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FOR THE PERSON WHO BELIEVES YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT PEOPLE THROUGH FOOD THAN TALKING

1. Cooking As Though You Might Cook Again by Danny Licht

Licht’s lyrical recipes turn our attention away from strict measurements and towards the sights and smells of our own pantries, our own fridges, and our own imaginations. A new book that feels oddly like a familiar classic. A reminder of the pleasure and the importance of living with what we have.

2. The Book of Difficult Fruit: Arguments for the Tart, Tender, and Unruly (with recipes) by Kate Lebo

In this work of unique invention, these and other difficult fruits serve as the central ingredients of twenty-six lyrical essays (and recipes!) that range from deeply personal to botanical, from culinary to medical, from humorous to philosophical. The entries are associative, often poetic, taking unexpected turns and giving sideways insights into life, relationships, self-care, modern medicine, and more. What if the primary way you show love is to bake, but your partner suffers from celiac disease? Why leave in the pits for Willa Cather’s Plum Jam? How can we rely on bodies as fragile as the fruits that nourish them?

Lebo’s unquenchable curiosity leads us to intimate, sensuous, enlightening contemplations. The Book of Difficult Fruit is the very best of food writing: graceful, surprising, and ecstatic.

3. If I Can Cook/You Know God Can by Ntozake Shange

A hidden gem by the author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is EnufSome Sing, Some CrySassafrassCypress & Indigo, and Betsey Brown, a delightfully eclectic tribute to black cuisine as a food of life that reflects the spirit and history of a people. This edition, with delectable illustrations, features additional recipes—including two vegan dishes—that connect the culinary past to the present and welcomes a new generation of readers. With recipes such as “Cousin Eddie’s Shark with Breadfruit” and “Collard Greens to Bring You Money,” Shange instructs us in the nuances of a cuisine born on the slave ships of the Middle Passage, spiced by the jazz of Duke Ellington, and shared by generations across the African diaspora. Rich with personal memories and historical insight, If I Can Cook/You Know God Can is a timeless story of the migration of a people and the cuisine that marks their living legacy and celebration of taste.

4. Comfort MOB : Food That Makes You Feel Good by MOB Kitchen

MOB Comfort is a celebration of hearty dishes from around the world that warm, soothe and fill us. Spending time in the kitchen recreating comfort is a way to indulge in dishes from the past and find new flavor and texture combinations that appeal to our senses.

5. Not Food for Old Men: Baja California: A Mexican Culinary Adventure by Anabelle Rosell Aguilar

This gastronomic and photographic adventure enables us to explore Baja California and its cuisine, a synthesis of traditional Mexican cooking and powerful influences coming from the American Southwest. For those who love pungent dishes, with chili packing a powerful punch, there is no place in the world better than Mexico. Burritos, huevos rancheros, guacamole, and tacos are dishes that everyone craves; and revisited in a Southern Californian key they become the cornerstones of a frontier region often neglected and, for this very reason, all the more authentic.

6. Take One Fish: The New School of Scale-to-Tail Cooking and Eating by Josh Niland

Forget everything you thought you knew about cooking fish with Take One Fish. There are no rules when it comes to fish according to James Beard award winning chef Josh Niland, only an endless world of possibilities. Celebrate the drips, crunchy bits, burnt edges and imperfections that are so central to Josh’s mission – to get more people having fun with fish ingenuity every day.

7. The Chicken Soup Manifesto: Recipes From Around The World by Jenn Louis

This is a celebration of one of the most widely interpreted, and beloved dishes the world over. With more than 100 recipes dedicated to this one special, often humble, meal, James Beard-nominee Jenn Louis shows readers how chicken soup is not only a source of heart-warming sustenance, but also a cure-all and the ultimate expression of love. With chapters broken down by region and country, The Chicken Soup Manifesto includes everything from Algerian Chorba Bayda, Colombian and Panamanian Sancocho and Thai Kao Tom Gai to Spanish Sopa de Picadillo. Along with the recipes, Jenn also covers essential chicken know-how, from selecting and storing, to stock 101 and brining.

8. The Natural Kitchen: Your Guide to the Sustainable Food Revolution by Deborah Eden Tull

Deborah Eden Tull draws upon years of experience as a monk, organic farmer, and chef to introduce simple but life-changing ways for urbanites to adopt a more mindful relationship with food, from shopping, menu planning, cooking, growing, and storing food, maintaining the kitchen, and eating out, to community food sharing and tips for parents. Beautifully illustrated, practical, and fun, this book is filled with anecdotes and step-by-step instructions to inspire neophytes and experienced homesteaders alike.

9. The New Southern Garden Cookbook by Sheri Castle

The New Southern Garden Cookbook offers over 300 brightly flavored recipes that will inspire beginning and experienced cooks, southern or otherwise, to take advantage of seasonal delights. Castle has organized the cookbook alphabetically by type of vegetable or fruit, building on the premise that when cooking with fresh produce, the ingredient, not the recipe, is the wiser starting point. While some dishes are inspired by traditional southern recipes, many reveal the goodness of gardens in new, contemporary ways. Peppered with tips, hints, and great stories, these pages make for good food and a good read.

10. The Month of Their Ripening: North Carolina Heritage Foods through the Year by Georgann Eubanks

Telling the stories of twelve North Carolina heritage foods, each matched to the month of its peak readiness for eating, Georgann Eubanks takes readers on a flavorful journey across the state. She begins in January with the most ephemeral of southern ingredients—snow—to witness Tar Heels making snow cream. In March, she takes a midnight canoe ride on the Trent River in search of shad, a bony fish with a savory history. In November, she visits a Chatham County sawmill where the possums are always first into the persimmon trees.

HOLIDAY 2021 GIFT GUIDE: THE FOODIE
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