Book Review: Strawberry Love and Blueberry Love by Cynthia Graubart

by Crystal Sands

I find it difficult to convey to people just how much I love berries, especially strawberries. When I was a little girl, strawberries were my favorite food; they were the most magnificent things in the world to me. We didn’t have a lot of money for fresh fruits and vegetables, but, if I was lucky, I would get strawberries or strawberry cake from someone on my birthday each year.

Today, as I look at the strawberry beds, full of gorgeous red berries, I feel rich.

One of the things I love about living in Maine is the way our summers are, to a great extent, defined by berries. There is strawberry season, raspberry season, and blueberry season in my part of Maine, and I treasure each season as it comes and mourn each as it goes.

When I learned the James Beard award-winning cookbook author, Cynthia Graubart, had written two cookbooks, Strawberry Love and Blueberry Love, each singularly devoted to the berries I love, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. When they arrived, I was not disappointed.

These books are beautiful, inside and out. I am a very visual learner when it comes to following new recipes, so I was thrilled to see there are images for every single recipe. This is not always the case with cookbooks, and I find myself much more likely to try recipes when I can see what they look like. The pictures are gorgeous and helpful, and they make you want to try each and every recipe in the books.

And speaking of trying recipes, when I get a cookbook (and I have oh-so many), I am thrilled if I am excited by about half of the recipes. I think it’s to be expected that we will find some recipes that speak to us in a good cookbook, but not all of them are going to appeal to us. Perhaps it was because of my adoration of berries, but as I read through the pages of these books, I found myself feeling like I wanted to try every single recipe. This also speaks volumes, of course, to Cynthia’s efforts and ability to understand her readers.

If you love berries, you are going to love the recipes in these books. In Strawberry Love, Cynthia includes main course recipes like Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Strawberry Onion Jam, as well as desert recipes like Stunning Strawberry Summer Birthday Cake (you know what I want for my next birthday). And the Strawberry Creamsicles are on my list to make this week.

There are just as many magnificent recipes in Blueberry Love. From Homemade Blueberry Vodka to Sour Cream-Blueberry Bundt cake, there are so many ways to enjoy blueberries in this book. And, living in Maine, where our blueberry season is long and lovely, I can see I am going to have many exciting and delicious ways to share blueberries with my family.

These books will be a treasure to anyone who loves berries, and who doesn’t love berries? Priced at just $12.95, I cannot recommend these books enough to Farmer-ish readers. I adore them! You can purchase Strawberry Love and Blueberry Love at Bookshop, where a portion of profits will go to your local bookstore–or just contact your local bookstore.