Spring is finally completely here! In Oklahoma, we've been flirting with it for a while, but I think we are finally done with temps that dip into the 40s and below. Good riddance! I hate the cold. Our highs are generally in the 70s and 80s. Basically, I'm a happy camper (you know, aside from looming finals...).
This nice weather ushers in the fresh fruits and vegetables that I actually enjoy eating--strawberries, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, and, soon enough, peaches. :) My boyfriend and I decided to give our front and back porches some color. He planted flowers and I planted some herbs and tomatoes, so that I can make lots of yummy pasta using fresh ingredients that I grew myself! I attempted to include a picture of my plants, but computer issues.
There is a point to all of this that is bookish related...
Spring has me growing very mindful about what I'm eating. I want to eat foods that make me feel good and are good for me. In true book nerd fashion, I've found some reading material to go along with this new urge of mine.
Here's what I've found:
Unprocessed by Megan Kimble
--I'm currently reading this one. Kimble decided to eliminate processed foods from her diet when she was a grad student in her mid-20s. She didn't have a lot of money and she quickly discovered that having to do things like making her own bread was time consuming--but so rewarding. I love how, thus far, she's tying in a discussion about some of the sociological, economic, and environmental ramifications of her diet versus the American diet. It really sparked the idea of planting my own stuff and generally making my own food.
The 20-30 Something Gardening Guide: A No-Fuss, Down and Dirty Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow Stuff by Dee Nash
--I love books that are designed for people who don't have a ton of time or skill, but still want to make positive changes in their lives. I haven't yet had the time to dive into this one, but it looks like it will be really useful. It begins with container gardens, which is what I have right now, but transitions into full-fledged gardens. It even has tips on rotating what you plant for the seasons.
Food Rules by Michael Pollan
--I read this one a couple of years ago. I need to re-read it. This book is comprised of 64 quick and easy rules for better eating. A lot of it is common sense and/or self-explanatory, but it helps to see things in black and white. The book is a distillation of Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
, which I have not yet read, but now definitely want to. Pollan's basic message boils down to "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." It certainly seems like something to strive for.
Now a couple of cookbooks that I have been loving...
Audrey at Home: A Kitchen Table Biography by Luca Dotti
--This one is part biography, part cookbook. Everyone knows Audrey Hepburn and many view her as a classic style icon. However, she was also really into food, particularly fresh food. Her son, Dotti, wrote this book that talks about Audrey's life, her relationship with food as a means of bringing people together, and includes recipes for some of her favorite dishes. I've read part of the biography, but kept flipping through to see all of the recipes. I'll definitely have to read more thoroughly when I have time this summer.
Tuscan Sun Cookbook by Frances Mayes and Edward Mayes
--One of my favorite parts of Under the Tuscan Sun
is the recipes Mayes includes of simple but hearty Italian meals she and her husband prepared after a long day's work. Here, Mayes and her husband have compiled some of her favorite recipes and not all of them are pasta! :) I love flipping through this book for recipes and the food porn. There are excellent pictures.
And one more fun foodie book...
Life Is Meals: A Food Lover's Book of Days by James and Kay Salter
--Each day of the year gets its own treatment in this book. Some days have recipes. Some have food-related anecdotes. Some have tips on entertaining. It's a fun and thoughtful book. I definitely need to reread it.
And lastly, I want to give a quick shoutout to a couple of food blogs that have given me a lot of inspiration--Iowa Girl Eats
and The New York Times Food Blog
. I started printing copies of recipes that caught my eye. That pile quickly became unmanageable. I've since hole-punched them, and organized them in a binder. I can pull out the ones I want to try that week, write notes on them after I make the recipe, get splotches of food on them (it gives them character!), and toss the ones that aren't keepers. It's kind of fun curating my own book of recipes.
Are there any amazing food books I left off? Any spectacular cookbooks out there?
Buy Kohbar Painting from Madhubani Art.ReplyDelete
I got into eating unprocessed food back in the 70s when it was also a thing! Laurel's Kitchen is a classic, but I like Mollie Katzen's cookbooks better now, and she is still coming out with them. For people who are venturing into veganism or just want to eat a more plant-based diet, I like But I Could Never Go Vegan and Plant-Powered for Life.ReplyDelete
I love the sound of Audrey at Home and Tuscan Sun Cookbook. Here in the UK we have two popular chefs known as 'The Hairy Bikers' they do some great, fun and simple cooking TV shows and books. I am currently working my way through their 'dieter' cookbooks which have healthy and well-balanced versions of family classics and take away food.ReplyDelete
Happy cooking :-D