Congratulations to our giveaway winners Elizabeth and Mary B on winning Georgia Pellegrini’s new book, Modern Pioneering. Enjoy! 

I’ve been collecting and reviewing cookbooks for over thirty years now, so it only takes minutes for me to fan through a book and know if it belongs on my shelf or in the giveaway pile. Many books are filled with appealing recipes, but for a book to make it to my shelf, there has to be more.

I gave Georgia Pellegrini’s new book Modern Pioneering (Clarkson Potter) the fan test. Not only will this book make it on my bookshelf, it will likely earn a coveted spot on my kitchen counter. This smart, practical, eye-catching book is inspired.

For aspiring, experience-less gardeners (like me) there is a simple, clear tutorial for urbanites, suburbanites, and country dwellers. There are recipes, yes, but not the usual ones. Rather it’s what to do with the stuff you might grow or pick or forage… like Rosehip Cardamom Tea, Lemony Fig Jam, or Potato, Apple, and Parsnip Skillet Tart. And then there are the little sidebar jewels scattered throughout. Did you know a post-shampoo beer rinse makes for healthy hair? Or that you can make your own tinted lip gloss with coconut oil, vitamin E, Vaseline, and beet juice (I’m totally doing it).

The home pantry offers tips and recipes for pickling—love her recipe for classic Watermelon Rinds creatively flavored with star anise, fennel, and cardamom. There are sections on curing, drying (I’ll be making her Cranberry Chews this fall) preserving and jamming, as well as preserving with fat (I made—and loved—Salmon in a Jar, see recipe below). She teaches fermenting too, with recipes for kimchi and kefir.

After reading “How to Find Your Way Without a Compass” in her survival section, I fantasized about getting lost in the woods. And after studying, “How to Create a Pocket-Size 48-Hour Survival Tool Kit”—it all starts with an Altoids container—I’m definitely on it.

In Weekend Warrior Projects, she inspired me to make colored Mason Jars and turn bottles into glassware. And as someone who lost twenty-seven trees during hurricane Sandy, I was grateful for instructions on how to turn a tree stump into a table.

Lucky for you, we’re giving away two copies. Just tell us why you’d like Georgia Pellegrini’s Modern Pioneer. Giveaway ends this Thursday night, April 10th at 9 PM ET.

I’m first. I want Modern Pioneer because Georgia tells me how to make Pine Tree Tea!

Salmon in a Jar
Makes about 1 cup

1 salmon fillet (about 1 pound) skin removed
4 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
6 shallots, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
6 fresh thyme sprigs
4 fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or enough to cover

1. Cut the salmon fillets on the bias into 1/8-inch thin slices, that is on the diagonal going against the grain lines of the fish. In a small nonreactive bowl, combine the salt and the sugar Toss the salmon slices in the bowl, cover and cure in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours, until the pieces are firm to the touch but still pliable.
2. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and rinse the slices well under running water. Place them in a quart mason jar and layer with the shallots, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, sage, peppercorns, coriander, and vinegar, finishing with the oil until fully covered.
3. Seal the jar and store it in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving to let the flavors infuse. The olive oil will become opaque, so let it come to room temperature before serving.