With summer approaching and a bounty of fresh, local fruit to look forward to, we invited Getty Stewart to speak at our Cookbook Club. Getty is the energetic founder of the Fruit Share program in Winnipeg and the author of the Prairie Fruit Cookbook. Fruit Share harvests and shares surplus fruit, with one third going to the homeowner, one third to the volunteers and one third to Community Groups.
Getty’s love of fruit led her to start the Fruit Share program in 2010. That year, with just 10 volunteers, they harvested 1,694 lbs of fruit. Last year they were able to harvest 10,108 lbs with 240 volunteers and they have expanded to Brandon and Steinbach. Getty is very active in her community and has received several awards for her work including the Oxfam Female Food Hero award and The Golden Carrot Award for Media Community Food Champion. Her cookbook was voted #1 on CBC’s Cross Country Cookbook Shelf, and it was also listed on McNally Robinson’s Best of the West Non-Fiction for 2012.
Getty never set out to write a cookbook… it started out as a simple handout with a few recipes using local fruit. After many hours of research and recipe testing on family and friends, it grew into a 226 page cookbook featuring 11 different prairie fruits. It’s a wonderful cookbook that provides useful information on harvesting, storing, preserving and cooking local fruits. All of the recipes use ingredients that most cooks will already have in their pantry. Everyone was really pleased with the recipes they tried, especially the Chocolate Pear Tart in a Chocolate Almond Crust. Here are just a few of the recipes that we tried:
If you’ve never tried canning or preserving, why not make this the year you do! The Library has a great collection of books on the subject, including Getty’s, so drop by your local branch and have a look.
Cook by the Book is a book club for foodies! Based on the monthly theme, members choose a cookbook available at the library and then make one or two recipes at home. We all take pictures of our culinary creations and then get together to share our experience – good or bad – with the group. Registration is full for this session, but we’ll start up again in the Fall. Watch for details in the September issue of @ the Library.