“Grow, Cook, Eat”

That’s the title of Willi Galloway’s awaited book! It’s a gorgeous, practical guide – enhanced by Jim Henkens’s photographs of enticing vegetables and Willi at work in her garden. In the book, Willi describes the pleasures and satisfactions of eating what you grow – and tells you how.

Many people know Willi (to call her Willi is like calling Deborah Madison Deborah) from KUOW’s popular Seattle radio show “Greendays,” her website (digginfood.com), and her many guest appearances at gardening events. (I first met Willi and wrote about her here .)

Willi is a lively speaker and writer – full of energy and enthusiasm. She loves what she does, knows it well, and invites us along. In the book’s introduction she says: “So think of the guides and advice in these pages as a recipe you can make your own – add a cup more here, a pinch less there – and have as much fun as possible.”

The first chapter of the book is a perfect guide for new gardeners, and chock-full of hints for more experienced ones. In a solid, readable way, she covers the gardening fundamentals from planning and planting to dealing with weeds.

Then the book divides into sections on herbs, greens, legumes, squash, cabbage, roots, tubers, and bulbs, warm-season vegetables, and fruit. Each category gets specific by describing the vegetables, their cultivation preferences, and when and how to harvest.

But what makes this book stand out is what comes next: past the growing and the harvesting of each vegetable to the cooking. After reading about basil, turn the page and encounter Willi’s “Nona’s Pesto,” or learn about growing shallots on one page, followed by their use in “Everyday Vinaigrette” on the next.

The wordsmith called her copy of “Grow, Cook, Eat” a handsome book. The elegant, inviting design begins with the cover – a well-used pan full of roasted carrots on a weathered blue table. I am inspired, encouraged, and hungry to make her “Butternut Squash Tacos with Spicy Black Beans” – “also Rhubarb Chutney”!

Congratulations on a keeper Willi!

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