March 3, 2015

Brown Eggs & Jam Jars with Aimée Wimbush-Bourque

Brown Eggs and Jam Jars Giveaway | The Naptime Chef

I’ve written about my friend Aimée before as she is the editor of Simple Bites, one of my favorite food blogs. Her recipes and tips are timeless and she is one of my most constant sources of inspiration. I should also mention that her incredibly organized refrigerator makes me weep with envy! Today I am writing about Aimée for the best reason – she wrote her first cookbook! Brown Eggs and Jam Jars: Family Recipes from The Kitchen of Simple Bites is a triumph of family food, gardening tips, and the warmth of Aimée’s hearth. I can’t say enough about it. Here is my little interview with Aimée and your chance to win your very own copy!

1) There are so many angles to this book and they all demonstrate your love for urban homesteading and how you grow a lot of your own food and feed your family. As you outlined this book how did you go about organizing the chapters and deciding what to include (kids in the kitchen, egg education, building garden beds, recipes, and more!) and how to include it? (ps­ thank you for all the jam jar hack ideas!)

The cookbook closely follows our day-­to­-day life, so it made sense to build the content around the seasons and events they bring. We eat and preserve food very seasonally, so that helped narrow down which recipe went where. I wanted each chapter to feel like a menu ­ with a beverage, a salad, a main, a dessert, etc, so that whittled down my options for recipes and brought a balance to the overall selection. The homesteading features were woven in to fit with the season, and the Kids Can sections were slotted in near the end of the books completion.

Brown Eggs and Jam Jars

2) The photography and styling of this book is so rich and inviting. After I finished it I felt like I had visited your home and met your family! How did you determine what would be photographed and how it would be presented? It was one of the homiest and warmly photographed cookbooks I’ve ever read.

Thank you! I wanted to achieve exactly what you have felt ­ that readers had joined us on our urban homestead, celebrating the joyous events that the seasons bring. So I really appreciate the feedback! My photographers wrote a ‘behind the scenes’ post about the photos in the book  that was really fun. I chose to work with them because of their unique approach to lifestyle photography. They are able to capture life as it happens, which was ideal for BEJJ, because I didn’t want to really ‘style’ our events. Gathering such as the Harvest Dinner or Jam Swap happened in the same way they do every year, only Tim and Angela were around to document them for the cookbook.

3) Canada plays a staring roll in this book. Can you tell us a little how Canadian cuisine differs from American and British food? You’ve really helped me see how it is a unique niche and your distinctly Canadian view deserves some attention.

Canadian cuisine is uniquely diverse because of the melting pot of cultures and the sheer expanse of the country. We eat close to the land and feast on an array of gorgeous produce, fine cheese, wild and domestic meats, and uniquely grown ingredients. I have lived nearly coast to coast and there are recipes in the book that reflect that history, from my Baba’s pickles to my take on classic Quebec Tourtiere. And of course there’s an entire chapter on maple syrup ­ it doesn’t get more Canadian than that! So many people are saying that the books feels decidedly Canadian and that makes me so happy.

4) Were there any “outtakes” we don’t see here? I always have to wonder if there was a wilting plant that wouldn’t stand up, or a child that upset the perfectly styled cookie plate at the last second. Those kind of things happen in my house all the time and often make for the best behind-­the­-scenes stories!

Oh plenty!! We worked with anywhere from 2-­5 kids around (mine plus the photographers), and there were countless upsets and re-­shoots.The hardest part was holding them back from diving into the food all the time, because it was always perfectly edible and ready-­to­-eat, not overly propped and styled! Clara’s picnic photo (the opening image for Chapter 3: Picnics) was a challenge and a half. She wouldn’t sit still, the wildflowers kept getting trampled so we had to move to a new area, and the food kept wilting in the sun. Oh and those yellow blooms only last about 5 days in spring, so there was no option for a re-shoot. Still, we got the shot!

Brown Eggs and Jam Jars 2

5) I’ve hear that there is another book in the works. Can you share a little tidbit about the theme and what we can expect?

You’re right! I’ve started working on a second cookbook, although the theme is still under wraps. Readers can expect it to feel like a natural sequel to Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, with 100 more family­-friendly recipes featuring natural ingredients. I’m once again working with Penguin Random House and photographer’s Tim and Angela Chin, so the new book will be every bit as beautiful as the first.

Thanks for stopping by, Aimée!

To enter to win a copy of Brown Eggs & Jam Jars:

1) Leave a comment sharing your favorite kind of dinner to share with your family!

2) Follow Simple Bites on Facebook and follow Kelsey Banfield on Facebook.

3) Contest runs from March 3rd through March 10th. Winner will be announced in the March 13th newsletter! Good luck!