Thursday, September 05, 2013

VeggieDag Thursday: Help publish Lucy Saunder's "Dinner in the Beer Garden."

VeggieDag Thursday
VeggieDag is an occasional Thursday post on an animal-free diet and its issues.

Beer cookbooks usually come in one of two flavors: a collection of recipes that should be served with beer (but don't have to be) and a compendium of recipes using beer as an integral ingredient. Combining both approaches, four of the possibly best beer cookbooks, currently in-print, have been written by one person, Lucy Saunders.

Now, Chef Saunders has gone and written a fifth. And, she's asking for our help to get it published.

Dinner in the Beer Garden is my new cookbook about pairing craft beer with plant-based recipes, enjoyed outdoors in gardens and other social spaces. This isn't about traditional biergarten food like ham hocks and bratwurst. It's a cookbook for people who like carrots and kale - as well as butter, fish, cheese and chocolate! Profiles of gorgeous brewery gardens, a chapter on the history and design of beer gardens, and juicy color photographs of recipes turn the book into a tasty read. Recipes are both original and contributed by home cooks and chefs in the craft brewing community.

Ms. Saunders, to be honest, likes her grilled meats and her barbeque. But she also likes her fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables. And it's those flora that are the main ingredients of this, her fifth book, Dinner in the Beer Garden.

It's taken Ms. Saunders 3 years to write this book. For me, a non-animal eater of twenty-two years, Dinner in the Beer Garden sounds as if it'll be quite worth the anticipation. After all, beer isn't just for pizza and schnitzel anymore. As Ms. Saunders writes on her website,, beer itself is food: "in cooking, at the table, and in the glass."

But the feast isn't quite ready; the book hasn't yet been published. To raise the funds necessary for publication, Ms. Saunders has opened a Kickstarter account. I'm supporting Lucy, and I'm asking you to consider doing so as well. Remember, that, with Kickstarter, even a small donation can make a big difference ... if enough of us contribute.

Lucy Saunders promises that Dinner in the Beer Garden will be a cookbook for people who love craft beer, who love cooking with fresh produce, and who love sharing meals in sociable garden spaces. She explains that more than 50 recipe testers in home and professional kitchens across the country have tested every one of the more than 100 recipes. She teases with a few titles of the contents: butternut squash and beets salad, roasted corn with chile and Cotija sauce, fresh beet gnocchi, hop-infused grilled cheese and heirloom tomatoes, millet flatbread with Manchego and rosemary, summer rolls with coconut-Sriracha dipping sauce.

So ... What's not to like? Click on that green button.

UPDATE: 8 September 2013.
While I was sleeping, the dream came true - overnight, the cookbook project achieved 101 percent funding! Huzza! Thank you!! I'm thrilled and excited to share Dinner in the Beer Garden both in print and as an ebook. From here on, any extra funding will go toward creating short videos to illustrate techniques and recipes. The wonderful team at Trillium Productions in Evanston will work with me (they produced the video for this kickstarter). Many thanks to all the backers, and look for a personal note from me later today.

Please continue to share and let people know about this cookbook - and you can learn more about the inspiration for the cookbook by listening to my interview with Lisa Morrison, the Beer Goddess, who hosts the Beer O'Clock radio show on Portland's KXL-FM.

Thank you! Heading back to work in the beer garden,
Lucy @lucybeercook

  • Here's a YFGF review of Lucy Saunders' most recent cookbook, The Best of American Beer & Food. And, here's her 2008 appearance on a Washington, D.C. television station, where she cooked 'live' Creamy Cavatappi with Fresh Corn, Fennel and Wild Mushrooms, a recipe from her book.
  • September 2013 is Vegan MoFo: the Vegan Month of Food. While Dinner in the Beer Garden won't be a vegan cookbook, many of its recipes will be, and many, at the very least, will be vegetarian.
  • Why the name VeggieDag? Here. Suggestions and submissions from chefs and homecooks welcomed! Here. Follow on Twitter: #VeggieDag.

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