I think the best way to describe my relationship with food is as a forever love affair. Ever since I can remember, it has been my constant companion, and I don’t think a waking hour has passed without me daydreaming about all of the different foods I could buy, invent, cook, and eat. I’m sure this love is requited, as food has always been there to satiate any craving I’ve had or manage any mood I might find myself in, but I am under no illusion that it is exclusive. In fact, my hope is that most people have this “forever love” rela - tionship with food, one that is based on sustenance and nourishment as much as it is on comfort and enjoyment. As my favorite cartoon rat once said with respect to us humans, “There’s something about them. They don’t just survive, they discover, they create. I mean, just look at what they do with food!”
Food is something to be relished and should feed not only your body but also your soul. For me, there is pure excitement in tasting the first basket of juicy sun-warmed strawberries brought home from the farmers’ market, or in smelling the grill during a backyard barbecue on a hot summer day. I feel so at ease when I sit in front of a meal that transports me back to childhood, or when I breathe in the warmth of a steaming bowl of hearty stew or a holiday feast as snow starts to cover the ground. In my life, food has always satisfied something so much bigger than hunger, and I always try to capture that momentous effect in my kitchen and in my recipes.
For those who joined me in my celebration of kitchen parties with my last book, Kitchen Party: Effortless Recipes for Every Occasion
, you’ll know that the recipes focused on cooking for crowds and making any meal into a celebration of friends and family. I wanted to make a guide - book for people who felt nervous inviting others into their homes and to quash any thoughts that a kitchen party should be anything like dining at a restaurant. While those recipes could all be halved to serve your family any night of the week, they were developed with gatherings in mind, and both the actual recipes and their yields reflected that
Don’t get me wrong. The recipes you’ll find in these pages will make for some amazing kitchen parties as well, but I wanted this book to be a little more personal. Well Seasoned
is still all about food, friends, and family, because cooking and eating are all about sharing and showing love. But in this book, the recipes are inspired by how my family and I eat every day.
As the seasons change, so does the food I crave and cook. Sometimes I cook based on what’s available at the farmers’ market, other times it’s based on the weather, and sometimes it’s based on how I feel on a particular day. Well Seasoned
is a true peek into my kitchen and what you can expect to find gracing my table any time of year.
As with all of my recipes, all the ingredients mentioned in this book can be easily found at an average grocery store or farmers’ market or even in your own pantry. I’ve used basic kitchen equipment, because there is nothing I dislike more than finding a recipe that I want to make, only to realize I don’t have the tools to do so. As I hope you’ve come to expect from me, this book is filled with recipes that not only are cookable but will make you look like the absolute culinary wizard I know you are.
Welcome to my kitchen, where seasons, mood, and cravings come together into a year’s worth of all things delicious.
Copyright © 2021 by Mary Berg. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.