Native Georgian James Farmer waxes positively ecclesiastical about his garden in his latest book.
In his first book, A Time to Plant (Gibbs-Smith 2011), landscape designer James T. Farmer III revived the home garden as the epicenter of outdoor living and entertaining for a new generation of Southerners. Now, in A Time to Cook—his fifth book from Gibbs-Smith, fresh on bookstore shelves this month—James harvests his garden for a bountiful feast made for every season. Here, he tells us what he’s most looking forward to serving this spring and summer.
Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor
“The cover of the book is a bowl of peaches—does that say it all right there? I love peaches for breakfast, lunch and dinner, over my cereal or oatmeal in the morning, in peach bread, on pound cake … I even love to grill peaches and serve them with pork.”
Give Peas a Chance
“One summer delicacy that I’m really excited about is my lady peas salad. Blanch the peas, and you’ll still have that crunch and that earthy greenness of the peas, then toss with a really light dressing. What I love about this salad is that it’s beautiful for anything, from Sunday dinner to lunch for your mama or a snack for you.”
Feast with Your Eyes
“I always quote my grandmother: ‘We eat with our eyes first.’ So, before you have taken that first bite, you have feasted visually. If you’re having a meal with summer garden vegetable pasta—tomatoes, corn, squash and zucchini—all of that together in a basket is a gorgeous centerpiece. I love using a bouquet garni of basil, rosemary and chives as individual centerpieces. They bring the senses to the table. I decorate with what I’m cooking with.”