbedded in this thread folks may not know where they are... Just wondering.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Gio

                            I've asked the mods to do it so I suppose they will when they get time.

                          2. greedygirl, big thanks for a stellar job over the past 6 months! Hard to believe it's already August and mid-way through the summer.

                            Thankfully my copy of the book arrived quicker than expected so I'm all set for the month. I was plugging ingredients into the EYB search last night and I think this book will work well with most of the options I have from our farmer's markets and stands this month. I was a bit surprised to find just one broccoli recipe in the book though!! Perhaps MRS has a similar palate to the US President!! ; )

                            That said, I cheated and made that lone broccoli dish on Tuesday so I'll soon have a report to post.

                            Happy cooking one and all!

                            1. You're right, time is flying by. I can't believe it is already August. I have my copy of Med Harvest from the library, but only for a few more days, so I will try to copy some recipes while I have it in my hands.

                              1. I didn't think I would be able to participate this month because I'm so busy, but writing up comments on the Diana Henry recipes I made last week made me realize how much I miss COTM... so I drove to a nearby town that has MH in its library and grabbed a copy this morning. This book looks like a great way to cook up my CSA produce. (Aside: I could end up with a TON of veggies this year as my farmer has switched to a new system where, instead of having people come get their boxes at the farmer's market, he drops off 25-30 customers' boxes in several locations around the city, and guess whose carport is a dropoff point? There are customers every week who don't bother to pick up their boxes, so those ones are mine to keep. Nice problem to have, really.)

                                I will do my best to contribute to the reporting threads!

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: geekmom

                                  What a great windfall for you!

                                  1. re: geekmom

                                    Jealous! OTOH... my eyes have always been bigger than my stomach. Happy Chowing, GM.

                                    1. re: geekmom

                                      Wow. I have been in various CSAs over the years, but I've never been a drop off spot. I struggle to keep up with my own box. Can't imagine what I'd do with other people's boxes. I think the deal with most CSAs in my area is that if you don't pick up, the box gets donated to a charity, but then, I have never failed to pick up.

                                      1. re: MelMM

                                        Yes, I often struggle to keep up with my own box too even with two teenagers in the house (well, my son is 12 but he eats like a teen). The past 3 winters we've been the dropoff spot for this same farmer's organic apple delivery service... we get to a point in mid-winter every year where so many families fail to pick up their fruit and we are so sick of apples that we can't think about eating them and we are basically dumping apples on everyone we know. I honestly don't get how anyone could pay for these boxes and then not pick them up!

                                        1. re: geekmom

                                          Where I live when shareholders fail to pickup their weekly CSA basket those baskets are sent to a local charity or soup kitchen. Seems like a good thing to do.

                                          1. re: Gio

                                            Completely OT.... but my kid is working at a shop that is a CSA distribution point [in Gio's general area. The farm makes the "donate to local charity" claim, but my kitchen is filled with CSA boxes each week. In reality, the boxes are taken home by the staff each week.

                                            It isn't a great CSA by any stretch, but we have enjoyed the extra vegetables this summer.

                                            1. re: smtucker

                                              Well, that's kind of charity, no? :) I am sure staff are not paid too generously and this is a good way to supplement.

                                    2. A general comment on this book, because I honestly haven't been inspired by anything in the specific sections and it is due back at the library. I have appreciated her "tips and tricks" and I have picked up on a few of those...the refrigerator vinaigrette and the basic tomato sauce (for the freezer) are just a couple that made the book a worthwhile browse.

                                      1. I'm enjoying this book, but I'm finding I use it differently than I have many previous COTM's. Usually I go through a book at the beginning of the month, and tag a few recipes, keeping them in mind as I do my shopping and meal planning, and more or less build meals around them.

                                        With Mediterranean Harvest, on the other hand, although I tagged a bunch of stuff at the beginning of the month, I haven't made a single one of those recipes. Instead, with this month's book it's more like "have veg x, what can I do with it? Check index, find recipe, proceed". Which is just grand for this time of year.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: qianning

                                          That's what I've been doing too Qianning. This book is perfect for just such a reference.

                                          1. re: qianning

                                            I agree Qianning. I didn't even bother to tag recipes this month since I knew I would be a slave to the harvest. I have also been striving to be more like Gio and use substitutions wisely.

                                            1. re: smtucker

                                              Let's face it, we all want to be a little more Gio...

                                            2. re: qianning

                                              Agreed, and what I like about this book is that it's surprisingly easy to do this.

                                              1. re: Westminstress

                                                I think this is the first year that I've actually been able to keep up with the zucchini haul without having to beg family and friends to take some off my hands--and I'm even having to wait for some more to grow in order to proceed with a recipe. For that reason alone I'm loving this book!