The Feast Nearby

One of my best friends in the whole world (we’re not blood sisters, but we did have a secret hide-out at work), Robin Mather, has a new book out, The Feast Nearby. The subtitle says it all:  How I Lost My Job, Buried a Marriage, and Found My Way by Keeping Chickens, Foraging, Preserving, Bartering, and Eating Locally (All on Forty Dollars a Week). Robin is one of those crazy friends, who’s had a very interesting life, one not always easy. She’s raised goats and made cheese in rural Mississippi, and wrote a book on bio-engineered foods before Michael Pollan became a household name. She spins her own wool, roasts her own coffee and is a master gardener.  She’s one of those eccentric people who marches to her own drummer, but whose life has been darkened by clouds more than once.

But the dark cloud usually has a silver lining, and this time, it’s  her new book, The Feast Nearby. Read it, and you will not only want to garden, and can, live in the woods on a lake,and possibly raise chickens, but you will understand why we are BFF”S (best friends forever). Robin is the kindest person I’ve ever met–and one of the best cooks.  Congrats Robin, You deserve all the sunshine in the world. You are my feast nearby. Here is a recipe from Feast that I’ll be making this weekend. Then onto the maple and sherry vinegar-glazed pork loin…Yum.

For Robin’s blog and to order her book go here.

For Robin’s delisious asparagus sauce click here

Cardamom-Coffee Toffee Bars

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon very finely ground espresso-roast coffee groundss

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup flour

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, shopped or 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch seare baking dish with aluminum foil, letting the foil overhang the edges of the dish.

Mel the butter in a saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, vanilla, coffee and cardamom. Add salt and flour and mix just until incorporated. Spread the mixture in bottom of prepared pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the toffee bars are golden brown.emove from oven and immediately scatter the chocolate over the hot bars. return bars to oven for a minute or two just unti chocolate softens. Remove from, oven spread chocolate evenly over bars. Sprinkle with almonds. Let cool.

When cool, left the bars from the baking dish using the edges of the foil. Use a sharp knife to cut.


One thought on “The Feast Nearby

  1. I feel lucky that I got a sneak peek at Robin’s book during testing and tasting of some of the recipes from her book for Relish. What a wonderfully readable book of her personal and food stories. Reading “The Feast Nearby” encouraged me to reach out even more to the interesting and varied food folks in my own community. Keep up the good work Robin and Jill. Thanks for sharing.

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