At Mesa's Edge
Cooking and Ranching in Colorado's North Fork Valley
By Eugenia Bone
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780618221264, 344pp.)
Publication Date: June 2004
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Eugenia Bone was perfectly happy with her life as a New York City food writer, but she knew that her husband, a transplanted westerner, was filled with a discontent he couldn't explain. So when he returned from a fishing trip in the Rockies one day and announced that he wanted to buy a forty-five-acre ranch in Crawford, Colorado (population 255), she reluctantly said yes. Then she loaded imported pasta, artichokes in oil, and cured Italian salami into her duffle bag and headed west with her two young children.
At Mesa's Edge is the witty, often moving story of ranch restoration and of struggles with defiant skunks, barbed wire, marauding cows, and loneliness. Eugenia learns to garden in the drought, to fly-fish, and to forage. In the process, she discovers the bounty of the region. She fries zucchini flowers in batter and dips them in cilantro-flavored mayonnaise, grills flavorful T-bones from the local ranchers' grass-fed beef, pan-fries trout, fills crepes with wild mushrooms, and makes cherry pies with thick, sugary crusts. Gradually, she begins to adjust to the rhythms of the land.
Partly a memoir, partly a cookbook with 150 appealing recipes, At Mesa's Edge is a transporting tale of rejuvenation, a celebration of everything local, and a reminder that the best food is to be found in our own back yards.
EUGENIA BONE writes for many national magazines and newspapers, including Saveur, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, and the New York Times. Her Web site, etable.net, is devoted to seasonal culinary arts.