Seven Springs Speaker Spotlight: Jennifer R. Bartley, Kitchen Gardener and Cook

| 8/4/2011 8:41:13 AM

Get to know Jennifer R. Bartley of American Potager. 

What are you going to speak about at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR? 

Jennifer BartleyI will be giving a cooking demo called Organic Food and Flowers from the Fall Kitchen Garden. We will be harvesting the last of the warm season herbs and vegetables to make spicy garden curry with cool yogurt Sauce and hot peach chutney from my new book The Kitchen Gardener's Handbook. We heat a little ghee in a pan and add freshly harvested green beans, carrots, potatoes and whatever else is growing in the garden till it sizzles. We’ll add garlic, broth, curry spices, coconut milk, flat leaf Italian parsley and Thai basil and simmer to perfection. Two sauces are served on the side so everyone concocts their own curry bowl to taste. Cool Yogurt Sauce with mint balances the spiciness of the curry. Spice lovers can add more heat to hot peach chutney with jalapenos and cilantro to kick up the flavor. We will also gather coneflowers, goldenrod, bronze fennel and Joe Pye weed to plop in a vase. When you harvest from your own garden, each meal is a celebration.

What are you most looking forward to sharing with FAIR attendees? 

I love sharing how gardening and cooking from the garden are creative endeavors. It’s like a fun art project but instead of crayons we are using food and flowers we’ve grown ourselves. This spicy curry is easy to make and the recipe is flexible and can be adapted to what’s best from the garden all season. I love pairing salsas, sauces, and chutneys with my dishes. You’ll see - there are no strict rules. Cook what you love. Cook what the garden offers. Am I a purist? Nope. We also blur the lines of Indian, Mexican and Mediterranean. Modern cooking is sort of like fashion - there is total freedom to do what you want. My philosophy is this: when the food and flowers come from your own garden, you can’t make a mistake.

Tell us about your background with your particular topic. 

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