Small bites: The Southern Harvest Cookbook

SEASON OF GIVING: In Cathy Cleary's new cookbook, recipes are organized around seasonal harvests. Her goal with the book is to empower individuals and communities to grow their own food. Half of the publication's proceeds will be donated to local and regional nonprofits working in the areas of sustainable agriculture and food justice.
SEASON OF GIVING: In Cathy Cleary's new cookbook, recipes are organized around seasonal harvests. Her goal with the book is to empower individuals and communities to grow their own food. Half of the publication's proceeds will be donated to local and regional nonprofits working in the areas of sustainable agriculture and food justice. Photo by Katherine Brooks

For the last 2 1/2 years, writer and former West End Bakery owner Cathy Cleary has been working on her latest book, The Southern Harvest Cookbook: Recipes Celebrating Four Seasons. The result is a collection of over 200 original recipes inspired by traditional Southern dishes. “But they often incorporate a whole lot more fruits and vegetables than the original recipe might,” she says.

On Wednesday, Jan. 10, Cleary will celebrate the book’s release at her former bakery with an event featuring samples from the cookbook, including cocktails. In addition to sips and bites, Cleary will read from the work and sign copies. There will also be a do-it-yourself bug spray-making session plus a raffle and live music.

Bountiful Cities, a nonprofit dedicated to creating urban agricultural spaces, will co-host the gathering and benefit from sales of the book. Fifty percent of the publication’s proceeds will go to support Bountiful Cities as well as several other local and regional nonprofits working in the areas of sustainable agriculture and food justice, including FEAST, which Cleary helped found, plus Bounty & Soul, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and the Athens Land Trust.

“I wanted to partner with organizations that have a broad scope,” Cleary says. “I really want to raise awareness about the issues of food justice and sustainable agriculture, in particular. I want to bring to people’s attention the great need that there is.”

The book’s layout emphasizes Cleary’s focus on sustainable agriculture, with sections dedicated to each of the four seasons. The opening section highlights spring greens, including asparagus, ramps and rhubarb. The next part is devoted to summer dishes and drinks that incorporate berries, tomatoes, peaches, corn, cucumbers, green beans and summer squash. In the autumn segment, readers are shown meals that use pawpaws, apples and peppers. And once the snow starts to fall, winter greens, root vegetables, winter squash and sweet potatoes are thrown into the mix.

Cleary notes that several of the chapters offer variations on a single recipe. This is intentional, she says, and in line with her mission. “I’m a big believer in using what you’ve got and using things that you think taste really good so that you make a dish that you are going to enjoy,” she says. “Everybody’s tastes are different.”

The Southern Harvest Cookbook release party runs 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, at West End Bakery, 757 Haywood Road. The cookbook will be for sale at the event for $24.99. For more information, visit avl.mx/4h2.

Editor’s note: Cathy Cleary is an occasional freelance contributor to Xpress.

Asheville City Market’s winter location

Starting Saturday, Jan. 6, the Asheville City Market will be held inside the Asheville Masonic Temple. Opening day will feature live music from Vaden Landers and The Do Rights. The market will operate inside the Masonic Temple through March. Free parking is available across the street at HomeTrust Bank.

Asheville City Market runs 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays starting Jan. 6 at the Asheville Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway. For more information, visit avl.mx/15c.

Hendersonville PFLAG Kick Off and BBQ

The Hendersonville PFLAG chapter kicks off the new year with a barbecue dinner fundraiser. The organization is composed of parents, families, friends and allies uniting with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer. Its mission is to advocate for the advancement of equality through support, education and advocacy. The barbecue dinner will be served with smoked side dishes. Beer and wine will also be available for an additional fee.

The 2018 Hendersonville PFLAG Kick Off and BBQ runs 6:30-8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 8, at the 1898 Waverly Inn, 783 N. Main St., Hendersonville. There is a suggested $20 donation for adults and a $10 donation for students and children, payable at the door. To RSVP, visit avl.mx/4hg  or email jerry.w96@gmail.com. Seating is limited.

Twelfth Night at Rhubarb

Rhubarb will host Twelfth Night, a five-course dinner and beer pairing, Tuesday, Jan. 9, in collaboration with Catawba Brewing Co. and Gaining Ground Farm. Menu highlights include turkey neck gumbo shepherd’s pie, goat cheese burrata filled with figgy pudding and timpano, which is described in a press release as “an epiphany of pasta, meatballs, eggs [and] salami wrapped in dough and bathed in wintry tomato sauce.” Proceeds from the event will benefit Verner Center for Early Learning, a nonprofit that provides high-quality early care and education to children 5 and younger throughout Buncombe County.

Twelfth Night begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan 9, at Rhubarb, 7 SW Pack Square. Tickets are $75. For more information on Verner Center for Early Learning, visit vernerearlylearning.org. For more information the dinner and to purchase tickets, visit rhubarbasheville.com.

Fundraising dinner at Farm Burger South Asheville

On Tuesday, Jan. 9, Farm Burger South Asheville will donate 10 percent of its proceeds to Veterans Healing Farm, a nonprofit. According to the organization’s website, the nonprofit’s mission is “to serve our nation’s veterans by growing and donating high-quality fruits, vegetables and flower bouquets to veterans and their caregivers free of charge.” Veterans Healing Farm also offers workshops on gardening techniques.

The fundraiser happens 4-9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, at Farm Burger South Asheville, 1831 Hendersonville Road. For details on Veterans Healing Farm, visit veteranshealingfarm.org. For more on the event, visit avl.mx/4h3.

Ode to Louise’s Kitchen pop-up

Louise’s Kitchen in Black Mountain may have closed for the winter, but don’t tell that to Foothills Black Mountain Butcher Bar. “We love Louise’s, and we know the community does as well,” says Foothills owner Casey McKissick in a press release. For this reason, Foothills has coordinated the pop-up breakfast event Ode to Louise’s Kitchen. Starting Wednesday, Jan. 3, employees from Louise’s Kitchen will serve breakfast favorites at Foothills 7:30-11 a.m. Monday-Saturday, as well as Sunday brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m. According to the press release, patrons can also expect “plenty of locally roasted coffee, orange juice, mimosas and full bar service on the weekends.”

Ode to Louise’s Kitchen runs Jan. 3-21 at Foothills Black Mountain Butcher Bar, 107 Black Mountain Ave. For details, visit avl.mx/4hk

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist. For his weekly #tuesdayhistory tidbits on Asheville, follow him on Instagram @tcalder.

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