If you have a box of clippings in the cupboard with the words “Jude’s Kitchen” at the top, it’s time for a cull.
Judie Steeves—whom you may or may not know is the talented cook and writer behind the popular Capital News cooking column—has finally released her first cook book, a compilation of the best of the best of her newspaper column.
“I’ve been cutting out these recipes from the Capital News for years, but I never realized they were your recipes because you called it Jude’s Kitchen,” Mayor Sharon Shepherd told Steeves as she opened the book launch in the Okanagan Wine Museum Thursday evening.
Published by the Okanagan Institute, Steeves said she does not have a favourite in the book because the publication really is a collection of all of her favourites. After almost 13 years writing the column for the Capital News—which has also been published in Country Life in B.C. for the last seven and for a couple of years in the North Shore News—she has so many recipes she was able to glean the crème de la crème for this “first edition.”
“The recipes are not super sophisticated,” Steeves said. “But they’re something you could serve to company. This is not a can of soup over a vegetable kind of thing.”
Focused on using local foods, with local wine pairing advice from Okanagan wine critic John Schreiner, the book brings cooks back to a more sustainable, environmentally-conscious lifestyle in which the food on the plate is local, fresh and always seasonally appropriate.
In fact, the near 300-page effort follows the seasons, starting in spring, to match the release date, and walking cooks through summer, fall and winter with recipes matching the natural growing season.
“It’s a messy business giving birth to a book,” Steeves said at the launch, noting she has many friends to thank for creating this uniquely Okanagan publication.
Kelowna Museums executive director Wayne Wilson attended the launch and said he believes this local flavour is a real asset to the valley.
“Food in every culture is really an important component of that society,” he said, noting the fact that it’s a local person whose come up with the recipes, using locally produced food, and then published it locally makes it a really special piece of work for the Okanagan.
Yet while it all might seem like the perfect plan now, Steeves said the fact she even started writing the column was really happenstance. During one round of redesigns on the Capital News, the editor decided to have a food page.
As a mom who liked to cook, grow a garden and generally ate seasonally as she fed her family, Steeves threw her hat in the ring. The local, fresh and seasonal nature developed organically.
Celebrating B.C. Season’s of Abundance is available in local book stores (Mosaic and soon Chapters) for $29.95. Copies can be reserved through www.judie