Writer's Digest Self-Published Book AwardsThe Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook has been awarded the Santa Monica Library 2008 Green Prize for Sustainable Literature (Local Impact) and the Writers’ Digest 2008 Grand Prize for Self-Published Books! I’m pleased to have my work recognized for its core message and the journey to bring it forth.

September’s trip to New England was delicious. The taste memory of my plum-ginger crisp recipe (SMFM Cookbook page 178) made by Al Forno’s Johanne Killeen using the last Rhode Island summer plums still lingers. In Boston, I gathered local Siena Farm fixings for a family Rosh Hashanah dinner: sweet carrots, parsnips, and walnut-sized golden beets for roasting (and their tops for sautéing with garlic and onions); King Edward potatoes for smashing with long-cooked leeks; fennel and treviso (a radicchio) for a shaved salad; and from our jaunt to southern Maine, Cortland apples for a hot-from-the-oven crisp. For more autumn suggestions, please see my Seasonal Produce Guide in November’s Bon Appétit.

And, I was in San Francisco recently visiting Marcella and Victor Hazan who are on book tour for her new memoir, Amarcord (you can see my blog about the visit and the book here).

I’m happy to announce the publication of Eat: Los Angeles (Prospect Park Books, December 1, 2008), a savvy Angeleno’s guide to great restaurants and food resources—even taco trucks. It’s by local writers and bloggers, including yours truly.

On the eve of this important national election, we take heart in the growing awareness of local sustainability issues. Seems we feel the need to plunge our hands—literally and figuratively—into healthy, living soil.