In the past few years of speaking to groups about Asian vegetables, without fail, at least a few people in the group mention that they go to Asian or international supermarkets and want to try different vegetables but don’t know what the vegetables are or how to use them. Labels and signage can be misleading, the workers are generally not helpful, and people are stuck with – do I take a chance or not?
Even though The Chinese Kitchen Garden is a gardening book, it can also be a good resource for those of you who want to experiment, but are not sure where to begin. If you’ve wanted a handbook of sorts to carry with you through the market, to help you identify what the vegetable is, or how to use it, this is your book. You may see the crazy-looking taro root. You may have even had taro-flavored foods. But did you know taro root can be toxic and needs to be cooked first? After it's cooked, it’s right as rain and so yummy in a number of dishes – sweet and savory. You can learn all this and more in the book!
One would not think a pretty encyclopedic book about vegetables could be read from cover to cover. However, many readers have mentioned that this is the way they have approached The Chinese Kitchen Garden.
Not only are book groups popping up in neighborhoods and among friend groups, but garden book groups are also on the rise among garden clubs, Master Gardener groups, and in community gardens. If you read The Chinese Kitchen Garden with your group, please reach out to me. I'm happy to answer questions from your group or do a conference call, and I'm just eager to know the thoughts of your group! Here are some discussion questions to get you started!
Joy and jubilation! Today is the release of The Chinese Kitchen Garden, my family’s story and many years of work. Words cannot express my gratitude to Timber Press and all the individuals who have taken this project on. I’m so excited to dedicate this to my grandmother, who I did not get to know, but who inspired the book. I’m humbled to think that YOU may be reading about our story very soon!
Ask about The Chinese Kitchen Garden at any bookseller or buy it online at your favorite book selling site. If you have feedback, please reach out, I’d love to hear from you!
I'm really thrilled to announce that The Chinese Kitchen Garden book will be presented to the world from Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, DC on February 5th, 2017. The event will take place starting at 1pm and will be no doubt the most satisfying talk I've done, as I'll share about the writing of the book, my motivations and inspirations, and also answer your questions. There will be food samples to try and books to purchase as well! Please mark your calendars. Hope to see you there!
Chinese Kitchen Garden Events
Hello all! Timber Press and I have been working hard on planning some great events for 2017. Be sure to check out the Events page to see what I’ll be up to in the new year. If you’re anywhere nearby, I’d love to see you!
Go ahead and treat yourself!
The holidays are right around the corner and if you're like me, you're finding joy in buying or making the perfect gifts for people you love. But here's my suggestion to you... buy my book. I realize how self-promoting that sounds but hear me out... The Chinese Kitchen Garden will be released in February, after the holiday and New Year hustle and bustle are over. And...
The Chinese Kitchen Garden will give you everything you need in a beautiful package with gorgeous editorial style photographs. I know you'll love it. And the best part is, you can pre-order now and maybe forget that you have done so. This way when it arrives in February, you'll be just delighted with your gift to yourself! Pre-order now at your favorite bookseller!
Timber Press Blog Interview
If you're a gardener who appreciates quality reading, you likely have some Timber Press books on your coffee table. But did you know that the Timber Press blog is also packed with inspiring tips and ideas written by experts, staff, and authors? Check it out and subscribe to stay in the know! You can read my interview on the blog to learn more about the genesis of The Chinese Kitchen Garden (a quite personal story), hear about what I'm growing, and see some of photographer Sarah Culver's photos. The book is full of them and her work makes this book so beautiful. Please take a look and let me know what you think!
Old Cover vs. New Cover
Some of you may be familiar with the colorful cover of The Chinese Kitchen Garden. The beautiful main photo, by Sarah Culver, is of stem lettuce, also known as celtuce. Stem lettuce is a really interesting vegetable - a leafy top (not so delicious) on crisp and juicy stems (very delicious) that thicken as the plant grows.
But anyway, turns out, the publisher felt the original cover was too dark and decided to make a lighter one. Check out the new cover! This is what you’ll see everywhere on February 8th. I would agree that if you imagine the two covers on a stack of books in the bookstore, the lighter cover on the right is more eye-catching from a distance. Don’t you agree?
I'm Wendy Kiang-Spray, gardener, home cook, and author of The Chinese Kitchen Garden. Learn more about the book here. Enjoy the blog and be sure to like The Chinese Kitchen Garden Facebook page for notifications when there are new posts.