Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Deborah Madison

I cannot contain my delight to have had the pleasure of interviewing Deborah Madison.  Her book Local Flavors adorns my bookshelf and has been a go to book for inspiration when it comes to vegetables fresh from the garden or farmer's market. Her latest two books are Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes and The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone . She also writes for several magazines including Zester Daily.

I love Deborah's story for many reasons. And I bet most would expect Deborah to have tales of growing up with a Mom who loved to cook and many recipes.  As it turns out, her Mom didn't like to cook.  She liked to do many other things such as write books, play the violin in an orchestra and live life according to her own rules. However, the 2 places she grew up deeply informed her connection to the earth and to food - a dairy farm in upstate NY and near a walnut orchard in California. 

Her Dad was a botanist and brought clippings of a concord grape plant to California where he grew them for pleasure. He and her Mom always made concord grape pies in September.  This is one of the true heirloom memories that Deborah shares.  In fact, she loves it so much that it has shown up in one form or another in most of her cookbooks.

So tune and and learn where Deborah really learned to cook.  Any Guesses?