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About Leda Meredith
Lifelong forager, edible wild plant and food preservation expert, Mother Earth News writer, locavore, sustainable food systems educator
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Books By Leda Meredith
The ultimate guide to putting up food.
How many ways can you preserve a strawberry? You can freeze it, dry it, pickle it, or can it. Milk gets cultured, or fermented, and is preserved as cheese or yogurt. Fish can be smoked, salted, dehydrated, and preserved in oil. Pork becomes jerky. Cucumbers become pickles. There is no end to the magic of food preservation, and in Preserving Everything, Leda Meredith leads readers—both newbies and old hands—in every sort of preservation technique imaginable.
From vegetables and fruits to eggs, cheese, and nuts, Leda Meredith unlocks the secrets to pickling everything.
Pickling is more than a form of food preservation. It is also a way of turning mild-flavored vegetables and fruits into crunchy, tangy side dishes and intensely flavored condiments. In Pickling Everything, food preservation expert Leda Meredith covers the ins and outs of home pickling, explaining the differences between lacto-fermented probiotic pickles and vinegar-based pickling and how to pickle and can safely. In addition to favorites like cucumbers, green beans, and beets, she includes recipes for nuts, legumes, eggs, and meats, encouraging readers to try something new. The 80+ recipes include:
- Half Sours (deli dills)
- Tabasco-Style Hot Sauce
- 48-Hour Mixed Garden Pickles
- Spiced Pickled Plums
Make the most of garden and farmers’ market abundance, create fabulous gifts, and expand your pantry with the unique flavors of pickled foods.
From harvesting skills that will allow you to gather from the same plant again and again to highlighting how to get the most out of each and every type of wild edible, trusted expert Leda Meredith explores the most effective ways to harvest, preserve, and prepare all of your foraged foods. Featuring detailed identification information for over forty wild edibles commonly found across North America, the plant profiles in this book focus on sustainable harvesting techniques that can be applied to hundreds of other plants. This indispensable reference also provides simple recipes that can help you make the most of your harvest each season.
A lifelong forager, Leda Meredith is the author of five books including The Forager’s Feast: How to Identify, Gather, and Prepare Wild Edibles, The Locavore’s Handbook: the Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Local on a Budget, and Northeast Foraging: 120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Beach Plums to Wineberries.
She has a certification in Ethnobotany and is an instructor at the New York Botanical Garden and at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. She is the winner of a Teaching Excellence award from Adelphi University. Leda was a professional dancer for over thirty years with companies including San Francisco Opera Ballet, American Ballet Theater II, Dances Patrelle, and Jennifer Muller/The Works, among many others. She continues to teach, direct, and choreograph dance internationally. You can find out more about what she’s up to on her website at www.ledameredith.com
“Personal, visceral, intimate, natural and authentic. All these words describe Leda’s book. You can literally taste melancholy in one dish and joy in another. Food is nothing without context, both the context of the environment in which they are sourced and also where they fit in our memories. This lexicon of memories interwoven with cherished recipes immerses you in an enchanted story-land where you can peek into the world of art and ballet, off-the-beaten-path travel, as well as secret gardens and heartbreak. Leda’s life is as rich and textured as her recipes. Although her stories are most likely exotic and far from many people’s common experiences, there’s something deeply identifiable and familiar, too. The longing to be free and in nature, and to be sustainable and be able to cook and preserve in a modern world resonates.”
—Mia Wasilevich, author, educator, chef, food photographer and stylist
“What a delicious read! This book is such a beautiful blend of both familiar and unusual recipes, fascinating facts, and the poignant but impressive story of a multi-talented dancer’s life. I loved it.” —Cynthia Gregory, Prima Ballerina
“In this engaging memoir filled with mouth-watering recipes, Leda Meredith recounts a lifetime of urban foraging adventures. Begun in early childhood harvesting horta in San Francisco with her Greek great-grandmother, Meredith’s foraging ways bring continuity and meaning to her life’s twists and turns, as she repeatedly finds healing in food and her connections to it. This is a book sure to inspire readers to find pleasure in what is close at hand.”
—Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America’s Underground Food Movements and Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-culture Foods
“Many people tout the benefits of eating locally. Leda Meredith lives them. Part memoir, part travelogue, part recipe book, Botany, Ballet, and Dinner from Scratch combines Meredith’s passion for dance, foraging, gardening, cooking, and writing into an appetizing brew.
A field guide/cookbook for foraging enthusiasts
Delicious wild edible plants and mushrooms are abundant throughout North America, not only in the wilderness but in urban areas, too. Learn how to identify, harvest, and eat the tastiest plants in your backyard. Intended as much for the cooking enthusiast as for the survivalist, this book includes recipes that will transform even the most common edible backyard weeds into guest-worthy fare. Even experienced foragers will be impressed with plantain leaf chips that are crisper and tastier than kale chips. Dandelion flowers become wine, Japanese knotweed becomes rhubarb-like compote and tangy sorbet, red clover blossoms give quick bread a delightfully spongy texture and hint of sweetness.