Notable Edibles

Cookbook Review: Heartland

By Wendy Allen 0

“Heartland is a culinary celebration of the bounty of the Midwest, where farm-to-table isn’t a movement, it’s a way of life for residents who have been living off the land since pioneer days,” writes author Judith Fertig. Beautiful images and thoughtful quotations set the mood for a farmhouse meal of hearty breads, “blue plate specials” and garden-fresh salads. 

There is a tone of reverence and admiration in the pages of this cookbook as it guides even a novice like me through traditional recipes rooted in the various cultures that settled in the heart of America—Jewish clover honey challah bread, classic farmhouse butter, Scandinavian smoked trout (perfect for our region's clear trout fishing streams and Scandinavian heritage).

Profiles of the farmers responsible for the ingredients on our plates round out the book—the rush, stress and relief of the Schrag family’s successful wheat harvest, or how avid Great Lakes fishermen will convert an old refrigerator to smoke their catch in their backyard.

Heartland is a cookbook equally at home in a savory-smelling kitchen or upon a fire lit coffee table. 

Wendy Allen is digital editor, copy editor, and a writer for Edible Madison. She reads style guides for fun, believes stories have power, and is fascinated by the evolution of the English language—for better or worse. Her mission: to wrestle the wily comma into submission.

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