Recipes

Cherries in Winter: My Family's Recipe for Hope in Hard Times

By Suzan Colón

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"What is the secret to finding hope in hard times? When Suzan Colón was laid off from her dream job at a magazine during the economic downturn of 2008, she needed to cut her budget way, way back, and that meant home cooking. Her mother suggested, 'Why don't you look in Nana's recipe folder?' In the basement, Suzan found the tattered treasure, full of handwritten and meticulously typed recipes, peppered with her grandmother Matilda's commentary in the margins. Reading it, Suzan realized she had found something more than a collection of recipes--she had found the key to her family's survival through hard times.

"Suzan began re-creating Matilda's 'sturdy food' recipes for baked pork chops and beef stew, and Aunt Nettie's clam chowder made with clams dug up by Suzan's grandfather Charlie in Long Island Sound. And she began uncovering the stories of her resilient family's past. Taking inspiration from stylish, indomitable Matilda, who was the sole support of her family as a teenager during the Great Depression (and who always answered 'How are you?' with 'Fabulous, never better!'), and from dashing, twice-widowed Charlie, Suzan starts to approach her own crisis with a sense of wonder and gratitude. It turns out that the gift to survive and thrive through hard times had been bred in her bones all along."

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Have a Blueberry Blast

They're cool, tangy, and sweet—all at the same time. Best of all, when you go blueberry picking you can just reach out and pluck them. They are so much easier to pick than strawberries. There's no kneeling in the straw and mud only to find that critters have eaten the underside of your berries. Besides being fun and easy to pick, blueberries are splendid for you, too. They are rich in vitamin C and other important nutrients. Blueberries are in season for Virginia from mid-June to mid-July, so grab a bucket to fill with sweet berries.

Strawberry Time

Kids have a big advantage when it comes to picking strawberries because they grow close to the ground. With just a little know-how, you can be a berry good berry picker.

Tips for picking terrific berries:

  • Break the stem about a half an inch from the top of the berry.
  • Don't pick berries that are mushy-soft, nibbled on by insects or birds, green or pink
  • Don't pile your berries in a big bucket. Strawberries are heavy and have delicate skins. They can get bruised if they are piled thick, one on top of another.
  • Keep your berries cool, either in the shade or the refrigerator.
  • Don't wash them until you are ready to use them.
  • If you are going to eat your strawberries right away, you can go picking any time.
  • If you need your berries to last for longer, try to pick in the morning or in the early evening when it's cooler.
  • Wear a hat and sunscreen so you don't become red as a berry yourself.

Strawberries taste wonderfully good and are high in vitamin C, which helps your body heal, resist infections, and keeps your bones, gums, and teeth healthy. There are lots of ways to enjoy strawberries: in muffins, jam, salad, salsa, and simply by themselves.

Foods and Cooking in Ancient Egypt

By Clive Gifford

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"The ancient Egyptian civilization lasted from around 3000 BC all the way to 30 BC, and despite being built over 2000 years ago many of their grand structures still stand today. The food that drove this civilization to success was as fiery and spicy as the Egyptians themselves. This book contains easy-to-follow recipes from the ancient Egyptian recipe book such as the flavorful, seed-based Dukkah dip."
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Las Christmas: Favorite Latino Authors Share Their Holiday Memories

By Esmeralda Santiago

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Twenty-five heartwarming stories tell of deliverance from political oppression, a first Christmas in America, and memorable feasts. Includes recipes and songs from many traditions.

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Christmas Memories with Recipes

By Maron L. Waxman

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Join Julia Child, Craig Claiborne, and 23 other chefs who share their smashing (sometimes literally) stories and recipes from their Christmas' past.

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Like Water for Chocolate

By Laura Esquivel

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A #1 bestseller in Mexico in 1990, this charming, imaginative, and just plain fun novel of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico includes unique recipes at the beginning of each chapter for a variety of traditional dishes.

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I Love Coffee! Over 100 Easy and Delicious Coffee Drinks

By Susan Zimmer

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"...brimful with a wealth of coffee understanding from the 'ground' up, from bean to cup, including international coffees and brewing techniques best suited to a variety of preferences, all topped off with plenty of problem-solving tips and delectable full-color photographs."

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Starbucks Passion for Coffee: A Starbucks Coffee Cookbook

By Dave Olsen

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Remember the NPR April Fool's Day broadcast when they promised Starbucks coffee would be piped hot and fresh into every home? In the 10-plus years since this book was written, Starbucks may not have reached that level of saturation, but with outlets in book shops and discount retail chains, it's certainly coming close. In addition to company history, the Starbucks exec provides 30 recipes for excellent sweets to go with remarkable coffee.

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The Ultimate Slow Cooker Book

Slow cookers make everyday and special event cooking so much easier that they justify their place among your kitchen gadgets.  Plus, slow cookers come in a variety of sizes, from one quart to six quarts. Get the size that suits most of your needs or go ahead and get both.  Two slow cookers can produce a memorable meal for a party. For example, a smaller one is perfect for seafood dip or fondue while a larger one supplies barbeque beef for sandwiches or coq au vin.  Whichever model(s) you choose, it’s good to have the slow-cooker option for less stress and more flavorful food.