Local cooks and “wanna-be Iron Chefs” will be able to test their culinary chops with a new cookbook from the Genesee Country Farmers’ Market. Field Notes: Recipes from the Genesee Country Farmers’ Market contains nearly 200 recipes contributed by market vendors and customers. It is available at the market every Tuesday and Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. through the end of October.
Work on this cookbook began last summer when 2010 market manager Patty Hawley pitched the idea of a cookbook that focuses on local ingredients to the farmers and vendors at the market. “Customers are often eager to try new fruits and vegetables but are at a loss as to how to prepare them once they get them home,” Hawley said. “Farmers and vendors are the best source of information for food preparation because they’re so knowledgeable about their produce.”
Likewise, many customers would approach Hawley with information on a particular item. “Our customers were anxious to talk about their own personal recipes, some of them handed down through the generations, so the next logical step was to gather all of this information into a usable format,” Hawley added.
A call for customer recipes was advertised in various media outlets and vendors provided many of their own recipes as well. After months of collecting submissions the work of compiling them into a printer-friendly format began. “I was still receiving recipes sent in by the community through early May,” said Hawley, even though the deadline was March 1.
“We were fortunate to have secured assistance from Upstate Farms and Bison Foods, who underwrote the production costs of our cookbook,” Hawley said. The Daily News also donated the photos that appear throughout the book, taken by Rocco Laurienzo at last summer’s market.
Field Notes is a 248-page homage to the “locavore” movement – a growing trend that urges people to eat healthy and keep food dollars in the community by purchasing food locally, fresh, and in season. “Almost all of the recipes include ingredients that are grown here,” according to Sharon Brent from Schwab Farms. “This is a four season cookbook; menus can be planned throughout the year using fresh, local ingredients at their peak.” Most cooks will be able to easily recreate the recipes in Field Notes. “Because they are time-tested by real people and not in a test kitchen, the recipes tend to be quick and easy, even for a novice cook,” Hawley explained.
Field Notes: Recipes from the Genesee Country Farmers’ Market is available now. A launch party is planned for Friday, July 30 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.; free samples will be available and representatives from the Niagara Wine Trail will provide wine pairings for each dish. Cost of the cookbook is $10 and all sales go to the Genesee Country Farmers’ Market Association.