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For too many of us, autumn and winter are seen as the 'lean seasons': gone are the fresh strawberries of summer, the crisp asparagus of spring is just a memory, and most local farm stands have packed it in for the year. It's no wonder people get depressed around this time: short, rainy days are difficult enough even without having to contemplate five months of peaches-from-the-tin or mealy tomatoes from Florida.
Of course, we wouldn't be writing this if we didn't have an easy antidote to the 'winter-food blues';. Our advice: instead of resigning yourself to living without for half a year, hustle to the nearest bookstore and check out some of the Northwest's other natural resources: cookbook authors! This region is full of delicious fruits and vegetables that thrive in the cold season (you can find more details on exactly what's out there with Seasonal Cornucopia or Epicurious), and local cookbooks are a great way to find recipes that show them off.
Over the next few weeks, Step Up to the Plate will be running a series of posts that will introduce you to some of the best that the local culinary landscape has to offer. If we do our job right, you'll never lack for warm, satisfying, local-and-scrumptious goodies to fill your table throughout the entire course of winter.
So, away with your canned goods! Break out the oven mitts! Discover just how tasty and abundant these winter months can be!