Buckhorn Springs Heritage Cookbook
By Lauren, Leslie, and Bruce Sargent
I was recently contacted to review Buckhorn Springs Heritage Cookbook, by Lauren, Leslie, and Bruce Sargent. This is a unique cookbook that celebrates a family’s dream and those people the dream has touched. There is passion for the land, its history dating back to the American Indians, and how various owners tried their luck. The winners are the Sargents' who bring skill and love to a dream with success.
The book is woven like a tapestry. A cast of many lend their voice and stories about how Buckhorn Springs influenced them and lingers in their memories. Pictures are copious with before and after shots of the buildings, children growing up, and tempting food.
The stories and recipes are divided by the time of day; beginning with Morning and a selection of quick breads, a frittata, granola, and pancakes. All recipes are simply laid out and easy to follow. Noon’s offerings are many with various wraps, salads, and soups, just the right sustenance for a break in the day. Night is more substantial with many filling and mostly vegetarian dishes. After Hours has the kind of offerings that you want to take back to your cabin for a midnight snack.
Leslie Sargent is the driving force in the kitchen. She found her culinary infatuation at twelve when she began cooking for her family. The Buckhorn Kitchen philosophy is to create dishes “simple and fresh, with ingredients from the harvests of local farmers”. Her challenge has been to serve food that fits the wide variety of clients who pass through, taking into account diets, allergies, and food restrictions.
With that in mind, the recipes are stand alone terrific but with room for additions and subtractions to fit assorted diets. Leslie gives credit to her inspirational sources and suggests changes a cook may try. Always take note of the serving sizes because they vary.
If you try only one recipe in the Morning chapter it has to be Very Lemon Bread. This is a straight forward quick bread with the addition of a Lemon Pour that is poured over the bread while still warm. The pour soaks in and adds a fresh lemon infusion to the cake. Divine!
Lunch and dinner recipes embrace global flavors. Ginger Marinated Tofu Wraps with Peanut Sauce reside next to Sweet Potato Quesadillas and Minestrone for lunch. Aside from the usual salad suspects Leslie has included Quinoa Salad with Oranges, a brightly flavored dish with Middle Eastern spices, raisins, and almonds. Her Farro Salad has the addition of vaquer beans (sometimes called vaquero beans) that add protein, a unique color, and great texture. The dish is worth the adventure! Www.RanchoGordo.Com in Napa Valley, CA carries them.
A perfect hostess always sends her guests to bed with a little sweet. Leslie has that covered with a selection that appeals to all tastes and dietary restrictions. Vegan Wheat-Free Cashew Cookies, Summer Squash Spice Cake, Buck Bars (Leslie’s tasty answer to Cliff & Luna bars), and don’t forget Leslie’s Brownies or Lauren’s Oatmeal Granola all put a smile on visitor’s faces.
Buckhorn Springs Heritage Cookbook is an amazing story that one feels is ongoing and not yet at the end. It is a wonderful example of our unique state and what it has to offer the world.
I can’t wait to read the next installment!
Read! Eat! And Enjoy!